If there is something that can be said for certain about potato lovers around the world, it is that they all passionately care not only about their favourite veggie, but most often about each other’s welfare. This simple truth can be seen when you look at the loving care bestowed on the Mr Potato Head statue at the Clements’ Marketplace in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He now (dutifully) wears a face mask – signifying the realities of the times we live in today.
The mask is the handiwork of Jackie (Jacqueline) Davis, who lives together with her immediate family in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in the US. Potato News Today caught up with her to find out how this came about and what it took to actually make the mask.
“The idea for the mask came from a friend of mine,” Jackie told PNT. “She suggested that he really should be wearing a mask like all the rest of us. I reached out to the management at Clements’ Marketplace, where the Mr. Potato Head has been standing for as long as I can remember. They were very positive in their response and agreed it was a good idea. Within less than 48-hours of putting the mask on, it was featured in 2 local newspapers.”
It took a yard of fabric to make the mask and Jackie used two pieces of approximately 7 foot elastic to secure the mask to Mr. Potato Head.
“I sewed the mask in the same way I would create a traditional 6” x 9” mask, just without the double layer, and sewing the same type of folds as a person-sized mask. A person-sized mask takes me about 15 minutes to make, including cutting the fabric, sewing and ironing. Mr Potato Head’s mask took me 45 minutes.”
Jackie said she’s made just about 600 people-masks in April alone.
“I’m not able to run my massage therapy office during the pandemic, and making the masks has kept me very busy but positively occupied as well. I’m a self-taught seemstress. Both of my grandmothers were professional seamstresses, so I was around the art of sewing my whole life.”
Jackie told PNT the reaction from the public so far has been phenomenal.
“I didn’t expect so much attention to be made about Mr. Potato Head and the mask, but I‘m extremely grateful for it. I saw the mask as a sign of unity for our community and also as a way for children to feel more comfortable with the idea of wearing a face covering in public. Everyone loves and can relate to Mr. Potato Head!”
Jackie Davis can be reached at [email protected]
Picture above: Jackie Davis and her 12 year old son Cameron at the Mr Potato Head statue in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.