For an FAQ about our learning products please scroll to the bottom

What is Organic Armor made of?

Organic Armor is made with a unique process. The primary ingredient is natural latex, a sap-like liquid from the rubber tree (Hevea Brasiliensis). It is applied over various kinds of fibers and coated with acrylic. The fibers we use vary from foam to old blue jeans, netting to tshirts, clothesline to dryer lint. Sometimes we sculpt an element in clay first and then make a mold to cast it in rubber. Layers of various coatings bond everything and create the integrated, antique-looking surface. Lastly it’s painted with acrylic paints, and sealed with an acrylic coating that has UV protection in it. Read more about it here. The secret ingredient is love.

Is it heavy?

No, it just looks like it is! Because of the unique materials we use Organic Armor is lightweight, flexible and comfortable to wear.

Have you had a neckache or sore shoulders after wearing a heavy costume all day at a Con? Or multiple pinches and pokes from a bra after a night of dancing in the desert? Organic Armor was invented by someone who knows your pain! You don’t have to suffer for awesome style.

Photographer and Model Requests

We get many requests from photographers and models to collaborate in shoots,  or rent or loan our items. Much of what you see in the galleries is not available because they were made by commission. Try us by email but now that Paul is retired, it’s unlikely.

Is it waterproof?

We cater to the merfolk community and get this question a lot. The short answer is yes, sort of. Read this for more info.

What about latex allergies?

The latex is always covered by acrylic but we make no guarantees that our work is safe for latex sensitive people.

How do I care for my Organic Armor?

We have fifteen year old Organic Armor that is in great condition. If you take care of it it will last a long time.

It is water resistant but not fully waterproof, though you can swim in it under certain circumstance. Read this detailed info for mer folk. Generally, if it gets really wet, just blot off the water and let it sit in a position that doesn’t stress any parts of it until dry.

It will hold it’s shape for many years and will bounce back from twists and bends, up to a point. If you crunch it under a pile of books or shut it in the car door for a week, it may permanently crease. Or it might not. It is surprisingly resilient but we don’t recommend rough handling.

To clean it, just wipe it with a damp soft rag. A spritz of water from a spray bottle is okay. Soap may leave a residue. Don’t store your armor in a sunny window or near your oven. Prolonged sun and heat will degrade rubber. Our armor is UV protected but use common sense. We recommend storing in a hatbox type container when not in use.

If the finish gets worn or dirty (that sticky playa dust!) you can refresh it this way: clean it well, then lightly brush a very thin coat of semi-gloss or satin clear acrylic over it; let dry and you’re good to go again.

Can I use an image from your site?

All images on this site are protected by a Creative Commons License. This means you can share the images but you must attribute them to us and to the photographer if listed. You may not use them for commercial purposes, and not alter them. Thanks for respecting this. Good karma will be yours.

How do I get on/off your mailing list?

We use MailChimp to collect names for our mailing list which we use for our seasonal newsletter. We never, ever give your name/contact info to anybody else. If you want to get on the list find the sign up form just above the footer. To unsubscribe click the link at the bottom of every mailing.

FAQ for online courses & workshops

What are the Organic Armor Arts?

The Organic Armor Arts are the techniques developed by Paul Hersey to sculpt and construct costumes and props out of liquid latex rubber, various kinds of fibers, and acrylic glazes and paints. These techniques enable an artist to make an amazing range of wearable art. They include: dipping and manipulating cord, cutting and layering foam and fabrics, making molds for casting latex, constructing armatures and base forms, and painting in the dry brush technique. The Introductory Course is a foundation course in the Organic Armor Arts.

Who teaches these courses?

Paul Hersey is the founder and lead designer of Organic Armor. He has developed and refined these techniques for more than a decade. You can see some of the wonderful commissions he’s done, expressing the versatility of the Organic Armor Arts here. Paul’s wife Jennifer has been an arts educator for ten years. She does the lesson plans for the courses as well as the admin and marketing.

What will I get if I buy the online course?

The Introductory Course includes eight videos that take you through the process of making a set of upper armbands from start to finish. It also includes online support in the form of a private Facebook group and direct email to the artist.  Lastly you will receive access to downloads like detailed materials lists and bonus videos. You will NOT get any supplies from us.  Read more about the course here.

How will the course material be accessed?

The courses are now hosted on Vimeo via a password protected log in. After your purchase you will receive registration info and be able to access the videos on-demand whenever you want, without expiration. All you need is internet access.

Where are the workshops held?

We hold the weekend workshops in our studio in Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is a charming small city in the Blue Ridge Mountains with great hotels, restaurants, outdoor activites, beer and live music. Definitely a fun place to visit. Read more about the workshops here.

What will I learn in the Intro Course?

You will learn the seven steps of the Organic Armor Arts process. You will make a pair of upper armbands as the learning project. When they are complete you will have the basic understanding to go forward and create any number of amazing wearable art items.

What if I am not satisfied with the online course?

We have a 60 Day Unconditional Money Back Guarantee, described here.

What if I need more help?

We have two ways to get help: a private Facebook group where you can show off your projects, ask questions, share resources. Or you can email us directly if you can’t figure something out.