A few years ago I began posting what was the beginning of a new performance project for street and corporate functions. I decided some how, for some reason at some point to become a good mythological faun. None of this cheese, fairy, sparkles, ivy stuff, but a Narnia-esque warrior princess, straight from another world. Silent, strong, and straight from the wardrobe into your venue - walking around and experiencing humanity for the first time, as if they were the strange, other-worldly creature.
It’s a few years later and progress was slow for a while. Faunus went through different incarnations and prototype legs, but is finally piecing together into a full and rounded character.
Let me show you my progress…
This was my first attempt at reverse stilt legs. I could prop myself up into them, but taking a step was impossible. It looked cool, but was a horrible, horrible, horrible design. But it was a start.
At the height I wanted my legs to be, I had to keep lengthening and widening the base until I was a giant, cartoon-hooved monster. It was still a little unstable and I was bound to break something if I ever mis-stepped. …OH, and built out of wood, each leg ended up weighing in at 20 pounds. It was completely un-maintainable. On the upside, this prototype gave me something to begin costuming.
Finally. Good engineering. I’ve invested in Digilegs (http://www.digilegs.com/)
I had to sacrifice the height I so desperately wanted (I wanted to be well above any given crowd), but I knew that I was making too many sacrifices to the design and illusion if I were to insist on that extra foot of height. So, instead of being 7 feet tall, I decided 6′3″ or so would do just fine. With horns, hair and a headdress I’d still be noticeable.
Digilegs are surprisingly easy to adapt to. It’s just a matter of becoming natural at it — rediscovering where your toes end. (PS: I think my fly is open in that last photo. How embarrassing.)
Horns and a headdress.
I made a feather mohawk for my extra height and royal warrior princess persona. Knowing some of my costume would be hooking together in the back, I created extra hair and decoration to mingle in with my own hair and cover most of my back.
I discovered by accident how to made dreadlocks out of fake hair, while I was gathering loose bits to clump up in matted balls and throw in the garbage. Ta da! Dreads. Braided through some brown yarn and matted up some more - it matches my real hair pretty closely.
I created a top out of a second hand leather coat and purses. Purses have the best buckles. I traded a frankentoy to an Etsy craftsman for one of his metal bras and then passed it onto animation co-worker, Jason hall who had begun making me genuine, hand crafted armour…
And right now I’m working on re-costuming the digilegs and building new hooves that can clip back with spring power, when I lift my legs.
So. these are the pieces. Theyr’e slowly coming together, but I haven’t been able to put them all together at once yet. I hope by December I’ll be able to show off and advertise Faunus as a fully developed character and be able to focus on WHO she is. Then look out for a warrior faun at festivals and events near you.
I’ve just added all the sold, gifted and never listed Franken Toys to the “Toys” page on the site. Go check them out! You may have never seen some of them! I want those Frankens to be a gallery, not just a store.
GO! Look now!!
Ok, I celebrate Christmas. Let’s just get that out there. But whatever YOU celebrate, don’t let the occasion go by without seriously considering which Franken Toy you’d like to adopt!
They’re getting all sorts of blog famous, so you should really find your special guy before they all get Christmas’d up! (snatched up. …at Christmas time, I mean.) I’m sorry, I’ve had one sip of wine and I don’t hold my booze very well. Bear with me.)
Remember also that new Franken toys go up to the shop every week or so. If you don’t see the right one for you, keep coming back! It’s virtually a toy factory over here at my house, with adorable limbs, torsos and severed puppy heads everywhere! It’s just a matter of time before your perfect pal shows up, ready to be adopted.
So, get ready for Christmas with Franken Toys for the family!
(They’re lonely here. They cry at night, asking where their Mommies and Daddies are.)
Go check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/frankentoys right away!
I make toys out of other toys. As my Toys page shows, I’ve recently opened up an etsy store. For those of you who don’t know, Etsy.com is a site for hand-crafted or vintage items. You can only sell your own art — nothing that’s been hand-crafted by someone else. There are a lot of unique products and one-of-a-kinds on Etsy. A lot of great things as well as a lot of horribly regrettable things.
As a result of the popularity of Etsy and the audacity of some people who think they can sell horrible junk, there is now also a highly popular blog site (and recent coffee table book) called www.regretsy.com.
The sharp-as-sewing needles author of regretsy who goes by the pseudonym, “Helen Killer” treats the site largely as a failblog of etsy items, etsy descriptions or etsy stores, but also has categories for the weird and wonderful masterpieces who just need to be spotlighted.
WHO do you think just got featured in the “Not Remotely Crap” category??? GUesS!! No, seriously, take a guess! …No, not Matt Damon. No. …try again. No, not Dave Coulier. …Amy Grant?? What?? No, ME, you dingus!!
Yessir, I made my first 8 sales within the first 24 hours of being on regretsy, and I regret NOTHING!!
check it out:
WARNING: The rest of the site contains some adult material and language. It seems a lot of etsy shops sell very adult, genitalia based crafts.
I’m super honored. I would have been honored to even have been mocked.
Good job, Helen Killer. Rock on. And don’t let any of those death threats get to you.
Most recent addition to my shop, the only driving “Wookie Mobile”, complete with wookie.
Rachel is a child of the 80’s. In a pinch, without TV, internet or phone service, she’s always capable of finding ways to entertain herself. Come have fun with us!
I have made somewhere over 50 (but probably less than 100) “Frankin-Toys” in the past 6 years. They make for a fun, guaranteed one-of-a-kind, inexpensive and thoughtful gift. And if you can sew at all, they can be extremely fun to create.
How to make a Frankin-Toy
1- purchase a heaping pile of second-hand toys. Name-brand preferred, but the most important quality in all of them should be their clearly distinguishable body parts. For example, teddy bears are generally only good for their heads. Once torn apart, a teddy bear’s leg or arm simply looks like a stump. But if that’s the sort of frankin-toy you’re going for – a stump monster – then by all means!
2- disassemble said toys
3- sew back together in amusing (yet preferably non-offensive) arrangement
4- assign silly name and give away as Christmas (and/or any-or-no occasion) gifts
Sadly, I’ve given away most of my toys without having taken pictures. I can’t remember all the toys I’ve made.
If you’re one of the lucky jerks to have received a Frankin-Toy in the past, I’d love it if you took a snapshot and sent it to me! I’ll post it on the site. I miss my babies dearly. Each one is special.
Squeeze her fuzzy claws and she says things like,
“You’re beauuutiful” and, “Crayons make me happy!”
Big Bird gets eaten by a fish. A moment of creative genius, I must say.
“The Bert Bullet”
WHAM! POW! Shot straight through the belly of a very indifferent flamingo!
“Frog Legs McToots”
The latest toys, Christmas 2008
I call them “Tigger Time, Times Two” BFF’s.
They hop and twitch and giggle and sing. They even sense when they’ve fallen over, but the one on the left is no longer able to do somersaults since I “modified” him.