There is an optical illusion about every person we meet.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The beauty of art is in the making– the time and dedication put into each unique creation. That is what makes the work of Tom Banwell so fascinating.
Banwell is a leather worker, steampunk artist, and mask maker who creates handcrafted leather plague doctor masks, costumes, and accessories.Largely self-taught, Banwell was innovative in the way he learned to imitate bronze, marble and wood using resin.In 2008, he hit his stride in the discovery of leather mask-making, his passion and business to this day. He incorporates resin with his leatherwork, which adds to the richness of his masks.A plague doctor (Italian: medico della peste) was a special medical physician who treated those who had the plague. They were specifically hired by towns that had many victims in times of plague epidemics.In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore beak-like masks which were filled with aromatic items to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection.
Thus the influence for Banwell’s steampunk-tinged hand-made masks and other works.More of Tom Banwell‘s extraordinary work can be found at http://tombanwell.com/ and https://www.etsy.com/shop/tombanwell/.
A wonderful repost today from a blogger I’ve followed for quite a while. A reflection of what is going on around us … yet hope for the future.
At 6 AM everyday, I see an old man sitting alone in the park, sipping hot coffee from his Peet’s mug. He keeps his mask under his chin, and watches the birds flying above. I try to keep the social distance, tip-toe, and balance my steps with my foggy glasses and cotton masks. Yet I wonder why he is there, for months, at that time of the day, alone.
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