Inkblade is taking a short break
Sandra on Jan 3, 20195 out of 5 stars
AWESOME!!! I bought Clariel and it is more than worth the price ...with all the details, the light...thank you!
I accidentally a career.
This all happened by accident. A dear friend of mine wanted to compete in a costume competition at the Montreal ComicCon a few years ago. She was too shy to go on stage by herself but she knew I also liked The Mortal Instruments book series by Cassandra Claire. So she asked me if I would come cosplay with her in the competition. I said "Okay!"
All we needed were some items of motorcycle type gear, high-quality black body paint for the angelic runes, a couple steles, a couple witch-lights, and ... oh ... crystal clear swords. Oh boy. How?! I searched around for solutions and stumbled across 25mm thick acrylic plastic sheets sold by a local commercial sign and window manufacturer. I asked if they could sell me some off-cuts from their other orders for cheap and they did, happy to have a little less plastic in the garbage.
Cutting it out on the band-saw was a challenge. I borrowed a very generous friend's workshop for that and used their bench-sander to shape it. A very long, difficult process. And then spent even longer sanding the darned things. But at the end of it I had four beautiful crystal clear swords that looked like they were formed entirely from ice.
We ended up winning Best Weapons category in the competition. This was a rarity since neither of us had ever competed before, and nobody ever wins anything on their first try. So I plopped some pictures on my blog and talked about how pleased I was with the result.
Suddenly, my inbox was full of people asking to buy them. What? You ... want to buy them? Oh ... um ... okay? I had no idea how much to charge so I asked yet another friend who was a professional costume maker. She said: "Custom cosplay weapon? Oh, 500 bucks at least. Each."
Understandably, my jaw dropped. Previously, I had been working as a fantasy novel writer full time and I'm used to getting a dollar for my ebook or 15 dollars for my paperback. I was not used to getting very much at all for my work.
After I sold three of the four swords (I kept the fourth for myself) I got requests for more. But I didn't have any more to sell! So I went back to the plastics manufacturer and bought some more off-cuts. The orders kept piling up far faster than I could make the swords.
My wife got a job offer in Finland so we moved. I still had outstanding orders to fill so I set up shop in the back room of my apartment. I thought the walls were thick enough to avoid annoying my neighbours with my power tools. I was wrong. Oops.
So I had to rent a workshop. However, in Finland, nobody wanted to rent me a workshop unless I had a business. Weird. So, in order to make those swords that my super patient customers were waiting for, I had to go to the licensing bureau, start a company, and go rent a workshop to work in. And I also have to pay business taxes because I have a business. Yay. All the while protesting: "But I'm a writer! Why do I have to go through all this for a side-gig?!"
So now that I have a workshop, I have to pay rent for it. So ... I have to keep making products to sell so that I can afford the rent. I have to keep buying materials to make the products to sell so I can afford the rent. I had to switch from carving out of solid acrylic to casting with urethane resin because I could not carve the swords fast enough to sell enough per month to afford the workshop and the materials ...
And that's how my hobby completely ate my career.
Customs and import taxes
Returns & exchanges
I gladly accept returns and exchanges
I don't accept cancellations
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
- Custom or personalized orders
- Perishable products (like food or flowers)
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
I accept returns I do not accept returns
I accept exchanges I do not accept exchanges
I accept cancellations I do not accept cancellations
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
Frequently asked questions
Custom and personalised orders
Sure I do custom orders! Just send me a message and we'll work on a deal. :) Please budget at least 800 - 1000 EUROS for custom swords.
Oh my goodness! Why are the swords so expensive?!
The silicone for making the moulds is REALLY expensive and so is the crystal clear resin needed to cast them. I have to get my materials shipped to me in Finland, making it even more expensive. :( I'm constantly hunting for cheaper distributors and experimenting on ways to cut costs. I promise, I'm doing the best I can.
If you find a cheaper seller of urethane resin and/or moulding silicone, please do let me know!
Do you have YouTube channel?
Um ... no, not yet. I'm really shy on camera and I have no idea how video and sound editing works. :/
Do you still make the carved acrylic swords?
Yes. I can still do that. They take about a month to produce. Obviously, that makes them a bit more expensive.