• Jacob Harvey

Mary Zink Gives Away Handmade Masks On Campus

To Mary Zink, masks are more than just a face covering. Zink is making masks in her basement to distribute on campus for free.


“My parents taught me to help when I can and I’ve been sewing since I was a girl,” Zink says.


She makes roughly between 30 and 50 masks per week and uses a variety of designed material which she picks with the help of her kids.


Her masks are equipped with two layers of fabric. Then she uses metal pipe cleaners to rest on your nose as well as adjustable drawstrings for your ears.


Zink’s experience behind the needle is not new, she sewed her own wedding dress as her mother bought Zink her first sowing kit and taught her the trade.


“My mom loved sewing. My parents grew up poor, so they did a lot for themselves,” Zink explains.


Zink estimates that when making masks she spends between 20 and 50 dollars per week as 30 masks cost 20 dollars to make.


Zink has a system to save herself time as one mask individually takes 20 minutes to craft from start to finish. Zink makes in bulk, preparing all the material first, then cutting and inputting pins, sewing and finally adding the metal.


The mask supply is replenished frequently and available 24 hours a day. The masks are hung in a cabinet just outside her office in Heelan Hall, Room 157.

Photo Credit: Jacob Harvey / Cliff News

Photo 1: Zink's Mask Cabinet.

Photo 2: Closeup of Zink's masks.

Photo 3: Mary Zink presenting her mask station.

Photo 4. Zink's Poster.

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