As an Antidote to Fear of Death, I Eat the Stars: Vintage Science Face Masks

I originally made these masks just for myself and a handful of cherished human beings, however they ended up so unexpectedly beautiful that I chose to make them available to all who would enjoy them. The manufacturer (society6, over whose production, rates, and other useful elements I have no control– mine is just the conceptual aspect, suited their standard design template; they print the materials, stitch the masks, offer and ship them) is donating a part of their proceeds to World Center Kitchen, assisting to feed those most in requirement sometimes of crisis, and I am donating to The Nature Conservancy, stewarding the long-lasting nourishment of this entire unlikely, irreplaceable world, and the endeavor to construct New Yorks most democratic organization of cosmic viewpoint, the citys very first public observatory.

Often as an antidoteTo fear of death, I eat the stars.

There is likewise the charmingly shy, drowsy, fold-nesting octopus; Haeckels perfectly positioned jellyfish, reminiscent of a plate from artist Judy Chicagos iconic Dinner Party job; the insurrectionist chameleon, extending a tongue where we may not; the holy coffee plant, everyday divine being to many; the chromatically happy spectra of various compounds and the remarkable double rainbow from the 1868 French gem Les phénomènes de la physique; the extinct poto-roo, reminding us with its sweet nonexistent face atop ours that animals do perish and are permanently erased; and the pleased meteor shower, for another serving of life-affirming star-eating.

Amongst them are treasures like the Solar System quilt Ella Harding Baker invested seven years crafting in order to teach women astronomy long prior to they/we had access to official education; the stunning 18th-century illustrations from the worlds first encyclopedia of medicinal plants that the young Elizabeth Blackwell painted to bail her other half out of debtors prison; the astonishing illustrations of celestial things and phenomena the 19th-century French artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot saw through Americas very first world-class clinical instrument, Harvards Great Refractor Telescope; the guiding 18th-century artist Sarah Stones stunning illustrations of unique, endangered, and now-extinct animals; some graphically amazing representations of how nature works from a 19th-century French physics textbook; Ernst Haeckels heartbreak-fomented illustrations of the transcendent appeal of jellyfish, and of course his traditional radiolaria that so influenced Darwin; William Saville Kents pioneering artistic-scientific effort to bring the worlds awareness and awe to the creatures of the Great Barrier Reef; and art from the German marine biologist Carl Chuns epoch-making Cephalopod Atlas– the worlds first encyclopedia of creatures of the deep, which upended the longtime belief that life might not exist listed below 300 fathoms. (Because as the excellent poet Gwendolyn Brooks popular, “Wherever life can grow, it will. It will sprout out, and do the very best it can.”).

A little, coruscating pleasure: I have actually made a series of face masks including fascinating centuries-old astronomical art and nature illustrations I have brought back and digitized from different archival sources for many years.

Due to the fact that of the masks particular folding pattern, some of the artwork came alive in a wholly new and unanticipated method. My personal favorite– the original design I made for myself and my most precious human– is the total solar eclipse mask, expressive of the opening line of astronomer and poet Rebecca Elsons spectacular “Antidotes to Fear of Death”:.

See them all here, and keep an eye on the collection as I might be including more designs between reading, composing, partaking of protests, and gardening.