Face coverings feature Santa Barbara Mission, County Courthouse
With their line drawings of two iconic local landmarks, the mission and the courthouse, new COVID-19 face masks are getting a lot of attention in the Santa Barbara area.
Business owner Sasha Ablitt, artist David J. Diamant and Earl Arnold combined their expertise to design them.
The original artwork was created by Mr. Diamant, and the water-based screen printing was hand-pulled by Mr. Arnold, owner of Table Salt Screen Printing.
Ms. Ablitt, who owns Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Tailors, founded years ago by her father, originated the idea along with several members of her staff.
“When everything closed down in March, our business dropped 70 percent, so I decided to make masks with the help of my tailors Maribel Ibarra, Margarita Miguel and Elsa Sapien,” said Ms. Ablitt. “Because environmentalism is a big part of everything I do, we were repurposing clothing and bed linens and other items that had never been picked up.
It was a wonderful opportunity to divert the material from the landfill.”
As the word got out, clients began to donate material for the project.
“We used only natural material, like cotton, which is easier for breathing. I didn’t want to use polyester,” said Ms. Ablitt. “We knew nothing about making masks when we began, but we played around with it. Everyone seemed to want something different — different colors, different designs.”
As business increased and people were being asked to wear masks all the time, Ms. Ablitt decided to make masks that would involve other local businesses who were having problems staying afloat.
“I wanted to make them fun, too. I reached out to local artists to come up with ideas and partner with us,” said Ms. Ablitt. “David was super excited. He specializes in line drawings of Santa Barbara scenes.”
“I grew up in Santa Barbara, left for 10 years and came back,” said Mr. Diamant. “When I came back, I saw my hometown with fresh eyes. I had the old memories and was now making new ones — the courthouse, the mission, the harbor, the Arlington, Paradise Cafe, etc.”
Now dubbed the SBLocal Mask Project, the coverings are sold in two colors, black and blue, with drawings of the landmarks in white.
“Currently we have the mission and courthouse masks available. We are working on two new designs at the moment that should be available in a few weeks,” said Ms. Ablitt.
“All are made of natural material, with water-based ink as opposed to that nasty plastic type of ink. The four ties have been designed for your ultimate comfort and can be worn either behind the ears or by tying behind the neck and on top of the head.”
The masks, which cost $25 plus tax, are machine washable.
“They will last longer if hand-washed and air-dried, and the CDC recommends daily washing,” she added.
For more information about the SBLocal Mask Project, call 805-963-6677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.