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Naturally, I'm still way behind - but given my schedule for this year I'm not surprised. Class has kept me down, and sculpting in particular - yes, I'm finally taking my first-ever course in 3D art, and no, it's worthless to me in maskmaking - has been eating my weekends. Every last one, until two weeks ago, when I'd cleared out one in which to settle down, clean my room, and do some belated maskmaking.

As it turned out, this was a good thing, because I spent the weekend in my hometown. My grandfather, my father's father, died that Thursday morning. Upsetting though it always is, I have to say - I couldn't have asked for better for him. He had a full life - very successful practice, huge and tight-knit family, loved by quite literally hundreds of friends, a life spent travelling Europe and China, enjoying good food and pursuing good wine - and I can only hope to do so well myself.

I have a personal sort of memorial in mind - it will almost certainly show up here, but it may be a few years from now, when my hands can shape the image in my head.

Things are more or less returning to normal for me - aside from difficulty in school (I volunteered for it, I always had a streak of academic masochism - thank you auburnrose).

I'm planning on sending out a shipment this week, containing something on the order of five pieces - paltry, yes, but life's been hell.

If that clears up by Thursday, I'm going to take a crack at actually making the Halloween costume I thought I wouldn't get to even start before the holiday. It will take me on the order of 100+ hours, easily, I will have ten days in which to do it, and there's no way in hell I'll finish, but I am this opposed to wearing my Labyrinth Ball costume twice.

It's because Halloween is supposed to be scary.

Fairies can be dangerous, yes, but that bodice has all the fearsomeness of an elm tree. You'll see it soon. (Please, gods, let it be soon.) I can wear it to any costume event where I don't need to be able to move - it'd fit in just fine, with the wings especially, at faire, and it's reasonably cool. The Black Lace project... well, it's black, and wearing a large amount of black in the Texas summer sun is... inadvisable. And though it can be a good look for me, I don't like to go goth to faire. Going garbed as the fairy creatures that people would have (and did) tell stories about is about as tangential as I want to get to the truth of the medieval and renaissance periods.

SO... if I have half a chance... I'll be trying to complete it before Halloween. I'll look suitably pale in any photos, that's for sure. I don't think I'm going to sleep much between then and now. But wearing something that looks amazing, that draws attention and acclaim, that you made, brings with it a certain raw energy beyond vanity's hollow resolve - the knowledge that you made people look with the work of your hands, that something you created is making people smile and point and stare in wonder. I could be up three days straight before the party, but I'd still have a fantastic time. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I did at the Labyrinth Ball.

In other, small news: I have acquired an iPod and a Wii. The former lets me listen to Chinese lessons while arting, thereby letting me rationalize maskmaking as studying (sorta.) The latter provides me with the use of the Twilight Princess disc I've had since LAST October and a helluvalotta inspiration. I sense fan art encroaching on my gallery - the potential for a wolf mask with interesting markings and blue earrings.

Soon to come:
- the Fae bodice, from my Labyrinth Masquerade costume
- the ivy circlet, likely to be paired with the above
- two wonderful new Jollies (I'll be sad to part with them)
- a Columbina or two
- a handful of Rosettas
- a pair of green Dragons, male and female, if I can get them painted
and last, but not, by a far cry, least:
- would that I might finish it - the Black Lace ensemble

About the Masks:
Generally speaking, the masks are painted formed leather, usually in a single layer. They're hand-sculpted with no mold, and occasionally surface carving or tooling is employed. They are lined in suede and unvarnished on the inner face to preserve the natural breathing quality of the leather for comfort. The outer face is painted and water-resistant. By virtue of the quality of materials, they tend to be reasonably durable, gently flexible, and very lightweight.

Commission Information:
If you like any of the masks in my gallery or would like a custom mask, please feel free to ask. All sales are by commission - very rarely do I have extra masks laying around for sale, because if they aren't created with an owner in mind I tend to get too attached, and because I have precious little spare time. (The good news is it means more versatility in what you can request.) My availability for commission varies tremendously because I have a full-time life entirely outside of artwork - 80% of the year I am cramming any art I do into a 27-hour-a-day schedule. However, I am open for inquiry at any time. If you are a dA member, you can write me a note; otherwise, you can contact me through my website, whatever you feel comfortable with.

Clubs to Look Into
:iconleatherartisans: :iconmask-making-artisans:
LeatherArtisans - Gorgeous leatherwork by talented craftspeople, a club with a warm and open community.
Mask-Making-Artisans - A maskmaker's community showcasing a number of artists and some very diverse styles.
  • Listening to: People sleeping, reminding me what I ought do
  • Reading: Abarat
  • Watching: Various titles in Mandarin Chinese
  • Playing: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. FINALLY.
  • Eating: Too mu, as I always do when I can't make art.
  • Drinking: Even more calories. But tastier ones.
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:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007
I'm sorry about your grandfather, at least it sounds like you really got to know him and be inspired by him. (Chasing after good food and wine across the world I have to say sounds like an excellent plan to me!)

(ps- You have me practically squirming in anticipation of this costume ;) )
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:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a lot. And I completely second the next bit - I'm well on the path to ensuring I get to do at least a little of it: I'm going to Shanghai next summer if at all possible, and I know he was glad to hear about the idea.

I was squirming in guilt and frustration when said costume didn't happen. But I'll have something cool to update in exchange! Soon! Even if I have to go do a photo session on Sunday! (Ack.) Also... I'm on my way to contribute to the website discussion, I may not have much, but I'll help you as best I can!
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:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007
Oooh, how exotic. How long? My only chance for travel this coming year is my parents invited me to go to belgium with them for a week. I'm still debating.
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:iconvmisery:
VMisery Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2007
Sorry to hear about your grandfather, I'm glad that you're dealing with it well and that he had a good life. It was a bit like that with my grandmother...I was sad to see her go, but she'd had a good life and by the time she passed on, it was with no regrets.
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:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks very much - it's a tremendous help just to know that when they go, they aren't grieving it themselves, and I'm glad you had that too. In my case, the funeral did a lot for me just to see that this was not someone to be quickly forgotten. And as I mentioned, I plan to create a personal memorial of my own, which is a comforting thought. Thanks again!
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:iconenchantedmasquerade:
EnchantedMasquerade Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I too am sorry for your loss, it's good to hear that he was able to cram so much experience into such a short amount of time as we are each given on this home of ours.

And five masks, not sure what kind of time-span you've worked in with these, but that's great! I'm such a procrastinator that I'm lucky to get one out in a month!*laughs*
-Though *blushing* I am working on that...;D

I completely feel what you're saying in regards to having people stop and stare at something you've made with your hands. I wore my newest (and first) Fairy mask to the King Richard's Ren. Faire this past weekend and had quite a few people staring at it, even had someone come up and ask where I'd gotten it from. I was delighted when they asked if I had a website and I was able to hand them a card of mine!:D

Best of luck on the Halloween costume, I hope you're able to get it finished in time, well, at least partly even.:) Hope to see pics. of it soon!:)

Happy October!
~Sphinx
:iconemasqueradegallery:
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:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
He had a good life, and it's given everyone who knew him something to look back on. ^-^

I'm much faster than I used to be, but the problem for me is finding time - life has been rough for the last six months. Hopefully winter break's free time will bring along a bit more productivity.

And yeah, being asked where you got your own work is a lot of fun! The funniest part (though this happens less often now) is sometimes just when they're surprised that the artist is so young.

Thanks for the well-wishing - I'm a bit late to return the sentiment for October, but may November be a good one!
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:iconeyefeather:
eyefeather Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007  Professional General Artist
I'm sorry for your loss. :(
5 masks isn't paltry, it's good!
Learning Chinese sounds like fun. I think my brain is too old to learn new languages now.
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:iconcwicseolfor:
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a lot :hug: He had a rich life, though, and a good (huge) family, and a lot of friends; I think things were sort of "settled" for him, and he wasn't too sick for too long; there's a lot to be grateful for, there.
At least I like the said five masks. They'll sell, they're pretty. Pictures soon.
And... You can't be too old to learn a new language. For one thing, you have pictures of yourself at your gallery, and you don't look much older than I am. Secondly, I've known 50-year-olds who mastered a foreign language with a few years of enthusiasm. It happens. ('Course, it does HELP to start young... curse American education.)
Chinese in particular is fun, simply because there's so much semantic SENSE in the language. And it's fun to speak, as long as you're not doing it in front of native speakers. Oh, and they make so many movies, so there's lots of entertaining native speech to study.

I cannot wait to get a good analysis in on your new stuff, if I can get beyond excited gibbering... Also, glad the prints thing worked out! Jeez...
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October 15, 2007
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