Tentacle Studio custom mask and costume makers
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We've been custom costume, mask and prop makers for over 25 years. This blog is a peek behind the Tentacle curtain, written mostly by Bev.

24th July 2020
Just finished this custom cookie mask for DJ Cockycookie. This quirky rebel mask perfectly portrays his wry humor. He quips that he'll take over Marshmello as the new food-based DJ!
cookie custom made DJ mask head Cockycookie made by Tentacle Studio Chocolate cookie custom DJ head mask maker Tentacle Studio Cookie custom fake food DJ mask maker tentacle studio

21st July 2020
Go for gold! This set of glittering accessories was created for a decadent fashion show with a horoscope theme. A lot of work went into creating them. Perfecting the ratios between the size and twist of the horned headdresses turned out to be a real brain-twister: we were knee-deep in prototypes before we suceeded! In addition to looking great everything needed to be ultra light weight, but very secure, to allow for some pretty wild dancing :)
Neptune mermaid armor armour gold crab claw made by Tentacle Studiogold ibex goat horns headdress goddess custom helmet by Tentacle Studio
We're very pleased with how they turned out, and we'll soon make more of these same designs, and have them available to buy via our website and Etsy shop.
gold scorpion handmade headdress helmet by Tentacle Studio custom gold ram horns headdress goddess helmet by Tentacle Studio
gold bull minotaur horned headdress helmet by Tentacle Studio

9th May 2020
Spot the serpent!!! Karina Aya Serpent and her python pal, put the feather headdress we created through it's paces! Photos by Paige Craig.

python snake dance feather headdress maker Tentacle Studio

27th April 2020
Adding to the hundreds of 'everlasting' hyacinth flowers from last month, now we're building an army of 'everlasting' tulips! Cut, glue, curl, heat and repeat...

handmade custom tulip flower costumes made by Tentacle Studio

29th March 2020
Well, the clocks went forward one hour today: hurrah for Springtime! It's a gloriously bright spring day, with just a nip of cold in the air. However, there's no one on the streets to enjoy it; they are all isolated at home. A quick trip out to buy bread, then back indoors. Shoppers seem tense, and very few people make eye contact.

But cosy at home, I'm happy to be doing something to keep my fingers busy, or I'd be going stir crazy. I've got a whole production line going, making hundreds of 'everlasting' hyacinth flowers. Cut, paint, glue, roll, heat and repeat... 900 times!

These fake flowers will be adorning a set of custom flower costumes and headdresses for Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, one of the biggest flower parades in the world. And when we've finished all the fake hyacinths, we start on the fake tulips, then the fake daffodils. Mike and I will be flower-making experts by the time this job is finished.

But there's no rush... this year's flower parade has sadly been cancelled, which is no suprise considering they normally attrach a whopping 800,000 visitors over the course of two days. The only bright side to this is we've now got plenty of time to finish the costumes: we can really go to town on the decoration, as they won't be needing them til next year's parade.

handmade custom fake flowers by Tentacle Studio handmade custom fake flower costumes makers Tentacle Studio handmade bloemencorso bolenstreek costume flower makers Tentacle Studio

20th March 2020
This rustic rabbit we created is celebrating Easter in Hamburg, Germany. Styling and photo: Christian Walmroth. It's funny to contrast this furry friend with our previous blog post; the Big Bowie head is different from the Easter bunny in every way! I love making such weird and wonderful things, for so many lovely, diverse clients.
We now have similar rabbit and hare heads in stock and ready to ship See our webshop for prices and ordering.
Fake fur brown hare rabbit bunny head mask for sale Tentacle Studio Ester bunny rabbit brown hare fake fur head mask Tentacle Studio

11th March 2020
We finally finished this commission for a Big Bowie head- with removable Ziggy Stardust face flash!
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio

The making process for the Big Big Bowie head, and for all our other custom-made paper mache heads is quite complex. First we take several days to sculpt a large portrait head in clay, then we create a plaster mould based on that.
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio

Next: the mould is filled with paper mache. We've improved on the traditional paper mache recipe, to create custom big heads that are waterproof, and extremely durable.
We use a high tech compound and a special type of art paper from the centuries old Canson paper mill in France. It has a facinating history, and has supplied paper to many famous artists, including Picasso! Once the paper mixture in the mould has hardened, it's taken out, sanded and painted.

David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio David Bowie Ziggy Stardust paper mache big head mask Tentacle Studio

Next we need to fit a head harness inside so that the big head stays secure. But it's a very frustrating process because your head needs to be perfectly aligned to see out through the big head's nose and mouth: there's a lot of tweaking and testing! Then comes the wig making. The wig for a big head is more than 4 times the size of a normal wig, so this also has to be totally custom made. Phew! To be honest, by the time it's done we are feeling pretty frazzled, but in the end we are very pleased with how Big Bowie turned out.

3rd Feb 2020
California checkmate! Our chess hats and breakdancing chessmen in Richmond last week. Check out their acrobatic extravaganzas! Earth Circus Productions on Instagram.


23th Jan 2020
Irish comedian Ger Carey is producing a new theatre show for kids about literacy, and needs a colourful, child-friendly costume with an alphabet theme. This character has to eat some letters during the show, so the egg's big smiling mouth is the perfect solution!

handmade alphabet letters handcut by Tentacle Studio kids alphabet custom mascot costume maker Tentacle Studio Alphabet mascot theatre custom costume maker Tentacle Studio Alphabet mascot theatre custom costume maker Tentacle Studio Alphabet Egg custom handmade costume maker Tentacle Studio Alphabet Egg custom kids theater costume maker Tentacle Studio

13th Jan 2020
We created these custom made fruit head masks, to launch a new product range for a brewery.

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10th Jan 2020
Happy new year!
The Sad Cato custom DJ head in his new music video.

custom DJ mask head maker Tentacle Studio

20th Dec 2019
It's the most Nutcracker time of the year! As usual, the run up to Christmas finds us creating Nutcracker heads for many different Ballet companies around the world. The most notable Nutcracker commission this year came from California's Santa Barbara Ballet, who asked us to custom-make a wearable, light weight head to match their much-loved Nutcracker doll that's been on stage with them for more than 40 years! We loved the happy, friendly character of the original doll's face, so it was great fun to sculpt this larger head for them.

nutcracker custom head ballet maker Tentacle Studio custom mask maker for ballet Bev Tentacle Studio vintage nutcracket ballet doll puppet maker Tentacle Studio custom mask maker

10th Dec 2019
Time was short, but we managed to finish this custom dancer's feather headdress in good time for Aya Serpent's mystical dance performance! Her dance group creates truly beautiful performance rituals. Her website gives you a good feeling for what she does, and is well worth a look: Aya Serpent Website.

custom made peacock feather aztec headdress made by Tentacle Studio custom aztec feather headdress maker Tentacle Studio

13th Nov 2019
We made this custom cat head for Chinese DJ Sad Cato, and there he is in the video!

Custom dj cat head helmet made by Tentacle Studio Custom dj head helmet for music videomade by Tentacle Studio

26th October 2019
Last week, we were feeling flush but exhausted after some well paid commissions. So on a whim, we took a trip to the ancient Greek island of Delos to see an exhibition by sculptor Anthony Gormley.
Delos has always been a very special place: inhabited since 3000 yrs BC, for millenia it was a famous port and holy sanctuary. It is also the legendary birthplace of Apollo. The island's extensive ruins include Doric temples, markets, an amphitheater, houses with mosaics and the iconic Terrace of the Lions statues. There's no airport or accomodation on the island. The best bet is stay on the neighbouring island of Mykonos, so that's what we did.

Delos greek stone lions photo by Mike Petty Mykonos Delos turquoise greek wooden boat photo by Mike Petty

I'd heard Mykonos is a mix of wealthy party people and a 'dream wedding' destination. So I expected the contrast between modern Mykonos and neighbouring ancient Delos would be quite eye-opening, and I wasn't dissapointed. Mykonos was unlike any other Greek island I've ever been to; in addition to hordes of young party people, the harbours are jostling with cruise ships and big yachts. This leads to a whole culture of golden bling jewellery, and rows of snooty restaurants with way too many beige scatter cushions and astronomical prices! At the old windmills (which is the main tourist photo op on Mykonos) any day you pass by, you'll find swarms of young women aged 15-25, all taking multiple selfies. Every day: different girls, same poses. Totally focussed on their screens; it was weird.

Delos museum 2019 ancient greek stone head with beard Delos Mykonos girls 2019 boat trip Delos marble head satyr 2019 Island opposites: Men from Delos, girls from Mykonos.

After 2 days of Mykonos madness and bling, Delos was literally a breath of fresh air; the Greek sunshine and the warm sea were as timeless as ever. The ruins span many centuries, and stetch over the whole island, so at every turn there was something new to explore.

Delos lions temple ruins photo by Mike Petty

Gormley's sculptures, which were dotted about the island, were sometimes dwarfed by the scale of their surroundings, but some of the more wistful ones; namely a lone figure gazing out to sea- really captured a spirit of eternity.

Delos gormley sculpture 2019

Back on Mykonos, we were determined to escape the bling of the town. We hired a car, and were delighted to find perfectly secluded beaches around every turn of the road. And plenty of typical tavernas, with ancient Greek grannies in the kitchen, making delicious home cooked food, and serving it with love. This holiday (or 'field trip' as Mike insists on calling it!) was full of contrasts; ancient and modern, calm and commercialism, ice cream and ennui.

Delos gormley sculpture temple ruins photo artist Mike Petty

However, since we got back to Amsterdam it's hardly stopped raining. Hard to believe my toes were tripping along warm sandy beaches just a few days ago!

Delos panorama 2019

Other blog posts:

2019 The Masked Singer

2018-2019 DJ 2 Hearts

2017-2018 Work for Dior

2015-2016 Dinosaur Wedding

2014-2015 Piggyback costume and the Ghost Tree

2011-2014 Harrods and Horses