An exclusive look at pup mask making with WearWolf Creations and new brand Snap Jaw
by Dogpatch Press Staff
The Noah’s Ark of furry fandom has many ways to get on board. Friendly and toony characters you can hug bring me there. But others are drawn to a sleek, inhuman-but-warm latex sheen that takes them to their headspace. Headspace is a good word. Despite negative notions, pup-players say it doesn’t start below the belt, and adult topics need no mention for this story about a team of artists who craft their headgear. How about marketing it as useful? When it starts to rain, these animals can stay dry and wear one instead of an umbrella. No? Even if they aren’t for you, you may enjoy learning how the secret ingredient that floats this business is the brainstorming and collaboration that furry fandom provides. Pup players are part of a community of makers. (See also the recent article — Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs.) –– Patch
WearWolf Creations is spinning off into two independent businesses for latex hoods to serve the pup community: @CreationsWear and @SnapJawForge.
Behind the scenes with the team, shop, and creation process.
WearWolf Creations (@CreationsWear) is entering its second year and has spawned Snap Jaw (@SnapJawForge) recently in the process! In this exclusive story with Dogpatch Press, we wanted to share the story of the founding furs of this creative band and offer a bit of a peek into how everything came together!
The three founding artists have been friends for years: @NovaD0g (Bubba), @Jai_the_Jackal (Jai), and @M2tM (Devacor), but the seed of our collaboration for WearWolf Creations was sown in the weeks leading up to Further Confusion in January of 2019. Jai and Dev had been working on masks of various kinds for some time, and decided to enter the FC Art Show with a resin warthog skull mask Jai had sculpted, and Dev helped create the molds for. In preparation they created 3 variations of the skull for entry.
At the same time, NovaD0g/Bubba had been wanting to make latex hoods, but didn’t have the space at home to do it. He saw a perfect opportunity to join in with Jai and Dev, who were already making a beautiful and productive mess in their back room. He had some stone molds which hadn’t been put to use in a long time. Leading up to the convention, Bubba worked on his very first latex pup hood alongside Jai and Dev — as well as Rex (@TooMuchDynamite) — who was working on his own art for the art show along with us.
Everyone finished their work on time and the FC Art Show was a huge success all around. The first sale was great, but there was also a flurry of initial orders Bubba took. It proved there was a ton of interest, and a warm and welcoming community wanting more pup hoods and looking for new makers!
Based on Bubba’s success with his hoods, he decided to shift his career from full time furry commission work to pup masks. Jai was inspired by Bubba’s success and decided she wanted to try her hand at making a pup hood too. It had been an idle but present interest for a while, and this was really the catalyst that helped her make that decision and act on it.
Devacor had just purchased a 3D Printer a month prior. Dev has a good deal of experience with mold making and problem solving as a game programmer. He and Jai had additionally taken various SFX courses with Vancouver FX in pursuit of fursuit making skills over the years. Devacor thought that maybe they could 3D print molds, instead of the messy and space consuming stone molds.
With a 3D printer at their disposal, Jai decided to try sculpting in Zbrush instead of traditional Monster Clay, and see if they could make some original molds that resonated with the furry or pup communities. Jai already had a BFA in Illustration and some 3D sculpting experience with her game development work on Bindstone. She immediately fell in love with the process of sculpting hood designs!
It was the perfect storm to begin a new enterprise, with three passionate artists with complementary skills, all interested in the same thing: Making quality never-before-seen pup hoods.
The art room in Jai and Dev’s home provided a great space for the creative group to get messy and explore with materials. It slowly evolved and transformed into a full-fledged art studio over the coming months. The addition of a comfy couch, adjustable table, and back room TV, and a fully stocked 3D printer room made this space perfect for mask production. As the art room evolved, so did the methods for pouring and finishing hoods. Each one is an individual hand made work of art. A lot of love and care is put into each hood.
A few weeks before making the very first mask, Bubba came up with the name WearWolf Creations. It was a perfectly appropriate, playful description of the very products he would be making. As they all learned and grew together, it made a lot of sense to share a social media account to help support each other in selling hoods. This is how WearWolf Creations came to be, and naturally evolved to combine both Jai and Bubba’s artistic work and mask labor, with Devacor serving a supporting role in developing the mold making process and learning the complexities of wrangling several 3D printers.
Throughout 2019, Bubba, Jai, and Devacor all spent time teaching and learning and growing as artists and creators. There were multiple re-designs of existing molds to get the perfect fit. The number one hit has definitely been the culmination of collaboration between Jai and Bubba: the Dobie. The Doberman was originally blocked out by Bubba, and fine details and anatomy were finished by Jai, with final touches on a second iteration to get the fit just right applied by Devacor. The response has been overwhelming. It really took a lot of focus to keep up with demand over the past few months!
Focus on new hood sculpts was slow for a while, but the past few months has involved a ton of quiet R&D, fitting adjustments, and Zbrush practice. As Jai, Dev, and Bubba enter 2020, they all felt confident that many of the growing pains in the process have been hammered out. New unique designs are going to be coming out from Bubba and Jai, and everyone involved felt confident in running their own brand.
It is with this collaborative spirit, and continued support, that the trio continue to work in the same space, cross promote and support each other’s accounts. But they also maintain separate businesses to reduce confusion about which artist is responsible for which work, especially as Jai & Dev (who are married as of October 2019) begin to split their time between other passions, like their game project Bindstone. This allows Bubba to grow WearWolf Creations and focus on it full time.
2020 is going to be an exciting year for pups and furries alike, as the market for pup hoods expands to include even more unique and inspired designs from both WearWolf Creations *Bark!* and Snap Jaw *CHOMP*!
Wolf Dog by @CreationsWear
Big ol’ Chompers by @SnapJawForge
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How much would a Dobie hood/ like Bubba made cost to purchase one?