While some people have been busy making cloth face masks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, one Chilliwack man has made a mask quite unlike any other around town.
Owen Chester has handcrafted a leather ‘facehugger’ mask.
People who have seen the movie Alien would be familiar with facehuggers.
Those who haven’t, a facehugger is a one of the early stages of the Alien’s life cycle. It’s sort of a spider-like creature with a long tail, similar to that of a scorpion. As the name suggests, a facehugger latches onto a face, wraps its legs around the head and its tail around the neck.
|Owen Chester handmade this ‘facehugger’ mask out of leather. He’s pictured at his Chilliwack home on Sept. 2, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)|
Chester’s mask is no different – that is exactly how his creepy, burnt-orange mask sits on his own face when he wears it.
Being a heavily tattooed, motorcycle-riding, long-haired man, the mask actually does suit him.
“People look at people with long hair and tattoos differently,” he said. “I figured if I had to go out and wear a mask I could put this on… to shock the normals.”
He found the pattern online and “thought it looked cool” so he decided to make it.
The mask is made out of vegetable tanned leather and is about two millimetres thick. He hand-cut and hand-stitched the entire thing himself and said the tail was the most difficult part to make.
The whole thing took him about 20 hours to assemble. Pretty impressive for someone who’s only been working with leather for about two and a half years.
Chester has made other items out of leather as well like wallets, top hats and an aviator cap. He also paints, draws and does air-brushing. He’s even air-brushed skulls on the fender and dash panel of his motorcycle.
He has not yet worn the facehugger mask out in public and is not sure if he ever will, but it’s definitely a conversation piece even when it’s not hugging a face.
Chester brought it to the Chilliwack Salvation Army where he volunteers every Thursday and showed it to the folks there. They were wowed with his skill and the detail of the piece.
Even though he has no immediate plans to wear the mask in public, he does have another mask to put on. It’s a black leather one he made, which looks very similar to a form-fitted cloth mask, and one that is not nearly as shocking as the facehugger.