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More Masks

More Masks

I must admit that as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, there were some things that surprised me. Masks were one of those surprises.

At first, I didn’t like them. Masks fogged my glasses. They made it hard for strangers to see my winning smile. And going to the local bank branch wearing a mask made me feel like a bank robber...who might get handcuffed.

But masks have a silver lining. With some people, the less we see of their faces, the better. For some faces, masks are a vast improvement. 


GOOD. Reduce the risk of infection and conceal that mouth.


BETTER. Fight the spread of microbes and enhance the environment.


BEST. Minimize infections and simultaneously improve urban aesthetics.


Why doesn’t Don make masks? 

That’s a question I have heard often in the last three months. Answer? It takes me so long to design a product that months would pass before I could have a mask ready. By the time I develop a design I like, find a supplier I trust, refine production specifications, and approve prototypes, the pandemic will have burned out and few of us will be able to remember there was a time when we had to stay home. (I hope.)

I wear a BADbandana when I go out. It has worked great so far. 


If, I am wrong and mask-wearing becomes a permanent social convention, I might change my mind and start designing ridiculous masks in 2021. 

While we are on the topic of things Don is NOT working’ll be glad to know that I am not currently working on a vaccine or serum.


Stay healthy. Stay safe. No epidemics last forever.

Don—Pittsburgh, June 5, 2020

Comments on this post (64)

  • Oct 09, 2020

    @Phyllis Aron, we are all mask-wearing folk here at Calamityware. Our desire to not get into the mask business has nothing to do with whether or not we are in support of wearing them or not. We are in total support. But trying to introduce a new product during a global pandemic is not easy, and not something we want to spend our time on. You can purchase a mask with a Calamityware design via

    — The Giant Robot

  • Oct 09, 2020

    While I admire your creative process and your obvious talent and wear my tee shirt as often as possible to remind me that yes things could be worse, your attitude toward the viability of masks is marked only by it’s similarity to the thoughts and actions of he who is purported to be the leader of this country and finds covid 19 a “blessing from G-d”.
    Please reconsider and offer a face mask. If you listen to the scientists who know best, masks will still be a hot item four months from now. Listen to those of us who love your work and give us our mask!

    — Phyllis Aron

  • Sep 20, 2020

    Don, your products are so fun! Thank you so much for sharing! Getting your prints on fabric and selling by the yard would make you a mint. Please consider it.

    — Melody McNay

  • Sep 16, 2020

    Last February my wife gifted me a huge lot of your bandannas. At the time I was thinking “Thanks but what do I need so many for?”. Then came March and Covid-19, I was well prepared and strangely appropriate for the times. Thanks

    — Tom Underhill

  • Aug 14, 2020

    Don, your Calamitywear prints are perfect for our current pandemic. If we have to cover our faces, at least let our masks show how we feel. Please consider selling your prints by the yard. We’ll take it from there. Thanks.

    — Kathy Kelley

  • Aug 08, 2020

    Hello, If you ever make the blue and white Calamityware print in fabric or covid masks please email me. I would buy a bunch of masks and give them out for the holiday to friends. I recently purchased 4 mugs and can’t wait for them to arrive. A true collectors item perfect for 2020. I’m certain 302 is giving you a surge of creativity for future runs to include murder hornets and zombie insects! Thanks.

    — Nicole Elkins-Barkley

  • Jul 25, 2020

    I’d like to suggest masks printed with a colourful image of the Corona Virus so really no thinking or drawing involved!

    — Janis L Lowry

  • Jul 23, 2020

    A mask depicting demons or snakes flying out of my mouth would be perfect. My children would certainly agree.

    — Sally

  • Jul 21, 2020

    Don, I bought some lovely textiles with your designs printed on them. I had planned to make them into masks. But my husband and I have found that we really enjoy the neck gaiter type of face covering better than surgical masks. We used them before to protect our faces from the sun when sailing or working outdoors. Now we wear them all the time and use them like scarves. They are just long stretchy tubes of fabric with patterns printed on them. We like the manufacturers Hoo-Rag and YesWeVibe. To make them more effective filters we fold the top edges double. Would love some Calamity designs on them. You could collaborate…

    — Linda Oistad

  • Jul 11, 2020

    Sorry to say, I think that masks are here to stay. If you made them, they’d sell out in a minute. If you made clear-panel masks for lipreading, you’d be a hero!

    — Chris

  • Jul 03, 2020

    Please consider making some masks sooner than later. Lord knows we need humor to get us thru this! For me personally the graphics on my coffee cup would be perfect (the sweary one 😊).
    And not to be so selfish, would you consider reprinting the note cards with the sea creatures on them? Please? I’m not a fan of flowery smarmy notecards and they are perfect!
    Stay safe and be easily amused

    — Chris

  • Jul 01, 2020

    Any chance ‘murder hornets’ might find a spot? (The only calamity of 2020 that seems to have some humorous effect…)

    — Mary Freeman

  • Jun 24, 2020

    Please design colorful masks <3 they look and feel great. Masks are great for introverts like me and I will wear them always now.

    — Anna

  • Jun 12, 2020

    Hi, guys! We’ve got the Robot Uprising bandanas and adore them! I also just saw that there had been Space Worm ones too. Oh, please bring those back! I must have them! I didn’t know about Calamityware when they came out. I started with the full tea set and now have ordered the Skedaddlesaurus tote bag on Kickstarter. Can’t wait! But please remember the Space Worms! They just tickle me! 😊

    — Lisa

  • Jun 07, 2020

    I love all of the designs. Got the TCBW mugs, and they are terrific. You KNOW I would buy masks. I would lovingly suggest the zombie poodle design.

    — Terri Colburn

  • Jun 07, 2020

    I second Susan on the Skedaddleasaurus design! I don’t need travel bags either at this point but it would be great to have the fabric.

    I am liking masks because now I don’t have to struggle with makeup to hide the dark circles under my eyes!

    — Elene Gusch

  • Jun 07, 2020

    More T shirts in more colors! Yes to yardage fabric! Masks yes! I’m starting to think about Christmas gifting…

    — Sandstorm

  • Jun 07, 2020

    I don’t like masks either. I want to see people smile again.

    — Norma H

  • Jun 07, 2020

    There were so many good and funny comments I wasn’t going to leave one but in the spirit of rioting I got caught up. So here’s mine. I would buy a mask even though I’ve made over 200 for people During this apocalypse. But in supporting your artwork I would love to see a version of the dog chasing death on a bicycle as one print across the mask area. I may have to retrofit some thing if that does not happen. Do not take that as a dangerous threat only that I love that print so much

    — Giuliana Nakashima

  • Jun 07, 2020

    Don, did you design the graphic that Roku uses as it’s background? It certainly looks like it came right out of you imagination. :)

    — Jane Boswell

  • Jun 07, 2020

    There are a lot of needs for masks not just during this pandemic. My husband had stage lV lymphoma 5 years ago and had to wear a mask when outside because of his compromised immune system. As if that were not bad enough I am terminally ill and cannot risk getting the flu or covid..that would be a death sentence (I am on the transplant list which would allow me to live a normal life) so a mask for me is a must. But wait..there is more…after year 5 and being declared officially cancer free, my husband had a major stroke, hence, masks all the time. I guess my point after a long tangent is I have been in many hospitals and a lot of medical offices before and during the pandemic and masks are needed all the time. Whew…that was a long one. On that your artwork…you are incredibly talented and creative and bring a smile to my face as well as many others!

    — Audrey

  • Jun 07, 2020

    I agree. Anytime you put out a mask, or fabric for masks, you will sell out. So please design one. We will wait. Your designs are worth wearing, Pandemic or no Pandemic.

    — Darya

  • Jun 07, 2020

    I bought the tea towels and made 8 masks for me, my husband and my offspring and their spouses. Worked great and looks fantastic(al)! My kids love them/you have some new fans!

    — Susan

  • Jun 07, 2020

    Yes please masks sooner than later! I would be the envy of my hospital if I had a “what’s next” mask 😷I love your humor and your products and would proudly represent Calamityware here in Salt Lake City.
    Stay healthy,

    — Valerie

  • Jun 07, 2020

    As someone who has sewn her whole life, I will agree with many here who asked that you produce yardage from some of your wonderful designs. You can let US make the masks. And just think of the blog you could write with pictures of what your customers made with your yardage!

    — Virginia

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