Well, Let’s Try That Again!

Okay, so the first moulding didn’t work out. The latex cured mostly okay. All the important bits dried all the way through but sadly, the rubber shrank and pulled away from the prototype.

Translation: It didn’t hold its shape and that sure doesn’t make a good mould! We want a beautiful, elegant sword, not a weird blobby stick.

But the good news is I learned a lot about the ratio of plaster and cloth to use for a nice outer shell. (The bit that keeps the wobbly, rubbery mould from coming open when you put the resin in.) And I learned that the latex I used isn’t good for the kind of mould I need.

So, I’ll be starting the first moulding again, this time with a cheap silicone. This mould doesn’t have to yield a stellar quality product. It just has to allow me to make a plaster model of the sword that I can polish to perfection. That’s the prototype that will give me my final mould which I will then use to make y’all some pretty Clariels. Yay!

Wish me luck everyone!

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

Hi everybody! Here’s a quick update before I run off to the workshop. Man it feels great to be crafting again! I finished the cutting on this downsized Gabriel. (The pic still has some excess acrylic on the back but that’s all cut off now.)

It took me a couple days to get it cut as I’m using Jitterbug, my multi-tool to do it. I miss Nibbles, my band saw, but it just can’t handle the 50mm (2 inch) thick acrylic. I might see about getting a stronger multi-tool to see if I can shave off some time. Jitterbug has a bad habit of overheating and spitting black sludge on the table. How rude! We’ll see what I can do about it.

I’m still working out the specifics of getting my CNC machine. The one I was initially planning to buy is out of stock until March. The other one I’m looking at is in stock right now but it would cost roughly $2000 more. I must find out when the more expensive one would arrive (it’s made in the USA). Depending on the answer, I can move forward with my decision.

Bleh. I hate all this money and technical crap. I just want to art dangit! XD

That’s all from me for now. This sword isn’t going to carve itself! Stay safe out there Shadowhunters.

A Brand New Start – Workshop Pics

Today, I signed the lease and put the security deposit on my new workshop. I collected the last bit of paperwork I needed and submitted my application for the government Start-Up Grant. This is a proud day for me and it marks the end to months of stress and frustration.

You’ve all shown me the kindness and patience that the Shadowhunter fandom is known for and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

I’d like to share with you the first pictures of my new workshop. It needs some cleaning and some care, but I can’t wait until then to show you! Besides, you see all my other works-in-progress so why not my work space too?

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On my floor, there is also a break room with a microwave, fridge, and a couple of coffee makers. Maybe I’ll see some of the other artists? Who knows! The building manager said he’s never seen anyone use it. I’ll be cooking myself lunch in there though so maybe it will encourage others to come and be social. 🙂

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Finally, after so much tearing my hair out and worrying myself silly, I can relax and enjoy my holiday. I still have to deal with tax registration and insurance and all that crud but for now, I’m just going celebrate my victory with my favourite beer.

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Whatever winter holiday you’re celebrating, I hope you have a good one! Me, I’m gonna eat a lot of food and be lazy. Probably visit with a bunch of friends while we all have a little time off.

I’ve got permission from the building manager to paint my workspace, by the way. Any suggestions about what COLOUR it should be? Feel free to comment! I’d love to hear what you think. 🙂

That’s all from me for now. Stay safe out there Shadowhunters.

Commissions Closed for the Year

Yes, it’s true! My last crafting slot for this year has been bought this morning. Thank you all so very much for your support and for cheering me on as I push myself to better my skills. I will continue updating the site weekly with my progress on the commissions in my queue.

I have to take some time off for medical reasons this December. I’ll probably be back in the workshop for February of 2017. I know it’s a long time to wait but I’m sure you’ll understand the need to put health first. 🙂

Changes for 2017 Commissions

The requests and orders that I’ve gotten this year have given me some data to work with. The most desired swords are always:

Gabriel

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Azrael

Azrael Shiny

Jahoel

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and Sariel

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Though, I think the new TV show replica, Clariel (that you can see in the featured image at the top there) will also be wanted in a decent quantity. Most people prefer to have them equipped with an LED.

I’ve also had many requests for witchlights.

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So, I will be making these styles to keep in stock. Hopefully, this will mean you won’t have to wait as long to get a sword in your hands. 🙂  In the beginning, I didn’t know what you fine Shadowhunters wanted, but now I have a good idea and I’m reorganising my methods to serve you better. I really do take your feedback seriously and I make changes that people suggest.

At the moment, I’m considering opening one commission slot per month so that people who want something special and different can still have their needs met.

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As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of applying for a start-up grant. If I get one, it will allow me to get a larger workshop. That  means more storage space, room for more machines, the possibility of hiring people to help me out with the crafting, answering emails, and taking orders, and it also means the possibility of longer work hours. At present, my workshop is in my apartment so I have to be very courteous and not run my noisy machines at all hours.

A larger workplace would also allow me to have a fume hood for working with resin. It’s important not to breathe the fumes of resin while it’s curing. It’s really stinky and generally not good for you. Crafting swords from resin would allow me to skip the whole carving process and go straight to the polishing. Hopefully, it will allow me to bring you more swords more quickly, while still maintaining the quality you want and deserve. 🙂

The other reason I want to free up more of my time is research and experimentation. Some of you may know that I make more than just Seraph Blades.

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I’m a big fan of elves, vampires, dragons, and many other neat fantasy elements. I think that’s why we like Shadowhunters, isn’t it? This fandom really lends itself well to imagination and possibilities.

I love costuming and that love expands beyond props. I also make …

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custom prosthetics,

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and clothing items.

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All these things need time and practice. My goal is to bring you more cool stuff and I really appreciate your patience while I figure out how to cram more hours into a day. Ha!

Now I’ve got to stop blathering and get back in the Studio. I’ll do an update on what’s on my table later. Ciao for now guys!

 

 

Engraving in Leather

I’ve had some questions about engraving runes into the grip of the sword. The most frequently asked one is: what does it look like?

Here’s my most recent Azrael style sword with runes for your viewing pleasure.

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Anyone want to guess which runes those are? C’mon, put on a Fearless rune and shout ’em out!

AHHH! What happened to the website?

We are renovating to serve you better 😉

Don’t panic guys; everything is still here! As you may have noticed, I’m rearranging my website to make it easier to use. I want you all to be able to find what you’re looking for without any hassle.

I get emails every day asking me “How much for a custom sword?” and I wondered why. Perhaps the chart was confusing? So I reached out to my friends, many of whom are entrepreneurs themselves, for some feedback on how my website functions. The results surprised me.

My sidebar was not visible on cellphones and some tablets! No wonder people couldn’t figure out pricing. Both the site menu and the search box were on the side bar. Not at all friendly to mobile users. I’m so sorry guys. I had no idea you couldn’t see it!

You’ll see some more changes in the coming days as I re-do my pricing page, my Frequently Asked Questions, and put up a brand new gallery for you to browse. Hopefully, it will all be much easier for you to navigate.

I want to thank you all for your patience, your creativity, and your enthusiasm. You’re what keeps me energized to create art and see each project to completion. Hang in there while I fix things up, and stay awesome.

How to Make Crystal Clear Shadowhunter Blades

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So you wanna look like this? Well, bad news: there’s only one Jamie Bower in the world and chances are, you’re not him. But I can help you out with that sweet, sweet Seraph Blade.

You can commission a blade from me. Just check out my price list, decide on the style you want, and send me an email at ekincaidwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Each blade is made to order and is individually hand carved so please allow for a few weeks of crafting time.

But what if you want to make your own? Well, hold onto your butts guys. I’m about to show you the sorcery behind the swords.
Continue reading “How to Make Crystal Clear Shadowhunter Blades”