moJAVe masks are cloth masks made in honor of our brother-in-law, whose initials were JAV. He and my brother (his husband) had recently bought a house in Palm Springs (near the Mojave). I chose the symbolism of the desert because is a place of invisible, but undeniable, community. Joe died from Covid-19 on March 30, 2020.
It has been a very sad time.
How we got here: I have been making two types of masks. Donation masks and moJAVe masks. First are the Donation masks, which are less finished, quickly prepared, and either inexpensive or free. Basically, Donation masks are made with whatever material I have on-hand. It could be scraps from a sewing project, or donated from a friend, but the fabric for these masks is not purchased solely for making masks. They’re a sort of upcycle that fills a need and provides accessibility for anyone who needs it.
Donation masks are a pay-what-you-want scale. I ask for a donation for the masks to cover time, shipping, and periphery materials like thread, cord, machine oil, etc. I do not require a payment for donation masks.
We keep a small stack of Donation masks in the car for any time we see a panhandler or someone who might need one, but maybe not have access to one. That is the plan, but as many good plans go, it hasn’t been able to be executed as well as we’d hoped.
We’re not driving around much since the whole Era of Social Distancing, and when we have been out, we haven’t seen any panhandlers. I mean, it makes sense. We still keep them in the car, just in case.
So I have been looking for places to send a stack of masks as I make them. I have a whole system here, but now that I’m making a v2.o, it might change a little.
In all of this, however, I’ve been working on the moJAVe memorial masks. I started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to change out the straps for head or ear. Justin noted that he would like to feel the mask closer to his face near the ears, so we’re developing a small pattern adjustment plus looking into an option for snaps.
Snaps would allow a person to change out the type of head fastener to his liking. In earlier versions, I played with the idea of buttons, but they were cumbersome and heavy. Snaps are easy, and also easily replaced if one fell off or broke.
So, keep an eye out (and a nose/ mouth covered): I’ll be updating really soon with the advancements.