Picture of the Week

25 Dec 2005


Darkfang is poised to carve the turkey.

18 Dec 2005


Here's a photo from one of the Dallas Fantasy Fairs back in the 1990's. That's Lance Pope as Yellowfang and Ysengrin as Silvermane.

Three years ago from yesterday, Lance Pope passed quietly away at his home.

11 Dec 2005

Just Taking It Easy

Ysengrin, just sitting back and enjoying a glass and a pipe.

04 Dec 2005

Practicing for Reindeer

DarkFang practices stalking reindeer on our roof - for Christmas, of course.

27 Nov 2005

Lugaru Hunting

Here's a picture from way back 1994, in Forney - that's Ysengrin in Lugaru (his character before Silvermane) posing with Brian Calhoun.

Back in March we posed a picture taken a year later with Brent Calhoun, Brian's brother, and Silvermane.

20 Nov 2005

Brokken and Ysengrin

Two howling werewolves; we posed for this picture many, many years ago ...

13 Nov 2005

Greetings from Silverclaw

Silverclaw sent us this Halloween greeting, and we thought we'd share it with y'all. Silverclaw's head, hands and feet were done by Lance Pope back in 2002; the body was done by Karen Huth and is made from hair extensions, not NFT.

05 Nov 2005

A Break From the Workshop

This is a sculpture at the north end of downtown Santa Cruz - the inscription reads:

Collateral Damage
A Reality of War
by E.A. Chase

In Memory of Civilians
Who Have Died
In All Wars

30 Oct 2005

New Werewolf Head

This one is a new sculpt; the first one went out just in time for Halloween.

23 Oct 2005

Making a Silicone Mold

Here we're making a silicone mold from a plaster master of an upper jaw. We can then run either resin or dental acrylic in the mold to make the jaw we'll actually use in a head.

16 Oct 2005

Casa de Calabaza

You can tell it's the season - the pumpkin patch at Casa de Fruta has appeared.

Location: 36° 59' 23.0" N, 121° 22' 48.8" W

09 Oct 2005

Busy Shop

The workshop is very, very busy this time of year - seven days a week. This shot is what our "production queue" looked like one morning. It doesn't include stuff still in molds.

02 Oct 2005

Another Werewolf Head

We're sending a number of new heads to Canada this year.

This is the busiest time of year for us; about mid-October we get a brief break, then we start tooling up again for MFF and FC orders. Ysengrin is going to take advantage of the break to do some new sculptures ...

25 Sep 2005

SCUBA Certified Werewolf

Darkfang sits on the wall overlooking San Carlos Beach in Monterey, California. Ysengrin is also open water SCUBA certified, but hasn't been diving in years.

Location: 36° 36' 33.6" N, 121° 53' 40.4" W

18 Sep 2005

Northern California Coast

This is the rocky coastline near Elk, California, looking south across Cuffeys Cove at a set of unnamed rocks.

Location: 39° 08' 13.2" N, 123° 43' 39.8" W

11 Sep 2005

Howling in Northern California

Ysengrin, howling in the forests between Fort Bragg and Willits, California.

04 Sep 2005

Ysengrin between Redwoods

Ysengrin stands between two massive redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, just south of Felton (and farther south of San Jose, or farther southeast of San Francisco if you need bigger cities for landmarks). These two old-growth redwoods are likely over 1500 years old. Ysengrin is six feet tall, to give you an idea of the size of the two redwoods. The linked picture is more dramatic than the thumbnail, too.

28 Aug 2005

Seabright Beach

Here we're watching the waves rolling in from the Pacific, looking across Seabright Beach at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Ysengrin was actually standing on the breakwater leading out to Walton Lighthouse; Santa Cruz' Small Craft Harbor is out of frame to the right.

Location: 36° 57' 40.6" N, 122° 00' 10.6" W

21 Aug 2005

San Francisco Japantown

Ysengrin took a Sunday break to visit San Francisco's Japantown, just missing last weekend's Nihonmachi Street Fair.

Location: 37° 47' 06.8" N, 122° 25' 47.5" W

14 Aug 2005

Shop work

Just a quick shot of things in progress in the shop; there's more setting up in molds.

07 Aug 2005

Pull-on werewolf

Here's a werewolf head we recently made at a client's request as a pull-on; there's no underskull, only form-fitting foam.

31 Jul 2005

Furring a paw

Here a set of hands (belonging to DarkFang) are seen cutting and attaching fur to a prototype hind paw.

24 Jul 2005

Two left feet ...

... from two different orders. They're just sealed, washed and sparkly clean. One is brown/dark brown, the other is grey/black.

17 Jul 2005

Jawset and mold

On the right is the master for a werewolf jaw with teeth - the base isn't part of the final product. On the left is the silicone mold made from the master.

10 Jul 2005

Shims on a sculpture

This week it's a little more detail about how to mold a sculpture - this isn't the fox head from a few weeks ago, but a new sculpture we can't quite show off yet.

After a sculpture is finished, you need to make a mold from it. Most molds need to be more than one piece, so that the finished cast can be removed from the mold. This is one way that we use to divide the mold when it's made - we insert metal shims into the clay to build a dam, using masking tape to hold them together. We then cover the tape and shims with a thin layer of petroleum jelly so the ultracal doesn't stick to them, and add little half-spheres of clay to make keys. After the first part of the mold is made we remove the shims and repair the sculpture before finishing the mold.

Obviously this method doesn't work if you're molding a hard object like claws or a jaw set.

Why do we put the seam so far back on the sculpture? So that the mold line will be under the fur.

03 Jul 2005

All the pretty heads ...

These are some of our client's head shells - casts of their heads - that we use for fitting.

26 Jun 2005

Out in the woods (again)

Ysengrin out playing in the redwoods.

19 Jun 2005

Molding a fox head.

Ysengrin prepares a fox head for molding. The sculpture was done in Roma, and metal shims put in where the halves of the mold will meet. The large ears will be entirely in the front half of the mold.

13 Jun 2005

Electric Werewolf

A double feature from 2001 - Bloodfang in the electric chair at Thrillvania. Yes, that's a functional Tesla coil behind him.

Location: 32° 13' 34.2" N, 110° 58' 36.1" W

05 Jun 2005

Werewolf in Voodoo Bayou

Memories - here's Ysengrin as Silvermane, running around in the swamp outside Verdun Manor back in October, 2001.

29 May 2005

Out in the Backyard

Actually, Ysengrin is in our *neighbor's* backyard, at their invitation. This picture was taken by them about a year ago.

22 May 2005

Wrestling with a Dragon

Well, a young Chinese Dragon, anyway (he's in his terrible 200's). That's Ysengrin and Noodles T. Dragon hamming it up for the camera. Ysengrin says he doesn't remember who won.

15 May 2005

The Duct Tape Dummy

When we're making a custom suit, we'll use a duct tape dummy of the client to get the fit just right. It's a lot easier than doing a full body alginate cast, and most clients can do it at home and send us the folded-up duct tape form. We just fill the duct tape form with polyfill and voilà - we have a sizing dummy of the client.

08 May 2005

Checking the Mail

DarkFang is checking the mail right before heading out to a costuming opportunity. Yes, the neighbors are used to it.

01 May 2005

DarkFang looks under the hood

Here DarkFang Blackpaw is checking under the hood of Ysengrin's Jeep.

24 Apr 2005

Owl's Club Mansion

This is a detail of the (second) Owl's Club Mansion in Tucson, Arizona. The building is over a century old, and originally was home to the bachelors of the Owl's Club. The facade was painstakingly reconstructed from old photographs in 1986 and cast in cast in calcium silica aluminate; the original had been removed sometime in the past. The linked image shows more of the facade than this detail.

Location: 32° 13' 34.2" N, 110° 58' 36.1" W

17 Apr 2005

Pouring latex out of a mold

DarkFang, pouring latex back out of a hindpaw mold. We make ultracal molds of the sculptures, then fill them with liquid latex, let them sit for a while, and pour them back out, leaving a skin. This is repeated two to four times, depending on how thick the casting needs to be.

10 Apr 2005

Watching the Surf

Ysengrin, just kicking back and watching the surf in Capitola.

Location: 36° 58' 18.4" N, 121° 57' 01.6" W

03 Apr 2005

The Mystery Machine

It's amazing what you find here in California; witness this tribute to The Mystery Machine of Scooby-Doo fame. It's owned by the folks at Scoob's Locksmith and DVD Rental (in the background).

27 Mar 2005

Gravestone Rose

This is a detail of a gravestone in Evergreen Cemetery, Santa Cruz, California. The stone is laying flat on the ground, having fallen over at some point, and the recesses of the design are filled with rain water. The gravestone is for Reuben H. Sawin, died May 2, 1884, aged 82.

20 Mar 2005

Paw in mold

DarkFang is making a mold of a new hindpaw - here the upper half of the mold has been made, the bottom half of the master has been prepped, and he's ready to make the bottom half of the mold.

13 Mar 2005

Inez Clark

Little seven year old Inez Clark died in 1880, struck by lightning while on picnic with her family. Grief-stricken, her parents erected this life-size statue at her gravesite in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, enclosing it in glass to protect it from the elements.

Apparently Inez' spirit is quite restless. Her statue has reportedly shed tears on several occasions, and has even disappeared from it's case during violent thunderstorms.

06 Mar 2005

Hunting Trophy

Here's a picture of Ysengrin (as Silvermane) taken about ten years ago, back in Texas. That's Brent Calhoun as the victim. We're posed just outside the entry gate to Haunted Verdun Manor, back when it was in Forney.

27 Feb 2005

The Big Kahuna

The sign says it all. Taken on the main street in Capitola, California, near the beach.

20 Feb 2005

Moonlight Stroll

Werewolves like walking in the moonlight, too. Taken on a covered bridge in Felton, California.

13 Feb 2005

Wash and Wear Wolf

This is how Ysengrin rinses his fursuit after washing it in a large tub of soapy water. He hangs it up and uses a garden sprayer, then lets it drip-dry for an hour or so before moving it inside and putting a couple of high speed fans on it. That's a wide-yoke wet suit hanger the suit is on - it not only spreads the weight of the waterlogged fursuit out better but it holds the front and back of the suit apart so they dry faster.

06 Feb 2005

Downtown Boulder Creek

Some of you were wondering about Boulder Creek, the small town in the Santa Cruz mountains that we live and work in. Well, here's downtown Boulder Creek on a weekday, looking across Highway 9.

30 Jan 2005

Ysengrin & Zeke

Another picture taken at Further Confusion í05. This was Saturday night, in front of the lobby fireplace, and that's Ysengrin and Zeke.

23 Jan 2005

FurCon '05

Another picture taken at Further Confusion í05 last weekend. This was Saturday night, and that's Ysengrin, Thalyi and T'Chall posing in the hotel lobby.

16 Jan 2005

New Werefox

TíChallís Werefox, created by Running Wolf Productions from TíChallís concept, was unveiled for the first time at Further Confusion í05 this weekend. This photo was taken by the hotel elevators just minutes after TíChall put the suit on for the first time.

09 Jan 2005

Sizing the Head

Here DarkFang is making the skullcap we use for sizing a head. In this case, the client did not require a moving jaw, so all we are sizing is the head, nose and eyes.

02 Jan 2005

Santa and Werewolf

Weíre kicking off the New Year with a picture of Kellie in Calgary, Alberta, posing with Santa Claus (in matching hats - Santa is the one with the white beard). We made her head, fore & hind paws, and the body was made by Arend Studios. See, werewolves can have fun year-round!