Vice Magazine featured Banwell Design in their 2021 article, “The Best Cosplay Halloween Costumes for People Who Missed Comic Con”, part of their Vice Recommends series.

See the article here:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Climate Change Exhibit


The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s March 2010 climate change exhibit, “Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea” features green sea turtles, Magellanic penguins, a coral reef, spotted jellies, scarlet and white ibises, roseate spoonbills and cattle egrets – current or potential casualties of the global climate crisis, as well as our own creation: A life size cow statue wearing one of our steampunk gas masks!

How It Was Made

Tom's Project Blog: Cow Gas Mask

Cow Gas Mask: Step 1
Cow Gas Mask: Step Two
Cow Gas Mask: Step Three

Polluters Create Controversy

As always, special interests had a problem with a public message that hurts their profits, and so the local dairy and cattle industry started a campaign to take down the cow-in-a-gas mask portion of the exhibit, which included a facebook group dedicated to fighting the cow-in-a-gasmask exhibit and a visit from two of California’s largest cattle lobbying groups: California Milk Advisory Board and the California Beef Counci. The pressure campaign was ultimately successful, as described by the Monterey Herald.

"The Monterey Bay Aquarium has altered an exhibit about climate change after some California farmers were offended...

...representatives of the California Milk Advisory Board and the California Beef Council, met at the aquarium last week to discuss the farmers' concerns, and as of Thursday the cow was stripped of the mask."

Read more on the controversy:


The World’s First Museum Exhibition of Steampunk Art

Oxford University's History of Science Museum

In 2009-2010 the University of Oxford’s History of Science Museum held the first ever Steampunk museum exhibition, curated by Art Donovon, featuring an unbelievable lineup of Steampunk artists, each a master in their respective mediums. This was at a time when most people had never heard the term “Steampunk”.

"Between 13 October 2009 and 21 February 2010, we held the world’s first museum exhibition of Steampunk art. This extraordinarily successful exhibition showcased the work of 18 Steampunk artists from across the globe, and drew over 70,000 visitors to the Museum. Find out more about the exhibition by following links below – watch a documentary about the exhibition, take a virtual tour, see photographs of the costumed visitors on the Museum’s Steampunk Catwalk and watch some Steampunk machines in action."

Click below to see all of the amazing documentation including photos, videos, a virtual tour, exhibit programme, and more!

Tom's Blog Entry about the Exhibition
The front entrance display. University of Oxford
The Programme of Events features Tom's "Underground Explorer" ensemble.

Watch: Steampunk at the Museum

This 5 minute film is an introduction to the Steampunk exhibition at the Museum, including interviews with Art Donovan, curator and Jim Bennett, Museum Director as well as other Steampunk artists featured in the exhibition. Film by Suzy Prior

Make: Magazine Article

Make Volume 27, from June 2011 features Tom’s work in it’s section, “Made On Earth: Face to Face”

"Tom Banwell is a self-taught man of many talents. He’s a leatherworker, a caster/sculptor, and a tireless inventor of a vast selection of imaginative facemasks, many of which have been featured in films, television, and major magazines. His most complex and extraordinary works are his “steampunk” gas masks, but he’s also known for his delicate, laser-cut leather party masks and other uniquely shaped costume masks. Just to keep things interesting, he also makes rayguns. His fantastic blog is a must-read for any costume designer or lover of steampunk. It’s filled with well-written, step-by-step explanations and interesting tips and tricks. (Be sure to search for “A Steamier Raygun Holster,” “Elevated Shoes,” and “Modifying a Straw Hat.”) When asked why he gravitated to gas masks, Banwell says, “A gas mask, though functional, dramatically alters the appearance of the wearer. This can be perceived by the viewer as terrifying — as one resembles a monster — or humorous — as one becomes a silly clown.” Banwell manages to combine these two feelings to create unforgettable masks that embody both fear and curiosity. The formal, antiqued leatherwork feels classic and foreboding, but he says the form of the masks — which can resemble a rhinoceros or an elephant — is “pure fantasy.” Banwell is constantly looking at the world around him and re-creating it in the most mad and pleasing manner possible. Looking through his fan photos, it’s clear that when seemingly ordinary people don his masks, they unleash the more fantastic selves that lay dormant.

30 Seconds to Mars: Hurricane- A Short Film

Jared Leto Hurricane Bunny Mask

Written and Directed by Jared Leto this short film/long music video has nearly 40 million views on and features 3 of our masks:

The Bunny Mask in black leather
Gas Mask
The Furst Plague Doctor mask

The band custom ordered a large order of our Bunny masks with the band logo engraved, and they sold/wore them.

The band sold these masks made by us with the 30 Seconds to Mars logo on the forehead.
Jared Leto sporting the Bunny Mask while chillin with Skrillex as seen in this photo from Rolling Stone Magazine
This video frame of the gas mask from Hurricane was also used as the image for the single Hurricane 2.0 featuring Kanye West as seen here.
A brown Furst Plague Doctor Mask by Banwell Designs

This video clip features the Bunny Mask in black leather

This video clip features the Gas Mask

This video clip features the Furst Plague Doctor Mask

Jared Leto wearing the Bunny Mask

Watch Hurricane (censored version)

Watch Making of Hurricane


Magazine Article


Forbes Magazine published an article Feb 28, 2021 about the rise of the plague doctor character in modern culture. The article featured one of our customers wearing a full Banwell Designs Plague Doctor Costume (our Schnabel Plague Doctor mask, Plague Doctor Hat -badly squashed, Plague Doctor Mantle, Balaclava and holding the Plague Doctor Staff with Winged Topper). Photo taken at the Middle East Film & Comic Con in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March, 2020.

"Plague doctors, or at least images of plague doctors, are having a bit of a cultural moment again, roughly 300 years after their actual heyday. They’ve become popular motifs for stickers, pins, masks, t-shirts, and even stuffed animals during the Covid-19 pandemic."


Award Winning Nissan Web Series


      Nissan released a 4 part film entitled “Blackbird” starring Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandolorian), Renata Gonzalez, and featuring our Krankheit Plague Doctor Mask. Filmed in Chile, Peru, and various locales around South America, and starring some relatively well known talent, the film feels like a Hollywood feature film. It’s broken into 4 chapters for web release.

"More than 600 years ago, one mask was the symbol of the fight against a plague that nearly destroyed mankind.

Trailer: Blackbird

LA Opera: Verdi's Two Foscari Custom Costume Design

In 2016, Tom designed custom leather masks for the performers of Verdi’s Two Foscari by the LA Opera including the Aardvark and the Fire breather masks.

"Appropriately dark and restrained visuals for the work were provided by director Thaddeus Strassberger, set designer Kevin Knight and costume designer Mattie Ulrich. In contrast to Lucrezia’s and the Doge’s gleaming robes, the red cassocked “Dieci” and black clad chorus spoke of evil men and secret powers. Verdi’s interpolated Festa — complete with dancers, gondolieri and a fire eater was both a musical and visual respite and delight."

The Fire Breather Mask in action!

Watch video highlights from Verdi's Two Foscari

The Aardvark Mask

The Fire Breather Mask

Two views of The Fire Breather Mask.
The Fire Breather side view.

The She Wolf Mask

Chevelle Album Cover

Acclaimed rock band Chevelle used our Krankheit Plague Doctor Mask on the cover of their 2014 album La Gárgola.

“I had a friend come over late one night and shoot the cover art. It’s me in the creepy classic plague mask. We were just goofing around and we didn’t know at the time that we we’re stumbling on such a strong image. Weird things can happen when one wears a mask. It forces you to be someone else for a second.”

La Gárgola (Spanish for “The Gargoyle”) is the seventh studio album by American rock band Chevelle. Chevelle is a Billboard Music Awards nominated act with platinum and double platinum albums, and has sold more than 6 million records worldwide.

La Gargola The Beer

In August 2019, and with the collaboration of Revolution Brewing, Chevelle announced the release of their Helles Lager beer, named, “La Gargola ” after the album and featuring the Krankeit Plague Doctor mask photo.

Notably, this is the second beer with one of our plague doctor masks on the label (see Black Plague Brewing).

Revolution Brewing is Illinois’ largest independent craft brewery. Located in the heart of Chicago. 

Beer Tap Handle Featuring the Krankheit Plague Doctor Mask

Muzeo Exhibit: Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination

"Opening Oct. 14, 2011 at Muzeo in Anaheim, CA, Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination will explore the origins, personalities, and lasting effects of an imaginative aesthetic born in “The Age of Steam”, through a collection of artifacts, replicas and informational displays."

In 2011, Muzeo museum in Anahiem, hosted a steampunk exhibit featuring Tom’s work.

Black Plague Brewing and Tony Hawk

Black Plague Brewing is a brewery and taproom out of Oceanside, CA that uses Tom’s original photo of the Schnabel plague doctor mask as its logo, with the image posted on every beer.  Skateboarding legend and “best skateboarder in the history of the world” Tony Hawk is closely associated with the brewery with his signature Plague Doctor themed brew called, “Tony Hawps” (a birdhouse brew). They also own a Schnabel mask and a Banwell Designs Plague Doctor Top Hat that makes appearances at events, often along side Tony Hawk himself, most notably in a competition between Tony Hawk and the Schnabel plague doctor playing the Tony Hawk video game, with Tony Hawk playing as himself.

Black Plague Brewing billboard in Sacramento featuring our Schnabel mask and Plague Doctor Hat
6-pack of "Tony Hawps" beer featuring a stylized image of Schnabel altered to look like the bird skeleton from Tony Hawks original Powell Peralta skateboard from 1987
Hoodies featuring Schnabel
Black Plague pint glass featuring Schnabel
Black Plague Brewing has it's own skatepark where Tony Hawk and other pro skaters hang out
Schnabel vs Tony Hawk playing the Tony Hawk videogame at Black Plague Brewing

"Fetishism" Exhibit: Trapholt Museum Kolding, Denmark

March 2015–Jan 2015
Edelkoort Exhibitions
Trapholt Museum
Kolding, Denmark

Movie: Armynel 2012

2012  R  1h 15m
Lance Dumais
Phil AslaksenMarkus Innocenti(additional dialogue)
Mariel GomsrudDavid NovakDanielle DiLorenzo
Play Video

Paris Hilton wearing the Raven Mask at Burningman

Paris Hilton posted this picture on Instagram of her wearing our Raven Mask at Burningman in 2009.

Mosh wearing the Bunny mask

Mosh has worked with leading photographers,models and designers, has been featured multiple times on and Vogue Italia as well as being the cover girl on magazines such as Maxim, Bizarre, Marquis and appeared on the front cover of Girls and Corpses magazine alongside American film director, producer, screenwriter Lloyd Kaufman.

Mosh has also ventured in to fashion having designed latex clothing for Collective Chaos and worked with Pin up lingerie enthusiasts Dottie’s Delights on 2 exclusive name sake playsuits and continues to work on her own brand when she can.

2013 saw Mosh take a step in to mainstream media, starring in music videos for artists such as Pink, Korn and Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo’s new music group TV Mania. More recently, she appears in the Smashing Pumpkins video “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)”.

Ghost BC video featuring our Stiltzkin plague doctor mask

Ghost, also formerly known as Ghost B.C. in the United States, is a Swedish rock band that has been awarded multiple Grammies for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album in 2013 and for Best Metal Performance in 2016.

Ghost uses our Stiltzkin mask extensively in their videos and live performances.

Ghost live performance featuring the Stiltzkin plague doctor mask by Banwell Designs.

Unboxing of the Banwell Designs Stiltzkin plague doctor mask and Plague Doctor Hat, as used by Ghost BC.

Virgin Mobile #breakfree Campaign

Virgin Mobile’s #breakfree campaign featured this image of woman wearing our “Roxy” half mask.