A peek behind the Tentacle curtain, written mostly by Bev...

25th June 2017
We are still on holiday in the fabulous Greek island of Lesvos. Woken early by barking dogs and crazy crowing cockerels, wandering down to the turtle pool, near the sea's edge. The freshwater turtles who live there are quite unlike the stately sea turtles of the Caribbean. These Lesvos turtles are small and compact, like the tortoises that were popular garden pets in the 1970's. As you approach, the bolder turtles will swim out of the reeds and hold position in the middle of the pool, showing just their eyes and nostrils above the water. Their shells are beneath the surface, their flippers move slowly. Their beady eyes remain steadily fixed on you. The birds are singing, the sun is shining. Time and the turtles hang suspended.
They are watchful, but not impatient, and if they don't like the look of you, they may swim away again. We will manage perfectly well without your lumps of stale bread, thank you. But when I toss a few chunks into the water, their air of cool detachment is gone; the bolder turtles snatch the nearest chunk, and paddle excitedly to the bottom of the pool to gulp down their prize. Soon, by a series of crafty bread throws, I bring the turtles ever closer to me. The shy ones hang back, but the bolder turtles venture to the rocky edge of the pool. They stomp foward on sturdy flipper feet, and chomp their beaky mouths in expectation of the next morsel. Soon the shy ones find their courage, and there's a throng of turtles on the rocky shore. Once the bread is gone, they'll give me a long steady look, before stomping away to get on with their day.
The next time I come, whether it's tomorrow or in five year's time, they will pretend they don't remember me. And once more, with a show of aloof dignity, they'll coax me to the water's edge, and accept my bread as tribute.

But I'm getting distracted, musing on the timelessness of turtles. I meant to quickly tell you about the Tentacle Studio mobile phone. After an unscheduled plunge into water, it was dripping wet and totaly dead. I nearly binned it straight away, was sure it was past repairing, but I took it to the Lesvos phone shop just in case. The lady said the tech guy would be in soon to have a look at it. We will phone you immediately and let you know. Three days later, no word from them, so I popped in the shop. And saw our phone, sitting untouched on the shelf. Don't worry, he'll be in this afternoon for sure the lady says. Hmmm. So I idly picked it up, and guess what? It's working! All it needed was three days on a shelf in the hot sun. I remember the old saying; good things come to those who wait.

17th June 2017
So, having dispatched all our current commissions and orders, a couple of days ago we headed off to the beautiful Greek Island of Lesvos for a few days of relaxation. But it seems that relaxation was not on the cards: there was a small earthquake, and Bev managed to drop the Tentacle Studio mobile phone in the water! While the earthquake (5.3 on the richter scale) didn't do much damage in our area- just a few loose rocks tumbled from the edge of the Molyvos castle- the same is not true of the Tentacle Studio phone! So for the next couple of weeks, if you need to contact us, please call Mike's mobile on the number below!

Phone enquiries: (during European office hours)
US and Canada: 011 31 650 578694
International: +31 650 578694
Netherlands: 06 650 578694

18th May 2017
We just made these furry panda heads to help IT company Dropbox celebrate their 10th anniversary. Thanks to Nikki Braume for organising the event, and sharing the photos.

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29th April 2017
Continuing the theme of furry animals with teeth, we made some more wolf heads this week!

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17th April 2017
We finished making all the bears! They are waving goodbye and heading to their premiere in Athens.
For more info: 'Phobiarama'

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13th March 2017
In the Studio this month, we are making 10 realistic bear costumes for 'Phobiarama'. Co-commissioned by Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, and Holland Festival, 'Phobiarama' is an art installation in the form of a sinister fairground attraction. Here's the idea... Phobiarama is Dries Verhoeven’s latest ‘living installation’, which depicts a society obsessed with safety and perfection. Politicians, marketers and terrorists make good use of our alert state of being. Visiting Phobiarama will be an immersive excursion into our contemporary culture of fear". The premiere of the attraction is in Athens, then by June it's in Amsterdam.

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10th Feb 2017
Another big head! Our newly made pilot touched down in New York last week, and was soon surrounded by adoring fans - oh, the glamour of a uniform! Click here to see him in action.

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14th Jan 2017
Here is some of our recent work. The giraffes are now available in our shop, the paper masks and the clouds were custom commissions.

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4th Jan 2017
Happy New Year everyone! We just took a trip to the National Archaeological Museum in Leiden, (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). Here are a few of the photos we took. Everything is Egyptian, except the gold lion, which is Iranian. The museum has some fabulous sculptures, both human and animal. Inspiring stuff.

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Egyptian animal statues Egyptian statues

29th December 2016
Well, as it’s the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about renewal. I read somewhere that the cells in our bodies are constantly replenishing themselves, at the rate of millions per second, and there are between 50 and 75 trillion cells in your body. Yet, despite all this frantic renewal, you don't ever get to be an entirely new person - for example, you get just one set of brain cells at birth, and very few of them are ever replaced. However, your brain does have the ability to evolve, by making new connections in the neural network between brain cells. These new connections are formed when you see and do unfamiliar things.

My own life has evolved in more ways than I could ever have hoped for. When I was five, if you'd told me I’d eventually live in a ‘foreign’ country, and be creative every day, I would have literally jumped for joy (I was a bouncy child- give me some good news, and I'd be hopping about happily for hours). But the point I’m trying to make here is, at the age of five, I couldn’t guess what I would achieve, and almost everything I did was new to me. But as we get older, it’s tempting to stick to the old tried and tested formulas, and not reach out for the new stuff.

So in the last few months, Mike and I have made a conscious effort to move forward with Tentacle Studio, and also evolve in small ways personally. We've been to some great art exhibitions, museums, music gigs and festivals, and each one has given us a fresh perspective. I’ve started wearing nicer clothes to work, and -apart from the odd paint splash mishap!- this makes me feel happier. We are designing a whole heap of new items for our webshop too, and re-organising the workspace. And boy, that really needs doing, at the moment the workshop looks like a furry glitter bomb exploded in there!

This year, we also decided “No more bad clients”. Now, I don't mean you, gentle reader, but you’ll recognise the sort: they don’t know what they want, they want it yesterday, and they want it cheap! So generally cutting out the crap has reduced our stress considerably, and made us appreciate how many lovely clients we do have. So I’m feeling very hopeful about the New Year 2017. Apparently, by the time you have finished reading this sentence, 50 million of your cells will have died and been replaced by others. I feel, if my body can do all that work to renew itself, I owe it to my brain to get out there and do new stuff too, and give it some fresh neural pathways to work with!

Below is a picture of us from last week, at the Midwinter festival of Castlefest. We are both wearing new hats (and looking slightly bonkers, but never mind). Here's wishing you a very healthy and happy year in 2017!
Bev Shalts Mike Petty Castlefest winter 2016

18th November 2016
We created these horse heads for a production of Equus, at Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois, USA. I love the passion and euphoria in these photos!

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25th October 2016
We've just finished this totally bonkers Halloween costume. The concept was "Let's make a sea monster that opens up like it was a dirty mac flasher." And then it just grew weirder... I think our brains got infected with a dose of Hieronymus Bosch! The monster includes a real time voice changer, extendable feelers that squirt water, and multicoloured glowing eyes. Here the photo flash cancels out the eye effects, but by night, it looks fabulously spooky.

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24th October 2016
Ooh, we just got featured on a popular New York blog! "My One Beautiful Thing"

17th October 2016
It's the usual Halloween madness at Tentacle Studio this month, but over in Belgium life is slow and easy, and the sun is shining! The band Bhaaloo just finished this lovely video, featuring a bear costume we made. It was filmed on one of the hottest days this summer, yet it has a wonderful, chilled out feel. Take a look!

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20th September 2016
When Rozie and her bride to be Ellie approached us to make a pair of dinosaur costumes for their "Steampunk and Dinosaurs" wedding, what else could we do but agree?! They had great fun getting married in the costumes, then frolicked around Bristol being fierce and awesome! The lovely photos were taken by Joss Widdowson Photography.

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3rd August 2016
Bev upstairs in the studio yesterday, making a couple of 'flower bears' for a client's wedding.

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31th July 2016
Satan's White Wings. We made these for the "Poets in Autumn" tour.
See their short Video trailer (scroll down their webpage to find it). And if you're in the US, you can experience the full, powerful performance live on stage during their 2016 US Tour. Dates and venues can be found here.

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24th July 2016
When we were asked by designer Sophie Goto to create a "slightly monsterish donkey head" that can magically fly off on stage for a theatre in Japan, we were initially a bit perplexed. Our standard donkey heads are a best seller on Etsy- and they're a big hit in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream. But "slightly monsterish"? that seemed a hard concept to grasp, as to our mind, things are either monsterish, or they're not - in the same way that it's impossible to be a little bit pregnant. However, we chatted with Sophie, and eventually came up with a donkey patchworked in different faux furs, with a big cheezy grin. And the flying off on stage? No problem. Take a well placed fairy and a length of super thin fishing wire, and hey presto, the magic of theatre!

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Photos © Masa's Eye Photo.

15th July 2016
Phew! It's airless and sticky here in the studio, the sun is blazing hot outside. Our windows and doors are propped wide open, but there's no breeze to catch. It's the sort of weather where you pray for a thunderstorm, but it just won't come. But to look on the bright side, any paint is dry in about two minutes, and we have a great incentive to take finished orders to the post office - there's a fabulous ice cream parlour right next door!
We've been doing some really interesting work, and last month we took time out to do some travelling, so life's not been too shoddy chez Tentacle. On a more sober note, we've been watching aghast at all the changes that have swept over the UK in the wake of the recent Brexit vote. Both Mike and I are English, but have been living 'abroad' in Europe for many years, so we're anxious to see what changes will come. But at the moment, there's no sense in worrying, when all we can do is wait and see. So the sun is shining, and I think we are due for another trip to the post office...

We've just finished yet another big paper mache head portrait, this time of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. She'll be used for a 'rough and tumble' TV gameshow, so she has moving eyes, and her tiara is made from flexible foam. Oh, the glamour!

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20th May 2016
It's been very hectic this last month, hardly time to snap a photo of the things we've been making before they are whisked away to the customers. The camera is bursting with images that I haven't downloaded yet, but here's a photo from the UK news of the David Cameron head we created, lobbying outside the Houses of Parliament.

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8th April 2016
We made this papier mache big head of David Cameron for a lobby group in the UK. And we made this big head a big hat!

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23rd March 2016
Russell "The Gilbot" Gilbert (aka Bev's boyfriend) models the robot costume we made for an international technology company. And there's the robot in his new home with Marketing Manager Celine Duinsbergen. Next step… world domination!
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5th March 2016
Bear on the stair! One of our pandas tries on a new hat before heading out to a customer in Japan. Suits you sir!

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26th February 2016
I'm glad to be back in the studio again after 3 weeks of proper, lying in bed groaning flu. Not just a sniffle!
Thankfully all the orders this week are nice 'sitting down' jobs - handy table top sized items, with reasonable deadlines, and no manic last minute rushes. Once finished, these orders will be headed out to customers far and wide. Teddy bear heads for a music video in New York, chess hats for the Broadway musical NERDS, glittering horse masks for a client in Slovenia, and a pair of masks which will serve as totems for a writer in London!

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3rd February 2016
Customers Jim and Javier just sent these lovely photos of them wearing the animal heads we made at a Mardi Gras party in Texas!

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20th January 2016
It's try on time for Tentacle teddy bears...

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3rd January 2016
It's been a funny few months. Hectic Halloween, super speedy November, then bang! Into December, and suddenly the brakes go on, it's the quietest Christmas ever. So we had a nice long rest and got all snuggly and relaxed. Now the New Year starts, and Whoosh! Orders and enquiries are popping up from all over. Is this sudden rush or orders due to New year's resolutions? New year's budget? Who knows! But it's nice to see so much optimism about. Happy New Year everyone!

21st December 2015
Our Beast gets the Beauty treatment before going on stage with The Chelmsford Ballet Company. Photo © The Chelmsford Ballet Company.

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18th December 2015
This week we're running hither and yon, juggling last minute jobs in the run up to Christmas. A flower headdress, some corporate logos, a unicorn, a bear, and we're making this light up wand and crown for an Ice Queen to lead a Winter Parade. We're boring tiny holes in acrylic snowflakes to accomodate LED lights. There's a smell of burning plastic, and the drilling vibrates through your head like being at the dentist… oh, the glamour!

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22th November 2015
We are making lots of animal masks this week, and some large black wings for an ad campaign in Australia!

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4th November 2015
Still crazy busy here, even though Halloween is past! There's usually a slight down turn in orders after Halloween... time for some sleep, maybe even a day off...haa, not this year baby! In addition to the usual custom orders, we're getting more and more orders for our 'ready to wear' items in our Etsy and Amazon shops.
So there's just time to post one of the weirdest Halloween costumes we made this year, the wolf spider. With wiggling legs, darting tongue, and a built-in electronic voice changer, he's one long legged beastie you wouldn't want to meet on a dark night!

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wolf spider Halloween insect costume made by Tentacle Studio

10th October 2015
Oh my goodness, it's that dark time of year again - the time of furtive desires and desperate pleadings. Is it the end of the world? It feels like it might be for some tormented souls. It's the time when the worst nightmares of unwary party goers sneak up and bite them; the nightmare that they won't have a good Halloween costume!

Every year at this time we're bombarded with a maelstrom of emails and phone calls, from people pleading for costumes. We do what we can to help, and this year we can help a bit more that usual, because we have a number of ready-to-wear masks available on Etsy. We made them in the calm and quiet of last January, when the stress and clamour of the annual Halloween madness was just a distant memory. Since January, these masks have been patiently waiting in our stock cupboard, and now their moment has arrived.

This week, some people are so panicked they can't even write whole sentences - they just email "Need black wings now" or the (slightly more polite) "Bear costume please"! This contrasts sharply with our saintly band of regular customers, who, a week after Halloween, email their thanks for that year's costume, and then immediately book us for next year's creation. I love that they are so organised! And I must admit, I'm a little envious too. I'm one of those people whose deadines creep up on them. Life always gets in the way. Whilst I'm ace at getting other people's costumes ready on time, things I make for myself always happen at the very last minute, held together with pins and glue. I'm the runner-for-the-bus and the eternal last-minuter.

Sometimes I get downhearted. Maybe things were not as good as they could have been, would have been better if I'd lavished more time and money on them. Some costumes would certainly have looked better if I was a bit slimmer! But then I realised: the super organized costume genius and the swift and shoddy thrower-togetherers have one thing in common; we don't just talk about it, we do the thing, we go to the party. So my plea to you is, about costumes, and about life in general, even if it won't be as perfect as you dreamed it would be, do what you can, and enjoy the party. You can always do it better next year!

5th October 2015
Our Bacteria costumes are finished! Made for a biochemical company who create purification systems, these mad mascots are set to travel to exhibitions and conferences all over the globe.
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29th September 2015
Our client, Diego Voltini - a magician and designer of fabulous stage shows in Italy- has just shared his latest showreel. It features many of the masks and costume pieces we've created, all flashing past in an exciting colourful blur!

17th September 2015
We were asked to create this set of cottontails for a shopping centre in Eindhoven, to celebrate it's 15 year Jubilee. I think the shoppers were a bit bewildered, but the bunnies were happy enough!

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16th September 2015
We've made some funny things in our time, but bacteria costumes? This is a first for us! Our customers Paques BV make purification systems for water, gases and air, using biotechnology. They came to us wanting some eyecatching and friendly costumes for an international trade show. Now biotechnology can be a bit of a dry subject, but we reckon these cultured cuties will create a splash in any gene pool!
Here are the costumes in progress.

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8th September 2015
It's been a busy month here at Tentacle Studio, and we've been working away in the sweltering heat, fuelled by a diet of ice cream and lollies. The camera is bursting with a load of photos that there's no time to post, and the work schedule is totally packed for the next couple of months. A quick sit down feels like a holiday!
Before I put my nose back to the grindstone, I just wanted to post a new link to our Etsy shop: there's lots of our new designs in there, and buying one of the items that we have in stock will be your swiftest way to getting your hands on some of our work.

10th August 2015
Simon Cowell's big head mask is finished, and he'll soon be smarming his way over to the TV studio to shoot the pilot of a new British comedy game show called 'Big Heads'.

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6th August 2015
This witch mask and a whole hoard of mice were created for a performance of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' in Australia, and we just got some sunshine in an email from down under… "Thank you SO much. The headpieces are absolutely perfect!!! Postage was very, very fast!!!! Wow! I'm very impressed. Thank you!!!"

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5th August 2015
Our donkey mask gets some attention from the fairies! We created these headdresses for A Midsummer Night's Dream theatre show at The International School of Amsterdam. Thanks to photographer Frankie Rees and director Ken Baldino for the photos and a fun night at the theatre. Photo © Frankie Rees.

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25th July 2015
The Simon Cowell head we're sculpting is coming along nicely...

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22th July 2015
Interesting that Amazon will soon launch a 'Handmade' marketplace, selling artisan made goods. We've been asked to join. They're following the very successful -and recently floated on the stock market- Etsy. While their commission fees for vendors are high: 12% as opposed to Etsy's 8% (including Paypal fees) Amazon's such a big player, it has to be worth a try. If Amazon ever decide to get into pay per view cute kitten videos, or porn, they'll have the whole internet sewn up!
Amazon Marketplace

22th July 2015
Mike is in the early stages of creating a lifelike big head of Simon Cowell, comissioned as part of a new TV game show. Aside from the obvious need to make a good likeness of the star, we're juggling questions like: how big should the teeth be? Simon's well know for his pearly whites, but if we fill the mouth with teeth, the contestant can't see out of the mouth. Can they knock the head off on camera without breaking someone's neck? Can they run up a ladder wearing it? If the pilot show goes well, can we produce another 60 heads immediately? That's entertainment... a sure way to get your blood pressure raised!

simon cowell big heads made by Tentacle Studio

17th July 2015
The gold coffin mask for the Museum of Wigan Life is finished, and we're very pleased with the result. It's uncanny how those eyes seem to follow you around the room!
The exhibition is already getting great reviews, so if you're in the Wigan area, we recommend you step back in time, and mingle with some pharoahs. Photo © Museum of Wigan Life.

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12th July 2015
We've just read a great Quora post by Jonas Mikka Luster. He's speaking about being a chef, but we have the same feeling about our own work!
"We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't enjoy the shit out of it.... We love to be the ones in the back who, unseen and unheard, will make you happy, smiling, and sometimes even get you laid. We're compersive. Compersion means to find enjoyment in the enjoyment of others. We're not just happy about you spending money, we're happy because you are happy." And that's the way we like it!
See Jonah's complete post here

9th July 2015
This month we are replicating one of the most treasured antiquities in the Museum of Wigan Life - a 3000 year old Egyptian coffin mask. Hopefully our Egyptian mask will turn out better than the disasterous Nefertiti replica shown in Egypt last week. Oh, that was ugly! See it here.
Anyway, here's our own Egyptian mask in progress, complete with real gold leaf.

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4th July 2015
Photo from the Chelmsford Ballet Company of the Mouse King head we made for The Nutcracker ballet last year. They've just comissioned us to create a wolf head for this year's Little Red Riding Hood.

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8th June 2015
And finally it was finished... After lots of obsessive stitching to make the details 100% authentic, this Coldstrem Guard's uniform is ready to march into the courier's van, and off to Milwaukee to the studio of artist Marc Sijan, where he'll be incorporated into a sculpture. Then, ironically, the sculpture is going to London, to stand guard in an art exhibition at the Opera Gallery. I think, with all his formality, pomp and circumstance, he's going to look marvellously incongruous in an art gallery.

Lots of other stuff going on with us too, including trying to quickly snap photos of our feather headdresses for inclusion in our Etsy Shop. But the background on this photo is way too confusing, so I guess we do need to haul out all the proper photographic lights and background and do it properly after all. Dammit!

bev-prog

6th June 2015
Donkey mask and Warthog costume in progress. We can't move for livestock this week...

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28th May 2015
Bev caught doing some handsewing at home when she's supposed to be relaxing...It's an authentic Coldstream Guard's uniform (one of those soldiers who stand guard outside Buckingham Palace). Good heavens, there's so much fiddly detail and insignia, it feels like it will never be finished! We are creating it for an artist's life-sized human figure, to be exhibited at the Opera Gallery in London. Of course, we've made a big furry (faux) Bearskin hat to match as well. Photo © Russell Gilbert.

costume maker Bev Shalts

22th May 2015
The Steampunk 'piggyback' costume we made is finished! Alex and the costume are now performing around Europe. To book him at your event, contact: Alex Helmers.

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15th May 2015
We are making a 'piggy back' costume for Alex Helmers Entertainment, and this is the final fitting. It's great fun to work on… but, oh boy, a real technical challenge! First you need to sculpt the body, arms and legs, then create unique patterns for all the oddly shaped clothing. Luckily, Alex is super nice to work with, and 'works' the costume to good effect. Steampunk accessories, wig, and top hat will finish him off nicely. Check out the back view - cute eh?! We're looking forward to seeing it in action!

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6th May 2015
Elizabeth and Guy Pelly wear our unicorn and horse heads to a glittering party in New York. Photos appear in Vogue, The New York Post and the Wall Street Journal! Photo © Hannah Thomson for American Vogue.

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Photo © Allan Zepeda for The Wall Street Journal.

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Photo © New York Post.

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4th May 2015
We travelled down to South Nederland, on the German Border today, to deliver the 'Wishing Tree' we made to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the Dutch Liberation Museum (National Bevrijdingsmuseum 1944-45). The tree soon filled up with maple leaves, commemorating fallen Canadian servicemen and women.

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The wishing tree takes shape in our workshop, with absolutely no help from Dino the dog. Dino took great delight in slyly nicking branches every time our back was turned and gnawing on them like crazy. And then he'd give us a sweet little "Who, me?" innocent look, while standing over a pile of soggy wood pulp covered in dog spit...Mmm, so loveable!

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18th April 2015
We've just completed this floating sculpture maquette for a major European property developer. The life-sized version of the sculpture is sure to bring tranquility to the foyers of their letting apartments in Berlin, London etc. This follows on from the mad orange spacesuit we created for them a couple of months back!

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25th March 2015
Some of the many costumes we've created for London Zoo, these are "The Butterfly Lifecycle".

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20th March 2015
Silhouette style mask heads we created for Oxfam's Novib campaign.

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14th March 2015
They're not real pencils! they're pieces of dowel we sharpened and painted to look like pencils. Each spike of the giant hedgehog we created is designed to be removable and have a note spiked onto it during team-building events.

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12th March 2015
Large eagle wings we created for the Falconry Department at the Zoo 'd Amneville, in France. When taking the photos we got a spontaneous chorus of "I Believe I Can Fly" sung to us by some passing teenagers on bikes!

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11th February 2015
The very purple frog we've been making is finished, and has hopped off to his new home at Purple Frog Systems!

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10th February 2015
Progress photos of a costume we're making for Purple Frog Systems. It's gonna be toadly awesome!

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5th February 2015
It's been in the pipeline for ages, but last week we opened our 'TentacleStudio' shop on Etsy, the international website that promotes handmade goods by independent, creative makers. And we've just heard our first Etsy customer's order has already arrived in New York. Hurrah for the internet!

29th January 2015
Canna Flower costume we created to be worn by an exhibitor at IPM Essen, the world's biggest flower and green sector show. The client loves her!
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23nd January 2015
Normally January is the quietest month for us; party animal customers have gone into their caves for a lie down, and corporate clients aren't launching new products. So we get to tidy up the post-Christmas glitter and paint-strewn bombsite of our studio, and put the taxman's paperwork in order in a relatively civilized way.
But this year it just hasn't let up! Maybe it's our 'new look' website (upgraded a couple of weeks ago) or maybe the world is thinking "Never mind the recession, let's just do it!" But whatever the reason, we're pleased that our work seems to be more in demand than ever.

Large character head of the Dutch Cabinet Minister Stef Blok, the first in a series we have been commissioned to make for a political pressure group to use during nationwide rallies and protest marches.
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stef blok giant portrait head stef blok minister bobble head portrait stef blok sculpture by Tentacle Studio hall of crimson king

10th January 2015
2015 has been a busy year so far! We kicked off the new year by re-vampting this website, changing the format, adding new new work and bigger, better photos. Hopefully (!) the site is now a bit simpler and easier to navigate around.

22nd December 2014
Thanks to Ty Atkins for these photos of our animal masks, taken in Dallas, just before they went on stage for "The Birth of the Promise" Christmas Musical at Potter's House. Ty says the show was amazing! Happy customers, Happy Christmas!

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16th December 2014
Standing tall... the finished giraffe mask!

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11th December 2014
Ooh, it's been a busy month, no time for typing! Despite the coughs and sneezes we've battled through to get everything despatched in good time. All pre-Christmas orders are done (phew!), and currently we are working on various performance projects, including a big batch of animal masks for Dallas, USA. Some photos of the beasts in progress...

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19th November 2014
Our work in the Christmas Window at Harrods. It's hard to tell scale in this photo, but it's all giant sized- the spinning top is a metre high...and it's actually spinning!

Harrods christmas window maker prop maker for harrods tentacle studio

15th November 2014
We've been working on something for the Dutch Government at the moment, a large sculpted figure for a public safety campaign. It's still under wraps until the campaign is officially launched, but here's a progress photo of the articulated robot hands and arms for the figure.

silver puppet robot hands

7th November 2014
We've just finished a nice commission for the theme park "Six Flags Over Georgia". In their Christmas show the dreams of two horses come true when each of them magically transforms into "Rudolph" – complete with reindeer antlers and shiny, red nose – which allows them help a friend in trouble. All together now. Ahhh...

rudolph reindeer deer headdress mask

9th November 2014
Fish and Penguin costumes we made for this year's Lord Mayor's Show, London. For the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers!

fish costume adult fish penguin parade canival costumes
fish penguin costumesfloat fishmongers lord mayor show

4th November 2014
Testing the panorama function of Bev's iPhone upstairs in the costume workshop. Oh boy, that table needs a tidy!

Tentacle studio costume making workshop

24th October 2014
Star Wars Imperial Walker (costume for a dog!) private commission for a customer in Arizona. Bet that dog eats Wookie steaks for dinner, even though they're a little Chewy...

star wars imperial walker dog costume maker

UPDATE!!!! 3rd Nov. Just got an email with this picture from the client, "Just to let u know. Leo won best costume. Thanks so very much." I'm sure Leo is smiling inside, he's just looking serious for the camera!

Star wars dog costume silver

23th October 2014
Monster bug costume, we created for a Halloween event. We did a quick video whist trying out the costume. Aaargh! see those scary monster legs wiggle!

  giant isopod insect bug costume maker

19th October 2014
Stunning photography for French fitness model Jess Vill's new calendar. Large angel wings by Tentacle Studio, photography by Salvador Pozo (www.salvadorpozo.com, www.malephotography.eu), modelled by Jess Vill (www.jessvill.com).

large black wings man fallen angel  man fallen angel large black wings

14th October 2014
Zebra heads finished- we're very happy with them, and so is the client!

zebra head mask headdress

11th October 2014
We've been meaning to add a new mask to our 'ready to wear' range for simply ages, but we've been so busy with other commissions it just never happened. But we were asked by stylist Sjors Mercx to create 4 masks for a TV ad. (for smoked sausage!) that's about to be filmed in Maastricht. We're still in the prototyping stage, but I bet you can guess which animal it's going to be!

zebra animal mask head

26th September 2014
It's been an eclectic, hectic week...the giant spinning top for Harrods is getting it's first coat of glitter, we've just finished the staff uniforms for London's big Star Trek convention, and two bear heads for a new Lipton's advert. Klingons and glitter and bears, oh my!

Klingon star Trek Costume makers bear head mask makers harrod christmas window prop maker

8th September 2014
What a cracking weekend! There was a massive firework display over our local lake- fire and light in the sky, and their shimmering reflections in the water. Fabulous! Photos by Russell Gilbert.

photo russell gilbert photo by russell gilbert photo by russell gilbert photo by russell gilbert photo by russell gilbert

1st September 2014
Christmas is coming - and it's already snowing at here at Tentacle, as flurries of soft white polystyrene fall from the lathe! We're creating a giant glittering top that will whirl away the festive season in Harrods' Christmas window.

Harrods window prop makers giant spinning top

23rd July 2014
Our work on stage at the Milkshake Festival. Nice eh?!

Milkshake festival props giant tea pot

18th July 2014
Tea vs. Milkshake - Tentacle Studio takes the biscuit!!
Just finished this giant teaset for the Milkshake Festival in Amsterdam. First we deliver it to the Festival site, then we're taking the afternoon off - the picnic blanket is packed with cucumber sandwiches, cakes and other tasty treats. Today everything stops for tea!

giant tea pot teaset cups  saucers  party

17th June 2014
Summer time, and the lovin' is squeezy!
Furry fun as our animal costumes get happy hugs from Festival goers around Europe. Photos © Sue O'Donohue and Nhar Entertainment.

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26th May 2014
Maleficent Wings- Finished and ready for the Premiere of Disney's Maleficent film in The Netherlands. Bev couldn't quite manage to look malevolent for the photo, but settled on giving the camera a serious look!

Maleficent large black gothic wings

22nd May 2014
Giant wings in progress for the Dutch premiere of the Disney film 'Maleficent'. The finished look will be all sucked in cheekbones and gothic darkness, but Bev couldn't resist having a quick flap round the car park!

big black evil wings gothic

5th May 2014
Summer is coming, and we're basking in the sun outside the studio at lunchtime! Inside the studio, we are making a big fur coat and a hot water bottle for a UK energy company's new Autumn TV campaign. Cosy! :)

hot water bottle costume tv advert tv energy advert costume giant hot water bottle costume

29th April 2014
Just finished a smiling donkey head for Academy of Ballet Arts in California. He'll soon be trotting through their Midsummer Nights Dream. Also making a Fabulous jewelled Puss in Boots character with full costume, mask, and of course big, buckled boots! For a restaurant complex of the same name near Amsterdam. Animals are us!

30th March 2014
Finished!The giant hiking boot is just about to be loaded in the van and delivered to the Responsible Business conference at the Barbican Centre, London.

giant hiking boot shoe carbon footprint prop decoration sculpture

25th March 2014
Mike's roughing out the basic shape for a giant hiking boot that's bound for an exhibition at the Barbican. It's snowing polystyrene in the workshop as the fall out from the carving gets everywhere!

giant hiking boot shoe

10th March 2014
After 10 years in our old workshop, we are making the move to upgrade our facilities, and have just signed a new lease for a big, bright workshop at the heart of the thriving business park, not far down the road from our old place. There are just a couple of projects we need to complete before moving, and have already started packing boxes. But oh, so many boxes! At last count we had 65 banana boxes filled with just fabric. Aargh!

17th February 2014
Behind the scenes at the Flyzone Photo Studio, Science Museum, London. Our Biggles costume is readied for take-off, with our Spacesuits in the background. Up up and away!

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2nd February 2014
We were very excited to find our horse masks featured in Yahoo News Photo of the Day! We made these horse heads for the Chinese New Year Celebrations in Sydney, Australia. It's the year of the horse, of course! Photo © Jason Reed/ Reuters.

horse head masks headdresses chinese new year 2014 white horse mask  Sydney

29th January 2014
I've just noticed that the City of Sydney, Australia has used some of the horse masks we sent them (for the forthcoming Chinese New Year Parade) on the home page of their website!

horse head masks city of sydney new year parade 2014

23rd January 2014
We're creating a whole menagerie of jungle creatures, for a touring theatre production of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle book. The brief from the show's producer was, "We DON'T want Disney style. Not cute. Make them look real... but remember this is a children's show!" These are definitely animals with attitude.

jungle book mother wolf headdress costume shere khan jungle book realistic tiger costume headdress jungle book tabaqui jackal headdress costume

17th January 2014
It all started when we answered the phone to a lovely but slightly stressed chap whom urgent needed a large bejewelled 'Oryx' mask, to be delivered to the Arabic state of Qatar in just a few day's time. After a calming chat, we assured him that this sort of thing was all in a day's work for us... so we set to, Bev sculpting the head, Mike twisting the distinctive horns that characterise the Oryx (a type of African antelope). There were jewels, there was glitter, and just a touch of swearing when the glue wasn't drying as fast as we'd like! But finally the head was finished, just in time. Phew.
After a mercy dash to the airport with the finished head, and a well-earned sit down with a cup of tea, we faced the glitter-strewn wreck of our workshop, and started to tidy up! And then we're usually on to the next job with never a backward glance. Although we do get photos and 'thank you' emails, it's often the case that clients (especially the big city ad firms that we often work for) are just too busy to let us know how they got on with what we've made. So it's a case of 'no news is good news'- if we don't hear of a problem, I guess they liked it!
So it was a nice surprise when Neil of Globestar Management (for that was the stressed client's name) took the time to text when the head arrived at the International Conference Centre in Qatar "It is there and client loves it. A million thanks xxxxx" He also sent a lovely thank you card (complete with sequins that echoed the glittery glamour of the head!) and this photo of the Oryx head taken at the event rehearsal in Qatar. I like the fact that you can see men in traditional Arab dress in the background! A last minute job that turned out magnificently. Sometimes I love my job :) Photos © Neil Armishaw Globestar Management UK.


jewelled oryx  animal mask qater event

28nd December 2013
This week they're having lots of fishy fun at Goatsbridge Trout Farm, with the scintilating trout costume we made for them. Seen here with Ireland's biggest chat show host Ryan Tubridy, there's plenty to smile about- they've just won a well-earned award for business innovation.

goatsbridge farm trout fish costume

2nd December 2013
Soooo busy this month! For our regular client Inspiration Point, we are making singing mermaids, Roman warrior women, and even a boat! All for their spectacular new dinner theatre extravaganza set in ancient Rome. No photos of these yet... it's all under wraps til their show opens on the 18th December. We are also working on a wonderful production of The Jungle book for the UK biggest touring theatre company, and here's a photo of Shere Khan the tiger in progress.

shere khan tiger jungle book costume mask

29th November 2013
Chocks away! We've been flying high this month, with a big batch of costumes for London's Science Museum- the costumes will be used in an interactive photo project about the joys of aviation. We created Biggles costumes and full spacesuits, in every size from 'tiny tot' to 'man mountain', so if you're in London in the next few months, why not pop into the Science Museum, slip on one of our costumes and prepare for take-off!

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25th October 2013
Freaky fungi made for the amazing 'Amsterdam Spook' Halloween party. We used kite-making techniques; carbon fibre rods and ultra-light weight fabrics so the mushrooms, despite being 7 metres tall at full stretch, will magically fold away flat, but be ready to pop up large again for next year's party!

giant alice in wonderland mushroom puppets theme giant toadstool decoration for party giant puppets toadstool

20th October 2013
It's definitely Autumn now, the stormy weather outside is blowing the leaves from the trees, and whirling them all around the our workshop. We are currently knee deep in gore and gristle, making costumes and decorations for many Amsterdam Halloween Festival events around the city. But in sunny Los Angeles, Hap E Camper, the mascot we created for the Dixie RV company, is frolicking in the sun!



10th October 2013
Mask, helmets and armour we created for Riot Games at Gamescom 2013, the biggest video gaming exhibition in the world. This year we helped the organisers bring to life their most popular game characters, Pentakill, live on stage, playing hardcore metal music live to 340,000 hyped up, geeked out gaming fans. They rocked!
As the saying goes "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum."
Photos © H+H Photographics.

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9th October 2013
The large resin sculptures we created for Life B.V. in position on the exhibition stand in Brussels.

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20th September 2013
A deadly silver resurrection of the Terminator robot is striding through the advertising world, promoting a new type of... bed! To misquote Mr Schwarzenegger - "I'll lie back."

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11th September 2013
This spooky photo marks the end of today's photoshoot with the Fenec Fox head we made - the heavens opened and torrents of rain came from those clouds!

Fenec fox head fur realistic animal mask head

6th September 2013
Just playing around on Google Maps this month, we put together a few of the places we've delivered to recently!
Tentacle Studio: Worldwide Map of Clients

5th September 2013
The Hijack House crew from Antwerp are out and about again- this time they're wakeboarding in the DJ mask we made for them!

dj mask hijack house wakeboarding mystique

August 2013
Our Mr Prickles the hedgehog costume we created is now strutting his spikes on 3 new UK TV ads !

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26th August 2013
We created these fabulous turquoise and pink 'Bo Peep' wings for Melissa Leigh Morrison's appearance at the WBFF
(World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) competition in Las Vegas. Photo © Monique Kabel.

Victorias secret feather fitness glitter wings

10th August 2013
It's all very hush hush this month. We are just completing some giant battle armour and tattoed muscle bodysuits for a top secret event at Gamescom in Germany, the world's largest trade fair for interactive games. We could tell you the details, but then we'd have to kill you... that should be easy enough in the computer gaming world, where there's always plenty of ridiculouly large weapons to choose from - and we love the names of them; Warmogs, Bloodthurst, Athene's Unholy Grail, the Bilgewater Cutlass and Madred's Bloodrazor!

15th July 2013
This bright new version of Cats the musical, with colourful, innovative costumes and headdresses, premieres on the Isle of Man on August 5th. This headdress we created was used to great effect on the show poster! Photo © Taylorian Productions.

cats musical wig maker Victoria custom madeheaddress

2nd July 2013
Introducing our Mr Prickles, who is about to star in a new UK TV advert for car insurance. He's possibly the world's first hitchhiking hedgehog!

hedgehog costume head animal mask mrs tiggywinkle

Created for Dj Mystique in Antwerp, we brought the signature character of his Hijack House Music gigs to life.
Coming soon to a club near you, dude!

June 2013
We made this stilt-walking Ganesh costume for the Emporium Festival. This year's Festival theme was "Colours of India". Have you ever seen an elephant lookin' more fly?

Ganesh hindu indian elephant god costume mask

May 2013
All 3 figures in the Company's head office, just about to depart for Brussels!

iant fresin fibreglass sculpture display advertising exhibition
Life BV
Sculpted figure for Europe's Largest Property Exhibition, Realty, in Brussels.
We're currently working on two more figures for the same client.

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March 2013
Giant Heads For Delta Airlines
We've just finished these character mascot heads for Delta Airline's new international commercial campaign. Love the pilot's glasses!
Custom-made giant heads with your own branding etc are now available in the Tentacle Studio shop.

Tentacle Studio Button

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giant bobble head big mascot character realistic Delta

December 2012
New Designs for Fetish Nocturne Couture
After many months of hard work, the sassy latex garments we created for the Fetish Nocturne Couture company are finally out there! Below is just a screen grab, but you can see (and buy!) the gorgeous designs at the new interactive website...
Can you spot the poodle in this photo ?! FetishNocturneCouture.com

Fetish Nocturne Couture latex rubber clothing makers Tentacle Studio
Photo @ TommyO.

November 2012
Meiomi Wines, Nappa Valley, California
We just finished making Bruno the giant grizzly bear, who will be used for promotional events in the vinyards of Meiomi Wines. Wearing a bear costume might be thirsy work in the hot Californian sunshine, but luckily they'll be plenty to drink at the winery!
Photo on the right shows Bruno at a recent wine event, being kept in check by a friendly Park Ranger.

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November 2012
The X Factor ITV Television
We just finished 12 large headdresses with a chess theme for Uk's The X Factor. Here they are in action on TV!

masks hats giant chess set black white
Photo © Metro.

24th August 2012
Holiday on Ice 2012 - Speed.
The new ice extravaganza, for which we created many props, is now on the European leg of its successful world tour. Skaters, dancers and aerial artists from all over the world perform a show combining death defying stunts, burlesque, skating, dance and circus.


Speed Holiday Ice dance costume props maker

24th July 2012
Olympic Games- London.
We just finished a costume for Coca Cola's re-launch of their Vitamin Water at the beach volleyball Olympic event on 31st July.

July 2012
Lady Gaga wears Perspex crown custom-made by Tentacle Studio. Live in Australia!
Commissioned for Lady Gaga by designers 'Void of Course'.

lady gaga hat designer tour 2012 crown judas

20 May 2012
Ebony Bones headlines the BikiniTest Festival in Switzerland, with two of our glittering horse head masks!

Horse head mask stage ebony bones 2012

1 May 2012
Panda heads for Renault - we make another 10 Panda heads for the European launch of the Renault Twizy car.

Panda head mask for Renault twizy car

2011
KESHA ‘BLOWS’ AWAY AUDIENCE AT THE 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS. Ke$ha "Blows" away the audience at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, in Las Vegas.
Tentacle Studio created these red unicorn masks for Ke$ha's impressive performance at the Billboard Music Awards 2011, which critics agree was the highlight of the night! Watch the video below!

kesha billbord unicorn masks



And if you want to take a peek at what we are working on this week, see our Facebook page!
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