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Merimask's Ball Of Wax
(Or, "how I've found yet another way to spend more quality time with myself"
Cog-monocle Steampunk Foxes 
27th-Dec-2011 10:32 am
Been so busy!  Christmas was a nice affair this year and I bought great gifts for everyone (which means I win!), but my new Steampunk goggle-mask project is so much fun that I've been compelled to MAKE STUFF at a perhaps unhealthy rate.  No matter; this "figuring it out" phase is the most fun and I think my enthusiasm can be forgiven. 

I made this fox last week...

Instead of vintage goggles (which are expensive and also HEAVY because they're made of real thick glass and metal and Bakelite which actually isn't all that "lite"), I used cheap plastic modern goggles.  I found a great source for them on Etsy.  They cost a fraction of the vintage ones but they look retro, are simply plastic (so, very lightweight), and are great fun to customize.  Some bright metallic spraypaint brings them to life, and I have several different lens colors to choose from (I used ruby on this fox).

Another nice thing; since they are just cheap modern things I don't feel bad about splitting up a pair, so they're perfect for my single "CogMonocle" designs.  I wanted to call the single goggle eye a "Gizmonocle", but eh...too close to Joel Hodgson's "Gizmonics" (and yeah, I don't want a copyright battle with my hero so, not so much).  Anyway, cogmonocle sounds fun and isn't derivative of anything so it's free & clear. 

When I add the brass fittings and even a few real brass watch cogs as decorations, the whole thing looks less plastic & way cooler, IMO.  :)

So that was a big old hit everywhere I shared it (still available in my shop, here ), and I almost immediately (like, within five hours) took a commission for a custom-colored SteamFox with a CogMonocle eye.

The client wanted a "pretty" fox with cream-colored fur instead of carved gears and cogs.

It actually opens up more possibilities for me.  I like the idea; it looks less like a "robotic" critter and more like a cosplay item.  I have a really fun idea for a wolf done in this manner actually.

Again I decorated with cogs and fun stuff.  Also I'm getting really good at making straps!  It's hard to set a neat rivet but with all the practice I'm almost perfect now, and the straps are just awesome for mask fastening.  Comfortable and secure.  I need to get good pictures of my available strap colors and all my various buckle/rivet metal options, because I'm thinking that a listing in my shop for a strap customization (they can easily be added to any of my masks) would be an awesome idea.

So I'm busy playing with new mask designs and ideas.  How cool would a CogMonocle Steampunk Raven be, for example?  ;)
27th-Dec-2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
VERY pretty. And for some reason, evokes Sir Didymus from "Labyrinth" for me....

27th-Dec-2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
Why yes! With his cute little eye patch:
28th-Dec-2011 02:16 am (UTC)
I got the same vibe!

I think these designs are wonderful--I love them!
27th-Dec-2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Very cool looking. I look forward to the future designs you will be showing off. (Don't kill yourself though.)
27th-Dec-2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah I'm having a hard time slowing down. This time of year, the ONLY exciting thing left for me (no more kayak or bike trips) is the business of makin' stuff. So I tend to overdo it.
27th-Dec-2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Sweet! I really like the pale fox with the monocle, both the colors on the fox and the "victorian steampunk fox" rather than "clockwork fox" effect.
27th-Dec-2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah it does look rather more like steampunk & less like a robot or a cyborg. I think a proper red fox would work well too.
27th-Dec-2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
I'd go with a green lens on a proper red fox, I think. :)
27th-Dec-2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
True! Or amber (I have a bunch of those coming and they're also less upsetting to look through).
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27th-Dec-2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
I just ordered some blue lenses as well as silver-toned cogs and goggles, so I can try something "cool" instead of "warm".
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27th-Dec-2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Yes exactly! Mine will sort of feel like that, but also definitely be an animal mask. I want to try doing BOTH texture/realism as well as the cogs at the same time, just to see the effect.
26th-Jul-2012 03:53 pm (UTC) - mask base
Hello, can you please tell me where you bought the fox mask from?

And great designs, I love the top one the most :)
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