Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I want to thank everyone who sent in a name idea for my latest plague doctor mask. I received over 200 names, many of them really good, and I had a very hard time choosing my favorite for this mask. Ultimately I chose Krankheit, sent in by Phoenix, for both its sound (pronounced like "Cronkite") and appearance, and meaning (German for sickness).

Congratulations to Phoenix for winning the Krankheit plague doctor mask in black. I am selling these in both black and white on Etsy.

Phoenix, please post your email so I can get your mailing address.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Naming Contest for Plague Doctor Mask

I've had many people want my classic plague doctor mask but wished it didn't cost so much ($285). Much of the cost comes from the hours and hours of handstitching that goes into each one, so I have designed a variation that is faster to make. I have replaced most of the stitching with metal rivets, which not only lowers the price ( to $195) but gives the mask an edgy steampunk look.

I've kept the shape of the mask as close to the original as I could, so it still has a look of historical accuracy. Here is the original classic plague doctor mask on the right, and the new riveted mask on the left.

I took some photos while making it, shown here. Once the holes are cut the two-part rivets are set by hand.

Then hammered together with the ball peen hammer on a steel shoemaker's anvil.

Here is the mask all riveted together, ready for the eyepieces to be stitched in place and then painted.

And here is the completed mask all painted black and with gray acrylic lenses.

I'm holding a contest to come up with a name for the new mask. It will run until midnight PST, November 15, 2011. The winner will receive the mask pictured, which is the first one I've made. Winner will have to pay for shipping from Penn Valley, California, US. I will be sole judge to determine the winning entry.

To give you an idea of what I'm looking for, here is how I named my other steampunk plague doctor masks. Beulenpest is the German word for bubonic plague. And Ichabod is named after Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, because the long beak reminded me of a crane's. So send in your creative names for the new riveted mask (by commenting on the blog post), and maybe you will win. You may submit as many entries as you like. In the event of duplicate entries of the winning name the first posted in this blog will be the winner.