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The Story Behind the Mask

Franny Drummond has a tremendous passion for Philadelphia Flyers hockey and also for creating inimitable works of art.

A Philadelphia-area native, Drummond has combined those two passions into a unique piece of art – a hand-painted, artistic mask that will be worn in the nets this week by Philadelphia Flyers standout goalie, Steve Mason.

Mason will be wearing the eye-appealing mask that also pays homage to several of his Flyer teammates. Portrayed as “zombies” – another Mason passion – are Flyers captain Claude Giroux and teammates Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek.

Also unique to this mask: Flyers’ Head Equipment Manager Derek Settlemyer is painted on the back.

“The mask’s primary goal is to provide protection for Steve Mason, but it’s also a true piece of art for viewing and for appreciating,” said Drummond, who was a hockey goalie in his youth. “Something like this has never been done before, honoring current players. Hockey masks are usually very shiny, but this one isn’t. If you take off the cage, the mask looks like a piece of artwork.”

In fact, making the mask was such a unique and captivating process that DSP Photo Studios captured the making of Drummond’s mask in his shop in Langhorne – called Paint Zoo.

While Drummond worked tirelessly constructing and hand-painting the new mask, getting to his shop early in the morning and not leaving until late at night, DSP photographers Den Sweeney and Jay Kan were at Paint Zoo photographing and chronicling the tedious process and creating thousands of photos. For a sample of the photos, visit http://flickr.com/gp/76695471@N05/N9mAoY.

It was a fascinating process, watching Drummond create the idea and come up with the finished product that was presented to Mason at today’s (January 24) Flyers practice. He will wear the new mask at the Flyers home game Saturday, January 25, against the Boston Bruins.

Creating a goalie’s mask is obviously unique. Who does artwork, only to have it be target practice for an object that is travelling at speeds of over 100 miles an hour?

“Obviously the mask must protect the goalie, but it’s also a true piece of art,” Sweeney said. “To watch Franny and photograph his painstaking attention to detail, unbelievable work ethic, and unique style, was fascinating. He does incredible work.”

Creating a hockey goalie mask is nothing new to Drummond – it’s practically his specialty now after years of doing artwork for motorcycles, cars and trucks. Drummond’s artwork is pretty well known in the NHL. His helmets have been worn by Flyers goalies Brian Boucher, Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.

“Steve loves this mask. It truly is quite a piece of artwork. He flipped out over it when he saw our pictures of Franny making it,” Kan said. “And he will love it even more now that he can wear the finished product.”

About DSP Photo Studios

DSP is a Philadelphia-based, award-winning photography studio. DSP has been featured in major publications in the U.S. and Canada. DSP was the official photographers for the Harry Kalas Statue project, Nunavut Stars, and L'Eroica. DSP travels the world to create unique images for its clients. For more information, visit www.dspphotostudios.com/

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