For David Aebischer’s return to North American hockey Dave Gunnarsson has created a mask that is a tribute to Aebischer’s Swiss heritage and to Canadian Aviation.
According to Dave:
“It was very exciting to create this design, a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Aces of WW2. The design has a lot of meanings and messages, so many details that some you cannot see on the photos, only when you see it live. I love to incorporate a lot of details and stories into the designs.”
The left side of the mask features Canadian Ace Wilbert Dodd, who flew in World War II, flying his plane (a Spitfire XIV) over Winnipeg’s mountains. Also painted on this side is the Royal Canadian Air Force logo.
The right side of the mask has been designed to look like an old school fighter plane with nose art featuring a pin up. This pin up is designed to represent Helvetia, a Swiss national figure, and so she carries a spear and a shield featuring the Swiss flag .
Dave also points out that “around the chin is the latin phrase from the Air Force logo, “Per Ardua Ad Astra”, that is also the name of this mask design. It means “Through adversity to the stars”, and that phrase inspired the whole artwork. From the front the graphic lines on the top shapes the letter V, the sign of Victory and the sign Churchill showed when WW2 was won.”