Seattle crafters make face masks for hospitals

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he idea was to go all out: a ruffled yellow robe and feathered owl mask, orange carrot-shaped pants and an elaborate dress, plus two giant rabbit heads. The costumes Candace Frank planned to make for local performance company Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders would be big, bold and whimsical. But, like so many other productions, the show (set to premiere at On the Boards in April) was postponed by mandatory coronavirus closures. And so, like many other creative workers in Seattle, Frank is temporarily out of a job.

“I’m surrounded by tubes of fabric that were going out to stitchers,” Frank said on a recent Zoom call from her home studio in Renton. In the background of the low-lit room, spools of fabric, a curved measuring tool and clothing sketches sat idle. While she will not be repurposing the costume fabric she intended for the production, Frank is repurposing her time and effort to make face masks that cover the nose and mouth amidst the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against the coronavirus.

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