Maranda at Work: Making Mardi Gras Masks

Maranda at Work: Making Mardi Gras Masks

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Inside the Enchanted Garden — Dennis Beckman is known for creating a good mask or two.

Dennis has made thousands of masks for people all across the country, but Mardi Gras season is when he’s typically the busiest. Now that Dennis is back in Shreveport he wants to make sure the community enjoys the season with a good mask.

“Masks are very important and we want to bring this back to Shreveport to really experience the fantasy of being in a mask because when you put on a mask — you become a different person. You can become whoever you want," he said.

So for this job, I decided to watch how Dennis makes it all happen. As he worked, I learned what he loves about designing masks.

“A lot of times I”ll start with a mask and it’ll turn out totally different from what I had planned because I’ll take each piece and I’ll put it together and I’ll do sort of a little prototype and no I’ll change this," he said. "It’s just wonderfully creative.”

Soon a simple mask turns into something magnificent, but the best part for Dennis is when people like me try on his masks.

“Every mask looks different on everybody," he said. " Your nose, your cheeks, your eye shape everything. So you really have to try on a mask to see what really brings out that exotic or interesting look.”

(Source: Maranda Whittington)

But Enchanted Garden isn’t the only place where you can find Dennis’s masks.

Months ago the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum reached out to Dennis about creating an exhibit. He created close to 70 uniquely themed masks that will be on display until the end of Mardi Gras season.

But when Mardi Gras season ends, Dennis will still be making masks for anyone that wants to feel a little mysterious.

“I’ve already made thousands and thousands of masks over all these almost forty years," he said. "I’ve been making masks and they’re all one of a kind and I could continue to make several thousand more one of a kind.”

Dennis is already working on another exhibit for the museum in the near future.

Before he transitioned into mask making, he was making bridal head pieces in San Francisco.

“One of my celebrity brides she said I want to go down the isle in a mask with my head piece and surprise the groom and all the guests," he said. "So I made her an incredible lace and pearl head piece and mask, and people saw that and said oh we want a mask too so it just started like that.”

Dennis is also the king for the Krewe of Highland.

This year for the Krewe’s parade, Dennis will be throwing out some specialty masks and purses, but you’ll only get them if you are standing on Highland Street during the parade.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.