Motorcycle Riding Masks
All of my Motorcycle Riding Masks are hand-made and so each is unique and different, even when they are the same overall design. Each mask features a lambskin leather lining and padding in the nose and cheeks for added comfort. The masks also include a brass insert in the nose that allows it to be custom formed to the wearer’s face, as well as one in the chin area for molding to the preferred shape. The mask attaches with elastic and Velcro straps that attach behind the head. The mask sit on the nose and cheekbones, away from the mouth so that breathing is possible through the sides and bottom. Additional breather holes can be added for reduced humidity.
Custom motorcycle riding mask orders can be made by visiting the Commissions Page on my website or by emailing me at email@example.com. From motorcycle riding masks to guitar straps to fine art pieces, I can create something truly spectacular for you.
I begin by conferring with my client in much of the same way as one works with a tattoo artist on a custom piece. We talk about the overall impression of the mask – the feel and message it will convey, then delve into the design and possibly the color scheme. After emailing sketches and concept proofs, a design and color scheme are decided
I then select one of the three mask shell patterns that I developed when creating my initial series of Motorcycle Riding Masks. This shell will form the basic shape of the mask, with all the cuts and sew lines needed to get the correct shape of the mask. These shells are laser cut from the leather by my good buddy Mark and, if needs be, the shell pattern will be modified to fit the design and artwork of the final mask and hand-cut.
With the shell ready, I transfer the client’s design onto it by tracing it into the shell while the leather is wet.
The pattern transferred to the mask shell, I can now cut the design into the leather with a fixed blade knife. Once it is cut, I painstakingly tool the leather using small, metal hand tools of various shapes and sizes to achieve the topography and texture I desire. This is tedious work and can take up to 8 hours of intensive hand work.
Once the mask shell has been tooled, I begin the color work. To create the color effects in my work, I use leather dye, leather stain and professional acrylic paints. The dyes, stains and paints all interact as they are layered together, creating colors and patterns that took me years to properly understand. The color process generally takes as long as the carving job, but can sometimes take even longer for intricate work. An custom mask requires 4 – 6 hours of color work.
Carved and colored, the mask shell is now ready for an aerosol wax sealant that protects the color and leather while adding a healthy sheen to the leather. The mask shell is now ready to be sewn.
I use a braided, waxed nylon thread to sew my masks together. This is a very strong thread with excellent properties. I hand-sew the cheek, nose and chin cuts using a criss-cross “x” stitch. This is an amazingly strong stitch and is made even more so by the waxed thread, which binds to itself and the leather in the sides of the sewing holes to create stitches that will not come undone if one stitch is broken.
Once the the cheek, nose and chin cuts are sewn together, the mask becomes shell gains shape and dimension. I then cut and sew a soft lambskin leather lining, hand form a foam nose pad and cut custom-shaped brass nose and chin strips. I fix the nose strip into the leather mask shell where the bridge of the nose and top of the cheeks would be. Once it is affixed I hand-mold the nose and cheeks so that the brass will keep them in the right shape. After this comes the chin brass, which allows the bottom of the mask to be properly shaped and adjusted. Then I add the nose and cheek pad, and finally the lambskin leather lining.
With the lining attached, I punch sewing holes in it along the entire edge of the mask that match up with those in the leather mask shell. I hand-sew the shell and lining together. Then I cut the lining edges to match with the edges of the mask. After this I hand-sand the edges of the mask to blend the lining with the shell.
Once the shell and lining are sewn, I create the straps by sewing velcro to double strips of non-roll elastic. The tooth side is broken into two parts with extra elastic on the second part to allow for larger fits.
From start to finish, the mask takes anywhere from 15 to 24 hours to finish. It is now ready to be shipped to the client via USPS Priority Mail.
Below are various masks that I have created, from my earliest to my latest. Click on the photo to visit the blog entry detailing each mask.