Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Elizabeth Andrews vintage photos...?

I finished a hood project a few weeks ago for Elizabeth Andrews (check out her clips4sale site here), and she recently sent me a few photos so I could check the fit. Oh boy, I love getting emails like this! 

Now she is a beautiful girl, with these great big brown eyes - just perfectly made for the open-face hood. Add to that the fact that she's wearing a skin-tight latex catsuit, a serious bondage corset, and her arms are strapped into a tight armbinder... Just absolute wow! 

It struck me that the photos could have come from another era, possibly many years ago - so I decided to play around with them in photoshop a little bit to give them a soft-edge vintage feel. I imagined I found them hidden inside an old box or case that I'd purchased at the flea market or an antique store. As if I could be that lucky.

I had some fun with it, and Elizabeth: I hope you don't mind! Thanks for letting me share the awesome pix...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Strap Hood - First try...

This is the third of the "special" hoods I've been working on for Karen Hsiao and our upcoming show in Tokyo at Vanilla Gallery. With the Pony and Asylum hood, this strappy number is intended to push the boundaries of what I can do, and to try something I have never done before. 

Initially the straps were going to be further apart, but as soon as I started wrapping the 3 straps around the neck I knew I had to go with smaller spaces between them.

My working method was to wrap the straps around the form and hold them in place with tape, then remove it when I was happy with the layout and sew the straps down. Unfortunately, the tape didn't hold once I removed it from the form, and as I was sewing the straps shifted and moved out of place. I had to rip the stitches and start over. 

On my second attempt, I used double-sided seam tape in addition to the blue painter's tape to hold the straps in position. I also didn't put as much stress on the piece while I put it through the sewing machine. Finally, I did one set of stitches at a time, re-placing it on the form between each set. This was time-consuming, but it worked. Now I know what to do next time. 

I will be taking another crack at this one, as I also messed up the position of the straps a little bit. It is actually a single strap that goes from the neck on one side, up and over the head, around the chin, and back up and over to the other side. If they were further back, as they were supposed to be, the straps at the top of the head would lay flatter. This also would make room for one additional strap between the first two.

Next time it will be a little closer to perfect...

Design sketch templates...

I just came up with some female figure templates to help me when I'm doing initial design sketches. These outline forms help me by letting me concentrate on the design itself rather than things like getting the anatomy right, and drawing out the head, torso, arms and legs every time.  
I did a front and rear view, so I could show the back side of the design as well. 

I was trying to strike a balance in the drawing between including detail, but not overpowering the sketch that is done on top of it. And I had to make her Asian-looking (of course!).

The best part is I can print a bunch of these out, and always have them handy for jotting down ideas when inspiration strikes - before the idea goes away.  

I can already think of a few variations I want to do (arms behind back, hair up in pony-tail, etc...), but for now, this is a good beginning. I like the way these make me want to a lot of design variations - it makes me want to grab a pencil and play, and just let my imagination run wild...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Asylum hood - complete!

The asylum hood with it's final dye job. It's got an antique, almost steam-punk look - quite a departure from my normal style... 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Asylum Hood - progress

Another recent creation for Karen's Black Cherries project: the Asylum hood. It's a departure from the kind of design I normally do, which tends to be fetish oriented and clean-lined. This is more about getting an institutional look, like something you might find in an insane asylum of your nightmares (or dreams, I suppose...).  
The design sketch called out the most unique feature of this hood: a chin piece that comes down the neck and attaches at the sides with ball-post connectors. It's the first project where I've used these connectors, and they worked out really well. 

The shape of the pieces changed from the sketch a bit, as I tried to let the leather tell me what it wanted to do. Rather than having a gap between the neck piece and the hood for example, it made sense to tuck in behind the rear neck instead.
Normally there is a centerline in the front panel of this hood, but I knew I wanted there to be a strap holding the blindfold in place - so I made that front half of the hood all in one piece. This allowed me to put that ball-post right in the middle. 
 These pieces were all modeled using veg-tan leather and the wet-casting technique. It gives you the ability to shape and mold the leather, and when it dries it becomes rigid and keeps the shape very well.
 I was particularly happy to get the whole neck and chin contour all in one piece. It was a complex shape, but I managed to get the leather to conform pretty closely on the first try - woo-hoo!
 After doing test fits, and getting all the ball posts set and holes punched, we are ready to dye the leather.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pony Hood with Harness

Hello everyone! I've been super busy lately working on new projects for Karen Hsiao's Black Cherries series. I just completed a Pony Hood for her, which is based on the molded-leather hoods I did a few months ago. These are created out of wet-cast veg-tanned leather, using my wood female hood form as a foundation to build the shape. 

This takes the design to a whole new level, with added straps and integrated O-rings that are riveted to the front of the mask where the bit would normally go. Instead of pulling the reins against her mouth, this puts the pressure on the entire hood - so you can really tug on them!  (Oh, the poor slavegirl/model who has to wear it!) 

I loved the thought of the straps crossing over the blank featureless face. There are actually tiny holes near the nose, so this can be worn. We wanted to keep the holes minimal, so as not to take away from the clean look. 

There's a pony-tail opening at the top rear, so you can have the long hair flowing out and down the back or the front of the mask. This looks incredibly hot...

The ears were a challenge to get right - at first the shape I came up with looked like a bunny rabbit. Fortunately Karen came up with a great shape, and it worked perfectly on the first try. We cut it out of leather, and the ears just fell into place. As soon as they were sewn to the top of the hood, it took on a primal, animal quality. It's a powerful piece. I think I need to make one to  keep for myself! And I'm really looking forward to seeing what Karen does with it...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Black Cherries at Vanilla Gallery Tokyo

So this is actually happening... a gallery show in Tokyo! A few months from now at the Vanilla Gallery in Ginza. Karen Hsiao's photos. My bondage gear. Another artist is to show as well... I'm excited beyond words.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Design Sketchbook

There are some exciting things coming together in the next couple of months, unfortunately not all of which I can share with you at the moment. I'm actually working like a madman on a bunch of things I can't show yet - top secret. Let's just say I may have the opportunity to make some things that have previously only existed in the pages of my sketchbooks. I am hoping to complete at least 2 to 3 designs in the next few months I have never produced before and never seen anywhere else. 

The vision for these suits entails a total-enclosure in leather with internal foam inserts, some padded 2-layered designs and at least one full-suspension concept. 
These "posture" suits will ideally each be tailored to fit a specific model, so the fit will be perfect. 
There are suits in classic bondage positions I have come back to time and again, and the idea is to make position-specific restraints that both conceal and reveal. These are purpose-built, not flexible designs. Made to do one thing and one thing only. In the same vein as the f-suit, but in some cases more extreme, in some ways less flexible. 

I'm truly excited to tackle one of the most challenging: a full-suspension design, for a flying, armbound hogtie. 

 One potential design features a front-pocket f-suit instead of the separate arm sleeves. 
 It may be time to finally realize the sack/straitjacket combo in real life. 
 A hooded front-pocket stratijacket is also (possibly) in the works...
 A rear-pocket sleepsack?
Another possibility: a front-pocket straitjacket sleepsack with separate-able zippered leg pocket? So her legs can be spread without letting her out of the sack? Oh, this is going to be fun...
More details to come... 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A look back...

So when I started this blog March 2010, I didn’t have any idea how it would turn out, or what would come of it. My motivation was primarily just putting information about making leather fetish and bondage gear online, as I couldn’t find anything out about it after searching for it myself. 

I especially was looking for information about making fun things like hoods, armbinders and sleepsacks. There was just nothing out there. I came to find out, most leather crafters don’t share their “shop secrets”. 

Now I didn’t (and still don’t) consider myself an expert by any stretch, but more of someone who is still learning, who has tried a few things, and had some good results. But I still have a long way to go. 

I think as a pervert you have a kind of secret life. And having the blog has been a great outlet for me. A place to be my true self, and share the kinky ideas and things on my mind. To connect with like-minded others, and to do it without having to worry about offending someone else’s sensibilites. That part has been great. 

So, here are a few blog stats, in case you may find them interesting... I just passed 666,666 page views and 269 followers. I remember thinking I'd be happy with just a couple of followers,  and maybe get a thousand page views. Totally wrong on both counts!

For the longest time my most popular post (by pageviews) was my Fetish Inspiration: InSex article (with 7,123 views) only to be recently surpassed by the Female Bondage Hood Pattern post with 10,345 views. The F-suit article is in third place with 6,549. 

According to my blog stats, the US has the most pervs, followed by Germany, the UK and Canada...

It won't surprise most of you to know that Serious Bondage sends me the most traffic - it's probably how you got here! But a fair amount of traffic from, iiichan, and thisgirl. Thanks to you all for the support! 

I found the search terms that led to me interesting: armbinder far and away the favorite, with 2,189 pageviews based on that search term. F-suit is in second place with 688 - a pretty good showing considering it's a made-up name. Add in the "f suit" without a dash's 416, and it's over 1,000 links for that alone. Not too bad...
I am humbled and happy with what I consider the success of the blog, and thank you to all for visiting and leaving comments, and making the whole thing rewarding and worthwhile for me personally. I am truly grateful!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bondage Bootie Pattern

For all you leather crafters out there who may want to give making your own pair a shot, a PDF of the bondage bootie pattern can now be found here. The pattern is for a US Women's size 6, so you may need to size the pattern up or down accordingly...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

White Sleepsack with Open Mouth Hood

I finished this all-white sleepsack a few weeks ago, but it took until now to get some decent pictures taken... This sack was made from the from Sav-Mor "Artisan - cream" upholstery hide I mentioned here, but had never used before, and it was designed to be a prototype in my size to try out some production techniques and materials. 

At first I was excited to do a sack in a leather color I had never used before. I'm always trying out new things to see how they'll work, and it's always fun to have new gear, right? In this case I was surprised at what I found: basically this hide sucks for sleepsack use. 

Why you ask? Well, first, it has a very strong smell - almost like the paint they used has solvents that are so strong they just won't go away. I tried airing it out, both before and after sewing, and weeks later it is still so strong that it can give me a headache.  It's a real problem. Usually I love the smell of leather, but this isn't that - it's more of a chemical vibe. Blech! 

Second, I initially liked the color and the smooth, even surface - I thought it might be a cool change of pace from the basic black. I was thinking the off-white color and subtle sheen could produce a clinical, otherworldly look. But in the final piece, the corrected leather surface grain almost looks like plastic. That's not a good thing...

Third, the hide has a softness that I thought would make a luxurious and sensual feel. But in reality it turned out to be spongy and clingy - in a bad way. It makes getting in and out of the sleeves a pain in the butt. Turns out a slightly stiffer leather may work better for sleepsacks.

Finally, the last straw is this leather seems to be so coated as to not breathe much - if at all. This makes a big difference that you can feel right away - compared to other sacks I've made, this one is like wearing a plastic bag. It feels like you are going to overheat right away, especially when you pull on the hood. Usually your body heat can dissipate through the leather, but this one is so sealed, it's like being in unbreathable plastic wrap. I know, some of you are thinking "Plastic wrap? Sounds great!". Well, it ain't so great IMHO, but if you want that sort of feel (and maybe live in a cool climate) - this is the hide for you... otherwise, stay away!

Well, now that I've bagged the hell out of it, please enjoy the pictures! And spare a thought for the suffering the poor model/slave (that would be me) is enduring for the purposes of his art and your edification...