Buy some CBRNe World History, do some good!

It is rare that inspiration strikes once, never mind twice! When we were in New Orleans in 2010 for the BioSampling Conference I happened to take a call outside a rather dingy shop in the French quarter, while listening to the call I realised that I was standing outside a small, designer, carnival mask shop – Maskarade (http://www.frenchquartermaskstore.com/) which as well as selling to the public did quite a lot of film and TV work. Having been into enough bland, tourist mask shops I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but the proprietors have a team of highly talented artists working in a number of mediums to create their work.

The ‘Plague’ mask is made from leather, and like origami folded and starched upon itself until it is complete. The centrepiece is a skull, on both sides there are TICs barrel, for the chemical threat, and rising above them are some vectors – birds and rodents – for the bio piece. It was designed by Isaac Johns, who has won numerous awards for his art, and is designed for the 95 percentile male head.

The ‘Red Death’ mask is framed on an old MCU-2P respirator and has been designed by Beverly Boulet. Ms Boulet is an internationally collected mask maker, her creations have been used in TV, film and music – Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White and Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler have worn her creations. The mask is encrusted in sequins and rhinestones and comes with an enormous feather crown.

The masks were used extensively, on the cover of Spring 2011 CBRNe World and in the marketing for CBRNe South America, and the concern was what do we do with them now? We could throw them into the CBRNe World batcave, or we could actually put them to some better use! 

Hence the masks will be auctioned for charity, as befits such creations, on the 31st of October – in time for the Christmas round of parties! Bids will be taken on the night, but should you not be able to attend the night we will take take bids via sophie.pym@cbrneworld.com. These will be traditional blind bids, we won’t tell you what the current status is, but there will be a reserve of $200 per mask, which is what CBRNe World will donate to charity to keep them. 

Charities

Chemical Corps Regimental Association (CCRA)   Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation

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