Thursday, January 3, 2013

Serious Leatherwork

My boy got me two huge pieces of saddle leather for Christmas, just the sort of stuff I like to have around for repairs and minor projects like the short-fork martingale I featured recently. His gift coincided with an invitation to a "Post-Apocalypse" party this weekend, giving me just enough time to make something cool to wear; something I've admired on others and always wanted to have myself. Wanna see?

I was inspired by the bird-like masks worn by doctors during the Plague. Apparently the cone-shaped beak held herbs and other stuff believed to keep the wearer from getting ill. You know the ones I mean? Here's a picture for reference.

Kinda creepy. Can you imagine being all sick with the plague, and looking up from sweaty delirium and seeing this fella by your bedside? Yikes!

Steampunk society (if I can judge by Google searches) seems to rank a plague doctor mask right up there with corsets and goggles as Nifty Stuff To Have. And while I'm hardly one to bow to trends as a general rule, sometimes I will admit that trends have a good point. Point established: I want one!  But not one like everyone else might have. I decided that after an apocalypse, besides disease being rampant, there would also be fumes and gases and smoke. *cough cough cough!* A person would want to filter that stuff out along with germs, so I planned to incorporate a gas mask/filter/re-breather into my bird mask.

First step: come up with a design and make a pattern.

Here's what I came up with sketch-wise and making a pattern out of brown paper. Pretty simple. I made the beak a bit shorter and rounded the top to give more of a falcon effect. The circles on the lower piece are where the filters will attach.

When I get back from work and my riding lesson, I'll show you pictures of the build so far. It's turning out pretty well, considering my lack of leather working experience!

1 comment:

  1. I've seen these, but didn't know it was one of the 'must-haves'. Maybe I'll make one for myself after you show us how. :)