Latex and clear acrylic costs about 30.00 per quart, and a quart will go a long way. Fiber can be upcycled or purchased for a few dollars a yard. The raw materials of the Organic Armor Arts are low cost, unlike 90.00/yard Worbla, 40.00/sheet Wonderflex, leather, fiberglass or many of the other supplies used for sculptural costumes. You don’t need expensive equipment either (no vacuum form machine, laser cutter or 3D printer).2. It won’t kill you.
Breathing in the fumes of some armor making materials is bad for your health, as is getting it on your hands. When you get into gluing plastics or brushing on resins you have to use safety measures. Organic Armor Arts materials – water-based acrylics, natural fibers, and latex, are easy on the skin. In fact peeling latex off your fingers is kind of fun. The worst thing you’ll have to cope with is the ammonia that thins the latex. As long as you don’t breathe in a few inches from the container, it’s not a problem. The smell dissipates quickly.
3. It’s versatile.
What do a gladiator chestplate, Loki horns, and Cleopatra headdress have in common? We’ve made them all with the Organic Armor Arts process. From WOW armor to LOTR circlets, the materials and techniques can be adapted to many styles of wearable art. It can also be used for making or decorating other objects like journal covers, puppets or lamp shades. The limits of this new art form are waiting to be pushed.
4. It connects you to a community of really cool artists.
The folks who have signed up for the course (ongoing open enrollment) are a diverse and supportive bunch. Many ages, backgrounds and purposes are united in exploring the materials and techniques. In the discussion boards and private Facebook group we are seeing great questions, work in progress pictures and enthusiastic encouragement of fellow students. It’s an inspiring art community to which you have 24/7 access forever.
5. You will look amazing, for a long time, and not get a headache.
This is the best reason of all. You will be able to manifest your costume vision in a dramatically beautiful way, yet the pieces are comfortable to wear. Want to dance all night in your headdress? You won’t take anyone’s eye out or wrench your back wearing this stuff. And it lasts for years. We have armor from 1999, worn to Burning Man many times, as well as countless other revels. It’s still in good shape. If it does get damaged or caked in dust you can fix it with the same stuff you made it out of.
So there you go, 5 excellent reasons to learn the Organic Armor Arts. Take the Introduction to the Organic Armor Arts this winter and make some new costume pieces by summer (or the other way round if you are in the southern hemisphere).
Bonus reason: There is no sewing involved!