Stained Glass “Abbey” at Abandoned School

I can’t believe I missed sharing these Dim Horizon Studios images of Abbey crafted in abandoned Banks school in Birmingham, Alabama.  The school opened its doors specifically to cosplayers and photographers for one afternoon in 2015. It was dark, dirty…and magnificent in its urban decay. The setting felt more like a Warhammer 40K environment (which inspired the costume) so that was a welcome plus! Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 3

 “Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 5

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 6

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 8

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 9

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 10

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 12

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 15

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 17

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 21

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

 

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Merry McQueen: 15 Minute Photo Shoot

We were filming a tiny scene at Sloss Furnace for the 2nd Steampunk Boba Fett fan film (the 1st film, Trial of the Mask can be seen here). The Merry McQueen costume was needed for a very brief appearance as the major domo in the film. Dim Horizon Studios was on hand for all the BTS and cast photography, and it was my good luck that Matt Nicholson took an extra 15 minutes with me after the brief scene to craft some really outstanding images of this most recent costume project.

The following images are examples of what Dim Horizon magicked up in just 15 minutes.

Photography or witchcraft. You decide.

"Merry McQueen" (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 11

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 14

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 18

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 19

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 21

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 23

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 01

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

BUILD: The “Siri” Mohawk Headpiece

The Mohawk Headpiece for the 'Siri' costume was a huge learning curve. While happy with the result, the journey was fraught with errors that demanded serious improvisation.

The Mohawk Headpiece for the ‘Siri’ costume was a huge learning curve. While happy with the result, the journey was fraught with errors that demanded serious improvisation.

I learned SO MUCH from my mistakes during the “Siri” build.  It was an ambitious project and my lack of crafting skills and aversion to measurement REALLY made themselves known along the way. But…I also discovered that improvisation, desperation and flexibility of vision can fill in many of those gaps.

These progress pics for the Siri costume’s headpiece really emphasize my lack of real crafting skills. Hopefully, they also highlight how flaws and mistakes can be hidden along the way; being willing to change and alter your design mid-stream is vital when you’re a mistake-maker like me.  There’s a LOT of re-purposing going on in this costume, many learn-as-you-go mistakes, and some poor planning errors, too.  Just the same, I’m happy with the end result.

Since no one is probably interested in duplicating this costume, rather than presenting it as a “how to”, the following images are intended to illustrate what kind of materials can be used for a project like this.  They may also illustrate a fair number of “what NOT to dos”.

All thumbs,

Paige

The phone/light cords were the perfect disguise to hide my measurement mistakes and provide support for the mohawk quills. AND it fit into the whole theme - so disaster averted!

The phone/light cords were the perfect disguise to hide my measurement mistakes and provide support for the mohawk quills. AND it fit into the whole theme – so disaster averted!

The Costume as Art…

by Paige “Ex Libris” Smith

Image

Whether taking inspiration from an existing image in film, literature, comics or other canon…or creating something straight from your imagination, building original wearable costumes allows an artist to become art. When looking at a new costume recently, a fellow artist and friend said,  ” I can see the love in that”.  How true.  Why else would a costume builder spend countless hours (and months in many cases), researching images, collecting elements, crouching over sewing machines, inhaling glue fumes (well, besides those reasons), grinding the bits off dremels and pounding holes in leather…but for the love of creating a personal masterpiece.  And how better to express yourself artistically, than to step into your creation and wear it for the world to see.

As a costume artist, I’ve re-created images from literature, comics and video games.  I’ve also plumbed the depths of my own imagination to invent costumes that explore the worlds of ‘what it’….and in some cases ‘what the hell?’  Some of my works win awards and make a small mark in the world of science fiction, fantasy and game world costuming.  Some costumes simply provide an expressive outlet to celebrate my interest in worlds not of my own creation, some enhance the theatrical element of my work as a fire performer. But I always consider it art. Not the best, not the worst …but always from the heart.