Tom Banwell

The leather mask maker

Created by Tom and Jill Banwell, Banwell Designs’ iconic steampunk masks, leather masquerade masks, and plague doctor masks have been imitated by many but duplicated by none! Led by Tom’s son, Erin, Banwell Designs’ originality and high quality leather work speaks for itself.

Banwell Designs is the original maker of modern, handmade, leather Plague Doctor masks and accessories.

     In 2010, when most people had never heard the words “plague doctor”, Tom Banwell created his first plague doctor mask. He would go on to create 13 distinct plague doctor characters including the world’s first steampunk plague doctor character (creating an entire genre of plague doctor characters), and the first plague doctor mask to feature rivets instead of stitching. These characters have served as the direct inspiration for many of the pop culture incarnations of the plague doctor character now seen in television, film, videogames, print, comics and more.
     These 13 characters and their accompanying accessories (top hat, mantle, hood, staff and pouch) have been featured in international museum exhibition, film, and commercials, in music videos and on stage by grammy award winning artists, used as company logos, beer labels and more. Our designs have been imitated, remixed, and outright stolen so many times over that most any plague doctor content or character created post 2012 incorporates features created by Tom Banwell.