Time is certainly flying past this year. If you were thinking of ordering a Xothique Designs mask as a Christmas gift, or for a special occasion over the festive season, the Royal Mail’s last posting guidelines are as follows:
Friday 4th December: Africa, Middle East.
Monday 7th December: Far East, Asia & Eastern Europe.
Tuesday 8th December: Carribean, Central and South America.
Thursday 10th December: Australia & New Zealand.
Monday 14th December: Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Tuesday 15th December: USA, Canada, Greece.
Wednessday 16th December: Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain.
Thursday 17th December: France.
Friday 18th December: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland
Monday 21st December: Mainland UK – First Class and Signed For.
Further details are available on the Royal Mail homepage.
Please bear in mind that if you would like a ‘Made to Order’ or a bespoke mask, you will also need to add 14 days to give me time to create the mask for you.
Many thanks to all of my customers, past and present, and wishing you all a joyous and enchanting Masquerade season.
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Just a quick note to say that I’ll be at Dartmouth Faerie Fair & Masquerade Ball this weekend (26th – 28th November 2010), with my friend Ali Van Dam of Black Wyvern Books. Come along to meet us at The Flavel in Dartmouth, Devon if you can.
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I was recently comissioned by up-coming prog rock band Ebony Tower. They wanted me to make something based on the concept art for their latest album, to feature in the promo video for their new song, “White Rabbit.” They wanted something skeletal – ‘Not a nice bunny, a White Rabbit that is representitive of all that’s going wrong in the world today.’
The mask was constructed in papier-mache, fabric and leather, and was one of my most ambitious projects to date.
It was a great honour to be approached, and I hope that I have done their music and vision justice.
All photos and visual media are copyright 2009 Ebony Tower – used with permission.
I found the following image on this website, while browsing through pictures of Venice Carnival.
I know exactly what they mean.
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I’ve recently finished working on my latest mask – The Alchemist.
Based on the traditional Venetian Bauta mask with a Gothic twist, this unique mask is a private commission for Venice carnival 2009. The design allowed me to explore new ideas in leather mask-making, experimenting with rivets and hand tooling to create an exciting and different look. I’m really pleased with the result, and am definitely going to be designing more masks with tooling and rivets in the very near future.
Exciting news for lovers of all things dark and gothic: Darklight Industries are pleased to announce the Dark Fantasy Ball 2009! Your hosts, Lilith, Artemis and Gaia welcome you to their night of masquerade and fantasy. Luxuriate in the opulent surroundings and wonder at the array of beautiful, creative masks and costumes. Dance the night away to some of the finest Gothic, Industrial and EBM music around. The only limits are your imagination! Click on the link below for more information.
This looks like the perfect event to wear a Xothique Designs mask to, and there’s plenty of time to plan your total look. Why not contact me to discuss ideas, and let me create an unique mask designed to your specifications.
While I’m on the subject of purchasing masks, I’d just like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has purchased a mask from me this party season, and I hope you have as much pleasure from them as I had from designing them.
I’m currently experimenting with carving and creating multi-layered effects in leather, and I hope to have some new and interesting masks and other bodywear to show you very soon. Watch this space!
Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a happy, fun-filled and safe All Hallow’s Eve.
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I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2. 1
Midsummer is almost upon us – just as we get used to the long hours of daylight, the season turns. Nonetheless, the solstice is a magical time, a time when tradition has it that the realms swing closer together and the boundaries between them may become indistinct and easily traversed, if you possess the imagination and wit to guide you on your way.
To celebrate this enchanting time of year I have some special offers – for a limited time only.
Check out my Midsummer Magic Sale and join the spirit of the masquerade!
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I have exciting news – some of my artwork is now available as ‘pixel-art’ kits. This fabulous new idea evokes all the richness of tapestry, yet there is no messing about with calculating the right amount of thread – it’s just like creating a mini-mosaic. I think of it as tapestry for the digital age.
Check it out here.
For those of you who love living history and re-enactments – and I know I do, having mis-spent quite a lot of my youth that way, I have a treat. An 18th century band, committed to reproducing an authentic sound, and having a lot of scandalous fun on the journey. Not only do they sound wonderful – they look amazing as well.
Lady Georgianna are truly fantastic and you can check them out here.
Unfortunately, ill health has stalked me these past couple of months, and so my production has slowed to a crawl, however, I am feeling much better and am getting back on track with the mask-making and the artwork. May was a busy month for mask sales, Midsummer masquerades are looming, and everyone is getting into the spirit of things, it seems. I’ve a couple of new masks in my shop and more on the way. Watch out for some faery-inspired masks later this month!
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I have made some of my masks available from Etsy, though they are cheaper to buy directly from my site – as Etsy charges a commission for each item sold.
It’s worth checking out my shop though, as I will occasionally be listing items there that won’t be available through this website, including leather Runes and pendants, and other pieces of wearable art. You never know quite what might appear.
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A recent conversation with a dear friend sparked some dark and interesting mask ideas, so following on from the oriental masks I did last month, I’ve remained with papier-mache and am happily experimenting. I’ve done pretty and colourful masks for a while, so it’s high time I indulged my darker side.
I’m currently working on a mask which will have a fine tracery of cracks across its surface, like an antique porcelain doll. It looks creepy already, and I’m quite excited at the effect.
I have also been spending quite a lot of time at Deviant Art. The community is excellent for networking amongst like-minded artists and bouncing ideas around, and I’ve made a few really good friends there. Check out Reincarnations for beautiful hand-painted furniture, and some of the most fascinating candle-holders I’ve seen for a long time.
And finally, I’m continuing to play around with Painter X. I had been using Painter 9.5 for a while, and there is not a great deal of difference between the two, though I’m still happily exploring the possibilities of the golden ratio tool and the real brushes that painter X has to offer. This year I would like to spend more time on my 2D artwork as well as making masks, and hope to have something worthwhile to show very soon. Watch this space…