Featuring in this quarterly blog, the painstaking process of building an army of animal friends, a weird mini mannequin head with a stupid face, and I start my new life as a transcendent space goat. Let’s delve in!
We're now well into summer and my long planned karate back packing vacation to Japan is just weeks away, so I am currently in preparation mode to close up shop for the month. Finishing orders and tidying the workshop are the main things on the agenda because I'd like to come back to a clean slate ready to start taking on commissions again for the last quarter of the year.
These commissions will be open to all variants of the LARP masks featured here and on my website, such as hooded, UV, semi-realistic, bright colours, scaled. I will also be open to options with tails and other accessories like sleeves and paws (I'm excited to try and make scaled versions of these).
I'll be dedicating a full page on my website, with full details and commission form before I go. But first, what’s been going on in the workshop since my last post?!
The build up to confuzzled started right after scotia con, as I was riding the con buzz like a wave, focused on wherever the inspiration carried me but not without the risk I could fall off the moment something shiny caught my eye.
Fortunately though, the excitement of finally seeing the beginnings of my new work series held my focus... maybe a little too well... As I ended up making about 34 LARP masks for my stall. Although I have a few of them left (Listed on my store if you're interested *wink*) I'm really happy with the attention they gained, which has settled that this will be the larger part of my business now, and I'm really excited to start taking commissions for them as a permanent service.
I played around with various materials for the hoods to see how much variety I could get, especially for the Dragons, as fur doesn’t always work aesthetically for draconic characters. I'm really pleased with the faux leather scale effect, as painfully detailed as it is, the payoff is a pretty spectacular effect and I'm excited to make more. I'll be playing around with feather like effects soon, once I have finished the first of the Bird masks I have planned.
Here are some of the finished bases, most of these were sold at confuzzled, so they haven’t been listed in my store.
As I'm familiar with confuzzled, and I'm getting to recognise more people, it’s become a safe space within all the tumultuous changes I've been making, to think about things like stall layout and point of sales displays. Which isn’t something I've really had to consider before, as It used to be the only live sales presence I would have in a year.
I made a bit of a mistake on the first day, where, not being used to having so much stock to display, I'd boxed myself in and I couldn’t really talk to people properly, so I missed out on a lot of discussion and feedback, I actually left the den feeling a bit down. The next morning, I managed to re-shuffled my stall and open it out so I had talking room, the difference was immeasurable.
I'm hoping to build some better displays in the future to make the LARP masks more of a feature. Working with CwoodsDean creations on their con display has given me lots of time to think about the best materials and designs that would be most effective.
Just a few weeks ago, I was voguing and prancing around fairy light draped woodlands as a transcendent space goat with a small gang of equally vibrant, fluorescent characters. At a wonderful psy-trance festival called Noisily.
I made a few extra masks for friends to join in the stupidity this year, which they naturally jumped at. It was so much fun being able to enjoy my work from the inside.
Fantasy 404orest Festival
Unfortunately, due to the extreme weather, Fantasy forest was cancelled on the Saturday, so I wasn’t able to go and get a feel for the festival before committing to a stall next year. I will still attempt to get a stall for 2024 though, it'll be a bit scarier, but I feel like I'll be in good hands.
Other work and future plans
Mannequin heads and other useful tools for makers are next on the runaway agenda.
At the moment I have this weird little guy, soon there will be a bigger version for full fursuit head builds. I'll be making that once I have a gap in my printing schedule.
I have other little things like this planned as side projects, and I'm also debating the idea of selling the STL files for my subtle paws and hooves for people who would prefer to print at home. It is difficult though, as I'm not keen on the idea of my files being redistributed, but once a file becomes available on the internet, you have very little control over what happens to it, so it’s not really something I can prevent. It's just that its better for the environment to give people the option to print their own, and it would also free me up to making more model varieties available in the future, without having to worry about adding more 3D printers to my family. I'm happy to hear other peoples thoughts on this topic, is it a product option you'd be interested in? Or if you've sold Stl's what are some secure methods that may have helped you?
As for fursuit bases, these will still be a staple in my store, it's likely I won’t be re-casting any niche species once their mould breaks down though. The foam designs will just focus on the more common shapes such as canines. But I will still be designing the niche ones for print, so they will still be available, but printed in flexible filament instead of cast foam. This will free me up a lot to work on more custom models.
Funnily enough though, my LARP masks have also found a purpose as low profile fursuit heads.
And while I will still be making the masks as just the head piece without lower jaw as standard, based on a number of requests, I will be making creators lives a little easier by offering a free lower jaw pattern on my website when I get back, and I'll also be adding mini follow effect eyes to my store.
A quick note on Confuzzled 2024: Reg has been announced for CFz24 now, my plan was to do confuzzled next year, because what is a live market tour for a UK purveyor of furry goods without confuzzled?! however, because it’s a bit earlier than expected, I'm waiting on some more information about dealers registration before I can 100% confirm my attendance now.