East Bay Artist Makes Thousands Of Face Masks

An East Bay artist is using her talents to get face masks to people who need them.

The stay at home orders across the Bay Area have changed a lot of people’s lives, including Oakland artist Rachel Sadd.

“When this all happened, like many people, I found myself with a bit of time on my hands,” says Sadd. “I had specialized in interactive public art, and there’s no longer public interacting.”

But Sadd is also the executive director of the non-profit Ace Monster Toys Makerspace, and used that experience to launch the ambitious project of sewing thousands of reusable masks for people in need.

“We specifically targeted really at-risk communities: the unhoused folks, the folks working with the unhoused people, grocery store clerks at local markets,” says Sadd. 

She and her team have been fundraising in order to keep Distill My Heart going. 

“Thanks to a donation of materials from the American Distilling Institute in Hayward and some ongoing fundraising, the project is on track to produce 3,400 masks, and to hire people on a contract basis to help sew them,” says Sadd. “There’s a lot of folks in our community who currently are out of work who could really use some temp work. So we’re taking more than two-thirds of all the money we’ve raised, and we’re putting people in temp jobs.”

The group has materials ready to send out to volunteers interested in taking part.

“We absolutely have kits ready to go today, and we’ve precut all the pieces,” says Add. “We have videos, and I’ll even do one-on-one trouble shooting if somebody gets a little stuck.”

To learn more visit thecraftyavenger.com.