Tuesday, January 20

Leather Plague Doctor Mask

The idea has been lurking in the back of my head for a while now. Waiting for me to finally give in and build this particular mask. I attempted to win an alchemy bid for it, but that didn't work out, though the person was quite nice about it. It still seemed worth doing as a fun project. My bruised hand is less a fan of the project, since I ended up hand punching and hand stitching the entire thing. And I didn't make it out of a particularly thin leather...

For those not really familiar with plague doctor masks, they came into being as a result of the plague. There was a common belief that birds spread the plague. Many people think the bird beak shape was to help draw the plague out of the victim onto the plague doctor outfit. The red lenses were to protect the wearer from evil. The beak was typically stuffed with herbs to protect them from the miasma that was believed to carry the plague.

The rest of the outfit adds to the creepiness, with a wide brimmed hat, a long black coat, and a wooden cane. I really, really want to build a hat now too... though I'm not sure I have a proper piece for the brim. I will have to look...

Now, on to progress pictures! I started with the beak piece. Once I had that stitched together, I cut out a piece that would be at plenty big for a face and then cut an upside down T into it to slot in the nose.

Then I went to bed, actually. But the next relevant step was to actually attach the nose to the main mask. I left the large extra pieces in place, so that I had plenty of room to work. Once I actually had all three sides attached, then I trimmed down the extra bits around the nose.

From there, it was an easy step to cut the eye-holes, measures to fit the laser-cut lenses that I have on hand.

I cut a lighter black leather to work as a cover for the lenses. Circles with a hole in the center. It gave it a rough look, but I rather like the whole thing having a rough look. Here is a close up shot of it.

It actually looks better from a distance, though.

Once I was happy with that, I set the other lens. Which didn't work on the first go through. I got more then halfway through before pulling it off and cutting a new piece and re-attaching it.

I trimmed down the shape a little more, finalizing the shape a bit more.

The last touch was to cut slits for the straps, then to stitch them into place and attach the buckle.

It really does beg to have the hat added.... but I still think it is totally awesome.