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An early afternoon conversation:

“Hey, where is your collection of old press credentials?”

“On the book shelf in the extra room. Why?”

“Don’t they have elastic cords on them?”


Even the most dedicated prepper doesn’t have everything they really need stored away for the next apocalypse. I mean, who could expect a quilter with a vast stash of cotton fabrics, including Batiks, to keep a supply of elastic cord.

There we are.

Every individual who has ever been issued a press credential to cover a major event (political or otherwise) saves those credentials. Some are fancy, with slick graphics, industrial lamination, and high end lanyards. Some are a scrawled piece of paper hastily thrown into a sleeve. Others still, are somewhere in between. Some of those old credentials were in sleeves with elastic cords to help hold them around the neck.

The credentials get saved. They may be thrown in a pile on a shelf somewhere, or matted and framed (depending on the perceived historical value) and displayed for all visitors to see.

Over the thirteen years of covering political events for this blog I’ve accumulated quite a collection of issued press credentials. I even have a few from rock/popular music concerts.

The surgical masks sewn by our resident quilter fit and work beautifully and happen to look great, too. Cotton Batik is used because it has a tight weave. There are multiple layers, a sleeve for wire or a pipe cleaner for the nose bridge, a sewn in pocket to insert paper towel or additional filtering material, and elastic cords on each side to fit over the ears and hold the mask in place.

But no one anticipates an urgent need for elastic cord for home sewn surgical masks, right?

In a time of plague, when one has a critical need for raw material which exists as part of another whole product, you cannibalize it.

And so, we did.

Press credentials as a source of raw material.

The finished products.

They wear well.

Self portrait [2020].

Ironic on a certain level, don’t you think?

Stay Home. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.


Going out in a time of plague (March 23, 2020)