Thank you Polygon! Holiday Gift ideas!

I want to thank Alexa Ray Corriea at Polygon for featuring my work in their Gift Guide: Crafts article!

I’m booked to the brim until the start of the new year on larger props and armor commissions, but I can still fit in a few jewelry commissions for which I still have the molds and materials on hand. If you’re looking for a gift for that game loving geek on your list, I have several pieces that I could whip up in time for the Holidays!

The list of pieces I can create in time for the holidays are as follows:

  • Serah and Snow’s Engagement Pendant from FFXIII
  • Snow’s NORA Necklace from FFXIII
  • Lightning’s Necklace from FFXIII
  • Serah’s Earrings from FFXIII
  • Rosalina’s Earrings from Super Mario Galaxy
  • Terra’s Necklace from FFXI/Dissidia

Interested? Just shoot me a line via my Commissions page, or directly at joy (at) joysutton.com! I can only guarantee shipping by Dec. 24th on orders placed before Dec. 16th, and there are only a handful of slots, so act early!

Commission status and more client photos!

This is a post to explain the status of my commissions in the coming months. I am currently all booked up until August or September for custom commissions. My time will be taken up making gear for Megaman, Edward Elric, Felix Faust, Rosalina and Adam Warlock costumes; quite an eclectic mix, no?

However! I do still have some spare time in my schedule I can devote to filling some additional orders, so long as they require no sculpting, patternmaking and initial fabrication. This means that I can create anything that I already have molds for; jewelry, pauldrons, knives and staves! I have put together a list of what pieces I still have molds in good condition to make, with prices for the simpler things. For the larger pieces, just contact me with all of your particulars and I’ll get you a quote. For certain items, like Lightning’s Pauldron, I would be willing to sell resin kits. You’d get the raw resin casts from me and do the sanding, painting and assembling yourself. This is a good deal for folks with the time and skill to spare to do the finishing work and who’d like to save some money.

Here’s the list!

Quick turnaround pieces (2-3weeks maximum work time):

Final Fantasy 13

Snow’s NORA necklace: $45.00 Image
Snow and Serah’s Engagement Necklace: $45.00 Image
Serah’s Earrings: $15.00 Image
Lightning’s Necklace: $20.00 Image
Lightning’s Coat Hardware: $85.00 Image Image 2(One D buckle, One large slide buckle, four slide buckles, three three point buckles, four square fasteners, four silver “grommets”, six gold disks) I can create just parts of the set as well, contact me for individual prices.
Lightning’s Bullet Holders: $20.00/pair Image

Final Fantasy 6
Terra’s Earrings and Necklace: $50.00 Image

Gems

I can also cast colored, foil backed clear gems, including special effects such as opalescence, pearlescence, embedded items and create custom clay settings. Examples Here and Here

Moderate turnaround pieces (2-3 weeks turnaround):
Contact me for prices, as options affect the price.
Lightning’s Pauldron Image
Lightning’s Survival Knife Image
Snow’s Badge/Amband Image
Light Staff from FFXI Image Image

I already have a large stock of small parts, including many necklaces needing only a few days to assemble and complete, a large stockpile of jacket hardware and several cast resin gems which can be sold as-is or foil backed:

Just shoot me an E-mail at joy (at)joysutton.com or use the commissions form!

 

I also have the pleasure of postinga photo of a really lovely client from France with one of my Survival Knives!

This amazing costumer can be found at her site, HERE, or at her facebook site HERE.

Take care out there, and expect to see a new video documenting a really fantastic process I’ve started using soon!

Been a while, eh? I’ve been busy!

So, Dragon*Con has come and gone, and it was a sad year for us. A few hours Saturday meandering the halls was nowhere near enough! Ah well, there’s always next year.

 

The bench has been pretty full the last month or so, filling orders for the fall convention scene. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy lately:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arika’s Blue Sky Sapphire from My-Otome. Used a new technique on the gem in this, added a layer of some color shifting nail enamel to the back, the gem has the super cool aqua to sapphire opalescence. Sculpey, metal findings and a cast resin gem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, old school. These little earrings are for none other than the Dark Lady from Sailor Moon. Snagged some really awesome AB jet prism drops from an etsy seller, they have a very cool gold to rich purple metallic rainbow finish to them. Those caps were quite a feat to sculpt as well, they’re only 1cm tall! The full earring is about 3.5 cm in length. Sculpey with Swarovski prisms and metal findings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here we have Himeno’s tiara from Pretear. Started making my own molds to use with clear resin, and I’m very pleased with the results so far. This piece is attached to a wire headband for ease of wear. Photo taken on top of my Lightning wig, I don’t think she’d be caught dead wearing something so cute and girly! Sculpey, Resin, clear resin and a wire headband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A seemingly simple commission, The artwork version of Eclair’s earrings from La Pucelle Tactics. The problem? South Georgia’s summers are pretty much constantly 50% humidity or higher, so the paints I was using on this threw some hissy-fits. A little patience and some time with a heat gun eventually gave me a nice, even, pearly coat. Plastic, faux pearls and metal findings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another NORA necklace, I wasn’t happy with my old photos of this necklace, so I took a few new shots of my latest commission for one.

 

Now, I swear I took better photos of these next two commissions before I sent them out, but for the life of me I cannot find them, so a few phone photos will have to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Todd’s (The Red Hood) dagger from Batman. This was a learning experience for sure, and I shamelessly pilfered a technique from one of Volpin’s step-by-step posts to create beveled edges without pulling your hair out. A ton of gap filling and wet sanding was also required, but the results were well worth it. The blade is super smooth and very shiny and the whole piece just -feels- right. I tell you, every time I held this thing I couldn’t resist the urge to make dagger fighting poses and slash it around. The dagger is 100% cast in resin, with a central metal post for support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the final finish on the handle. The comic goes back and forth on color a lot, but the client and I eventually went with a dark wood grain. Been a while since I drybrushed a wood texture, but I’m exceedingly pleased with the result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now..the strangest request I have gotten yet! A nearly life-sized plush sheep! Now, it all makes sense when you know the character this prop will accompany, this sheep is the base for Deadpool’s meadowlands sniper sheep cannon! I don’t normally do sewn commissions, but I have a fair amount of experience sewing plush, and I felt confident I could give my client a quality sheep. The problem? You try finding a realistic sheep pattern. I ended up completely drafting this pattern from scratch, and certainly took some editing, but I’m truly pleased with the results. Hey, maybe I could market these to all the Catherine costumers, what do you think? Faux sheepskin, polyfill, poly-suede, buttons, galvanized steel wire in legs for support.

 

So! That’s it from me today, but expect more soon, the bench is still inundated with work and I’d like to put up another tutorial soon, so keep an eye out!

 

 

Gold, gold, gold!

Finally! A break from silver! Seems like for months everything I was working on was silver, nice to have some color on the table again. Red and gold is the new theme it seems, and some lavender for a bit of variety.

First, Terra Branford’s necklace and earrings from Final Fantasy 6. Glass beads, swarovski pearls, sculpey, acrylic rhinestone, birch balls and gold tone findings.

Next, Yuri’s blastia from Tales of Vesperia. Sculpey, swarovski rhinestones, brass hinge and magnets.

Finally, Orochimaru’s earrings from Naruto. Sculpey and silver toned findings.

Busy Workbench!

So, business is booming! I have a ton of great projects in, and repeat customers, which to me is the best sort of compliment. I’m cataloging the new pieces and will be putting up a small, basic beading tutorial in the furture.

Tutorial – Hot Glue Casting

So, I’ve gotten a few requests to put together a tutorial on how I do hot glue casting with sculpey, so I took a few photos of the process during my last time using the technique. It’s a simple technique and a less expensive option for casting.

Now, first off, this is a tutorial on using hot glue as the mold material, there’s another cheapo casting trick which uses hot glue as the casting material (ie., what you put into a mold and make your final piece out of), totally different. This tutorial makes a mold from Hot glue, which you then use to cast Sculpey. The important thing to remember here is that this is a soft-to-soft technique, the mold and the material are soft, the sculpey will be removed from the mold before firing, so there is going to be some cleanup to do pre-firing.

Materials List:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Liquid Latex (the brushable kind, not foam latex)
  • A prototype piece
  • Sculpey
  • Water

Now, to start, you need something you want to make copies out of in Sculpey. This technique is best for one sided/flat backed pieces. In this series of photos, I’m making a mold in order to make a part for a set of matching earrings. First, we find or make the prototype. In this case I sculpted the prototype in sculpey, being sure to get it as smooth and clean as possible, get the flaws fixed now so they won’t show in the replication.

The piece was then fired, smoothed and made as perfect as possible. Now it’s -very- helpful to make sure your piece is secured to the mold prep surface (I like Tinfoil), you want it to be solidly anchored and not have any air or gaps around the edges where it meets the surface.  Then, I brushed liquid latex in a thin layer over the entire piece, being sure to cover it entirely and some of the foil on the edges. Let this dry until transparent.

The latex is a very handy moldmaking tool, it prevents the hot glue from bonding to the sculpey while still retaining most details. Once it’s dry, it’s time to get that glue gun nice and hot, and depending on the size of the piece, you may want to have extra glue sticks ready or even a second glue gun fired up. Quasi-hot glue will not capture details well, we want to keep the heat up.

When applying the hot glue to the piece, start by encompassing the outer edge, right down next to the foil, use the nozzle of the gun to press the glue in and move air bubbles if needed, bubbles won’t kill the mold so long as they aren’t right next to the prototype, but it’s better to have as few as possible. Then start covering the piece in a tight spiral, making sure to cover it completely. It’s also a good idea to add another layer after the first one has cooled slightly, you don’t want thin areas around the prototype.

Once the glue is completely cooled, just pop the prototype out of there! The latex should make this very easy.

Now, it’s time to cast. Any mold/substrate casting will require some sort of mold release (unless it’s silicone), so you’ll want to coat this hot glue mold with sculpey’s release agent, which is just plain ol’ water. Sculpey is an oil based clay and we all know that oil and water don’t readily hang out. So brush a bit of clean water onto the inside of the mold, then press a wad of unfired sculpey into the mold. To ensure maximum shape transfer, you’ll want to press into the sculpey wad firmly with a small diameter flat tool. I often use the end of one of my shaping tools or the end of my x-acto blade holder (take the blade out before grasping at that end!)

Once its pressed in there nice and firmly and you’ve got the back part smooth, flex the hot glue mold to release the sculpey. This is a tricky process, sometimes a little bend of the mold and the sculpey falls right out, sometimes you have to flex it carefully and try to either get hold of a corner of the sculpey and carefully pull it out. If the hot glue isn’t flexing enough, you can always cut a little slit on one of the side walls with an x-acto or very sharp scissors.

Here it is released from the mold, you might be able to see (bad photo) that there’s a little warping on the raised settings of this piece, just do whatever retouching needs to be done on the piece if it got a little warped from de-molding. Its a fairly simple process usually. Then take the sculpey cast and fire it as usual (make sure to always keep that glue mold away from heat! No leaving it beside the oven while you wait for the firing to finish, you’ll have a useless wad of hot glue if you do)

Voila! Towards the top we have the original piece and two copies below it. One of them does have some unevenness, but that sanded down well with the dremel tool.