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.

Hey! What’s the Hold-Up?

No, I’m not dead. Yet.

Once again, I’d like to thank the Shadowhunters who have ordered blades from me for their stellar patience. You guys are the best!

I’m currently doing my best to cut through the two-inch acrylic with Jitterbug and the newest member of Inkblade Studios: Hellscream.

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Hellscream is a circular table saw which, much like Nibbles before it, only cuts in straight lines. It is even more adamant about this policy than Nibbles was, in fact and will SHRIEK LIKE THE SOULS OF THE DAMNED at the slightest provocation. Hellscream’s favourite things include: lurking under the work table, screaming, biting anything that comes close enough, and flinging bits of hot melted plastic at me.

Jitterbug and Hellscream make for an awkward duo to accomplish the task of cutting the sword outlines. It’s rather like hunting demons with a box-cutter and a cannon. I either have to chip away at it with many small cuts or make big, not spectacularly accurate cuts while trying not to damage anything I want to keep intact.

It’s getting done it’s just … slow. And quite frustrating. Boo. Wish me luck guys! We’ll git ‘r done one way or another.

Having a Little Trouble

Wow look at that awesome sword! … what? You can’t see it? It’s inside that block of plastic there. It’s going to be spectacular as soon as I can get it out. When? Um … well, the thing about that is …

Nibbles is broken. My band-saw, Nibbles, is doing poorly at the moment. Something’s happened to the alignment of the wheels and the saw blade keeps popping off them. I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix it but the fact is, I’m an artist, not a mechanic.

So, I have six orders left to complete before the year’s end … and no band saw. This makes Ethan sad. Sad and quite frustrated. Making people pretty things and bringing them joy is my happiness. Kind of like Santa Clause without the awesome beard.

I’m working with slabs of two inch (5 cm) thick acrylic instead of my usual 1 inch in hopes of being able to do more 3D cross guards and generally have more freedom of design. I didn’t take into account that Nibbles would not be on board with my decision.

Nibbles is NOT on board with my decision. Nibbles chewed on that bit of acrylic for about twenty minutes and had a breakdown. It’s now packed away in the corner of the workshop questioning its life choices. I may just join it there cause holy cow I am super frustrated.

What am I gonna do? Well, my current game plan is to visit the hardware store tonight and search for something a little bit more robust than a hobbyist band saw. Maybe a chainsaw. No, I’m not even remotely joking. I just need something to strong enough to strap the plastic to and I will take a fracking chainsaw to it if that’s what I have to do.

No, I don’t think you quite understand.

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This slab of plastic weighs as much as I do. The tablesaw I bought specifically to cut pieces off of it is too small to handle it. The chunk I removed to make the sword I’m working on (stalled on) right now took over 3 hours of sawing with that big beautiful wood saw you can see there. I’m going to have amazing shoulder muscles when I’ve finished my commissions for the year.

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You can see where the table saw started crying for mercy.

So uh, that’s my update for now. What will happen next? Not even I know. Stay tuned for more insanity from Inkblade Studios!

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!

 

 

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

I made a thing!

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It’s a nice thing. ^_^

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Shiiiiny.

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So very shiny!

If you think you’ve seen this thing before, it’s probably because it’s based on that thing.

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We couldn’t tell what the rune in the middle was so we guessed.

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I like this thing. 🙂

If you want your own thing, you’d better hurry. I’ve only got one more crafting slot left for this year!

That’s all from me for now. I think I earned a nap.

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

Holy crap I broke it.

Wow! That’s the second time I’ve busted a saw blade on Nibbles. Even though the acrylic slab I was working on is only an inch thick, it is a super dense material that means business. Don’t worry! No one was hurt. I’d like to thank the fine people at Cotech for designing a band saw that keeps the blade inside the machine when it snaps so it doesn’t come lashing out like Izzy’s whip. o_o Still scared the pants off me though.

Anywho, after about a half hour of farting around with a new blade, I was back to work.

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Here’s a brand new short sword I’m working on. Yes it’s the one who broke Nibbles’ teeth LOL Remember, it’s not the size of the blade in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the blade! This beauty is feisty and takes no crap from anybody. It’s modelled after … well, can you think of anybody short, feisty, and take-no-crap who might wield it?

So what about that long sword I was working on last week? I’m so glad you asked hypothetical person!

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Whoa! What’s that on the hilt?

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I can put metal studs on the handle? Sure I can! When we design a blade, you’re free to let your imagination run wild. Each Shadowhunter is a unique individual with their own preferences. It makes sense that their seraph blades are too, eh?

Enough jabbering though. More shinies!

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Hello darkness my old friend … I’ve come to light you up again …

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Demons despair; your end has come!

Yay shinies! … kay that’s a slightly less intimidating battle cry. Anyway! I just want to leave a small note here to let you know that I have two crafting slots left for November. Yep. All the Halloween slots are taken. As you can guess, they’re very popular and are grabbed up pretty quickly. But there’s still a chance to get some sweet seraphy (that’s not a word) goodness for the Holiday Season. 

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

Destiny’s Arc Blade (plus a note)

I haven’t had much time to post updates as I’ve been hard at work on this.

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This is my very first sci-fi sword and I’m quite proud of it.

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The handle is a reinforced polymer clay with a faux-leather wrap. It gave me many sleepless nights just figuring out how it should all fit together.

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It seems I possessed the greater stubbornness, though. The result is quite nice. Interestingly enough, the light is actually a deep blue. The camera, however, seems incapable of picking up this frequency and interprets it as a light pink/purple.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this break into new territory. It was very exciting for me. 🙂

I mentioned a note in the title. It’s down here. I have two crafting slots left for this year. I take a short leave of absence from the workshop for medical reasons in December. I estimate being back on light duty in February 2017. So, if you’re hoping for a blade for the holiday season, best poke me now!