Kabunza: Headquarters!

Kabunza has finally moved into it’s own headquarters!

We moved in last month and aside from putting up some room dividers (which I am hoping to do as soon as possible to section off our areas), we have pretty much settled in and made ourselves at home.

Our workshop and office is located in the heart of Swindon (the address can be seen on the Kabunza Facebook page, or you can message me and I will relay it to you) and is open most weekdays (depending on what events we will be attending) for visitors to come along and browse our current stock or even have a look through our leathers to order something custom to be made. I am also willing to give tuition at this location for anyone wishing to learn techniques from me privately.

Because we share a building with a kink friendly publishing firm, we have access to a lot of space, so with a little luck we will also be hosting a few workshops and events here (I have even been thinking about hosting a small but regular peer rope event). I will keep people posted about these through my Kabunza page on this blog as and when we plan them.

Of course, you will still be able to purchase our items through our Etsy shop, but now everyone has the added option of popping by the place where everything is made, having a look at our construction process and browsing through it all in person!

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Officially open to the public! Come along and check us out!

Photos courtesy of Dark Desires photography.
Photography by Dark Desires photography.
All images are copyright © Dark Desires photography

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Kabunza: Leatherwear

Since my last Kabunza post, I have created two more impact play sets: Relentless Midnight and Purple Haze. Both of which can be seen and read about on the Kabunza Blog.

However, this post is about all those leftover, fiddly, excess bits of leather that I end up with after producing a run of the aforementioned floggers. The parts that are just too small to make anything ‘hitty’ from. Sometimes these leather off-cuts are used in bracers or to embellish other historical reenactment armour, sometimes it is used in a custom or unique creation, sometimes it is used in my own pet projects or sometimes I just store it away in a box (because you never know when a specific bit of leather will come in handy). But I have never ventured into a permanent use for it because I have always been so preoccupied with our main ‘Metalwear‘, ‘Daywear‘ and Impact toys.

Last month, I  decided to have a little play with some, and I came up with a few new collar and restraint designs.

(Naturally including a tiny touch of our trademark Kabunza chainmail).

The latest range of collars and restraints: ‘Leatherwear‘ by Kabunza!

Because the amount of metalwork involved in making these newest of items is significantly less, they will be a lovely cheaper option for those who would like a stepping stone before moving on to one of our ‘Metalwear’ Collars.

I plan on creating many different styles and combinations, but here is a little peek at the examples that I have made to date:

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Kabunza: Chocolate Decadence

I had to do it sooner or later: The first matching set of BDSM impact play toys by Kabunza.

When I originally decided to start building a matching set, it was also going to include a matching collar, wrist and ankle cuffs, and a necklace for the Dominant that would have the key to the collar and cuffs as a pendant. Then I realised that the amount of cash I would end up needing to charge someone for all of that, and the matching toy collection as well, would likely be outside the range of a standard budget (not to mention incredibly hefty in materials and time consuming on my part).
So, despite being able to do it (who knows, I may get a custom order for such a set in the future), I decided to simply stick with a collection of impact toys.

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This first matching collection brings about the introduction of Dragon Tails into our range of BDSM products. Which, despite being one of the more difficult items to incorporate chainmail into, seems to have turned out rather nicely. I have personally tested the design and I am more than happy with the results. These things pack a thrilling sting, feel lovely in the hand and, at the same time, are very aesthetically pleasing.

Anyway, let us get down to the details:

“Chocolate Decadence” BDSM Impact play set:

This set consists of 5 items in total: A pair of Kabunza Poi Floggers, A pair of Kabunza Nunchaku Floggers and a Kabunza Dragon Tail.

Details of the “Chocolate Decadence” Poi Floggers:
These have a hefty total length of 28 inches from tip to tip. They give a wonderful “thuddy” experience.
Statistics:
18 inch European chocolate suede leather falls (1 centimeter in width).
5 inch length of solid bronze “Box Chain” weave chainmail (8mm rings) chain.
Black Italian goat skin leather Turks head embellishes.
European chocolate suede poi finger loops.

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Details of the “Chocolate Decadence” Nunchaku Floggers:
These have a hefty total length of 28 inches from tip to tip. Clearly a flogger for the discerning connaisseur. On an additional note: These floggers will never tangle due to the ball bearing swivel.
Statistics:
16 inch European chocolate suede leather falls (1 centimeter in width).
3 inch length of solid bronze “Box chain” weave chainmail (8mm rings) chain.
Black Italian goat skin leather Turks head embellishes.
8 inch Black ‘Chinese red oak’ wood Nunchaku handles with engraved, European chocolate suede leather embellished, grip.
Plated steel ball bearing swivel connection.

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Details of the “Chocolate Decadence” Dragons Tail:
The newest addition to the Kabunza arsenal: The Dragons Tail. With a flickable length of over 35 inches, this tail comes with a guaranteed sting which will, no doubt (we hope), be administered with love.
Statistics:
25 inch European chocolate suede tail.
10 inch handle containing a solid pinewood core, layered inside the leather of the tail (this is a single length of leather) to assure strength and have the added bonus of a very comfortable grip.
Embellished and strengthened further with solid bronze “European 4:1” chainmail and waxed black cotton cord.

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Why did I decide on the first set being something other than black? Because I wanted to do something different. Something a little ‘Steampunky’ and something that incorporated Bronze instead of the more commonly used metals.

Our aim as a business is (and always will be) to bring only the pinnacle of quality and craftsmanship to the table while also standing out from the crowd, avoiding the norm (even amongst the kink) and to be unquestionably unique.

I think this first matching set (of what will hopefully be many) pulls off all of those aspects rather nicely.

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The set has been given a name for a reason; this set is one-of-a-kind. I have no more of this type of suede leather and I doubt I will be getting any more bronze rings unless specifically requested for other custom creations.

It is now available for sale in our Etsy shop and I wish any potential buyers the best of luck in attaining it. Once it is sold, it will be incredibly unlikely that I will ever have the similar materials to build another.

Flogging workshop and first-time Kabunza trade stand at the BBB

Whenever I am asked to host a workshop, give tuition or give a demonstration, I always leap at the chance. It is incredibly rewarding and I truly believe that one of the best things anyone with a well practiced skill can do for the BDSM community is to pass on their knowledge to willing students safely. There are a lot of people out there who are reckless (even dangerous) but teach their activities anyway, (often simply to stroke their own egos) despite how unsafe it may be. It can sometimes be very confusing or even scary enough to put people off trying or learning new things. My recommendation to anyone taking advice from anyone on any BDSM activity is to do a little research into the competence of the person(s) giving out their information and also briefly on the subject matter in question (be it flogging, whips, shibari or any BDSM skill) using that magical tool: The internet. Trust me, for the safety of both yourself and those you play with, it never hurts to do a little research and anyone with real knowledge or skill will be apparent from the tat.

I tend to be very hands-on and interactive in my workshops; I like people to ask questions, I like people to talk to me about their own experiences so that I can explain or perhaps even learn something new myself (nobody ever stops learning) and I always try to get people out of their seats to physically practice anything I am trying to teach. Actual practice of any skill makes perfect and I think being able to actively talk people through and demonstrate safely as they are attempting new skills tends to alleviate a very large portion of simple first-time learning hiccups.

Having said that; I am happy to say that the flogging workshop at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar received some wonderful feedback and comments. It seemed as though everyone had a wonderful time and I cannot express how rewarding it is to watch people putting their new-found teachings into practice over the course of an event (having a room full of flying florantining floggers can be an incredibly fun thing to watch).

Even the lovely Mistress Victoria from Uberkinky (who was a pleasure to finally meet face to face) wrote a sparkling review of the experience, which you can read on her website blog: Here.

In response to the many people who have asked me to do some Youtube videos and tutorials: I do hope to get some made eventually, but it is finding someone who would be willing to film me and has decent enough equipment and software to do so. It will be done, it is just a question of time and expense (anyone wishing to participate in this kind of project, please feel free to contact me).

And to answer the question that so many people directed at me about my collection of floggers at the workshop: The straight handled floggers were from Jack’s Floggers, The ball handled floggers were from Jack’s floggers and Edgeplay and the majority of the floggers that you saw that evening (the poi floggers) were from our very own Kabunza Craftwerks (we do accept custom orders if you would like a personalised set made).

As well as the workshop, it was also Kabunza‘s first ever trade stand at the BBB. We received some wonderful feedback on our products and many people walked home with shiny new Kabunza collars, jewellery and floggers. We are gleefully looking forward to any possibilities of trading there again. The atmosphere and people at this event are simply awesome.

To sum up this post, I would just like to send out a few thankyou’s :

  • To the BBB market and after party organizers for offering us the opportunity to have our Kabunza trade stand represented at their event, for the ample support they gave us, for allowing me the honour of hosting a workshop for them and for their very encouraging and complimentary words throughout.
  • To everyone who made a purchase at the Kabunza trade stand. We know from all your lovely comments and appreciation photos that our hard work is going to good homes. We hope you get as much joy from them through their use and wear as we have had in creating them.
  • To everyone who attended the workshop. I hope everyone had fun (I know many did from the comments that I have received on Facebook and Fetlife but I never tire from hearing your thoughts and I am sure the readers of my blog would love to hear your comments if anyone would like to post any below).
  • To my ever diligent partner for pouring her blood, sweat and tears (three of my favourite things to squeeze out of her) into customising and altering almost every purchased Kabunza item at the event. She really worked hard.
  • To my Benjamin. Who, without him, none of the above would of happened and who embraced everything that I inflicted upon him at the workshop (and afterwards) with a delicious smile. As I have always said; “It takes two to play”, and in that respect I am always greatly appreciative of him and feel incredibly lucky to have him as my own.

More poi!

For the past two weeks, I have been dedicating myself to the process of building floggers for the up and coming events where I will be hosting trade stands for Kabunza (see my Events page for more details). June seems to be turning out as an incredibly busy month, hence why my blog has been feeling a little neglected.

I will be hosting a flogging workshop in Birmingham on Sunday the 16th June should people wish to have lessons or see our new creations in action (see my Events page for more details).

So for the time being; Here are some photos of finished Kabunza Poi Flogger sets. Some have already been sold, however, custom orders are currently being accepted: Pick the chainmail weave, pick the materials, pick the size, let us know.

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Introductions: Phobos & Deimos

A little under two weeks ago, Benjamin and I visited the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar and every time we visit; a look over a particular trade stand is mandatory: Jack’s Floggers.

Obviously, my collection of toys is quite vast. I have many. But, it should come as no surprise that the named items in my collection of BDSM weaponry are the items which are not only my favourites and have incredible sentimental value, but that which are also crafted to the insanely high quality which meet my exacting standards. My named items are actually quite few in number (comparatively speaking).

Jack’s Floggers created the majority of my named toys: Sasha & Tempest, Scylla & Charybdis, Pooky and now also Phobos and Deimos. He is possibly my favourite designer and creator of impact play toys.

In fact, the only named toy that I currently own that he has not created is Angele (which was originally created in 1933 by Vitalis and fully restored by Lisa from Bound2Tease.net).

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Phobos and Deimos are the latest additions to my arsenal of named beauties. Lovingly purchased for me by my Benjamin while mandatorily visiting Jack’s trade stand.

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Normally I have my custom items designed from Dymondwood, this set has handles which have been created from my second favoured choice: African Blackwood. The reason for such is because they were not originally custom designed for me, I simply fell in love with them upon sight.

Phobos and Deimos are what I normally refer to as ‘detached’ floggers. Which means that the falls are detached from the handle by a short length (in this case, a 3 inch detachment of platted leather followed by 16 inches of soft but heavy, full suede falls).

Named after the mythological twin offspring of the Greek god or war (Ares) and the Greek goddess of beauty (Aphrodite), Phobos (fear) and Deimos (dread) were said to accompany their father into battle (for my geeky readers: the two moons of Mars bear the same namesake).

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They pack quite a lovely thud. I am still applying treatments of moisturising cream to Benjamin‘s back to sooth the impact dehydration from that evening of public floggings (though I will admit that he received quite a lot of punishment that night).

Without a doubt: Worthy of their names. Thankyou my sweet Benjamin. I love them.

Concept & Design: Demonic cloven hoof / knee-high boot hybrid

One of the skills required to be a successful Dominatrix is imagination. Without being able to dream up scenarios, tortures, temptations and other sinful activities, a Dominant would not get very far at all. A moderate to high level of wit is a prerequisite to be competent in this kind of lifestyle or profession.

Even with my business: Kabunza, I dream up concepts and creation ideas on a daily basis to be crafted in our workshop.

Back in 2009, I came up with a design for creating a demonic cloven hoof/knee-high boot hybrid. My aim was to add to my already demonic looking persona by extending these features into my clothing. The majority of my clothing was already custom created and I have always preferred deviating as far from the mundane as possible, so this kind of eccentricity in clothing did not seem odd to me at all. I would still wear these if I could ever find someone to make them for me. I also realise the possible ponyplay applications of such footwear, but that is beside the point.

In 2010 one of my very talented artist friends came to live with me for a while, and it was during the course of her stay that we managed to sit down in front of her computer to create a visual representation of my concept. Her name is Linda Jones (formerly Linda Pitman) of www.sheblackdragon.com.

One night, after many glasses of a rather vulgar sweet brandy, we had the basic concept sketches saved to file (which managed to take up about 6 hours of an evening because of the alcohol fueled, sidetracking anecdotes and titllating conversation). We unsteadily motioned to bed at around 4 in the morning with vows to finish up the artwork on the following day, and sure enough, as expected, the next morning we spent a further 3 hours in front of the computer screen finishing up the design art; such is the pace at which we meandered during the course of the 6 month period that she lived with me.

So, because I have recently stumbled across the design amongst my archived files and photos, and because a lot of heart went into the artwork and concept (as well as a lot of expensive brandy), I have decided to publish the design to blog in the hope that one day someone skilled enough might build me a pair.

I will explain in detail each part of the concept: fitting, materials, design etc. But please be aware that I have never been a shoemaker or cobbler, so while I am fairly certain that the design would work and work well, it may still need tweaking in the material options or physical creation side of things.

The images have been watermarked for copyright but they should not get in the way of showing off the design.

Let us start at the base and work our way up to the finished concept. These two images below show the hoof cast part of the construction. The first is what the hoof cast would look like as the foot is slipped inside it and the second is a cut section showing where the foot fits inside the cast.

Aemilias cool demon boofs (hoof cast) copy

Aemilias cool demon boofs (cut section) copy

Basically what is needed is the base of a standard high heel boot (or shoe) with the heel removed and any material from the ankle upwards removed (an inner shoe). The hoof would be cast around this using acrylics or resin. Support is given to the heel using the same materials and would also create the main bulk of the hoof. The space between the outer hoof and the inner shoe would be filled tightly.

The outer hoof needs to be made from a hard material, but a softer and more comfortable material would be better for filling the gap between the outer hoof and the inner shoe. A silicone rubber or something similar would probably be optimal. It needs to be softer but also durable, heavy and quite solid to avoid the foot moving or rubbing on the inside the hoof. The space between the inner shoe and hoof would need to be filled completely and would likely need to be a tight fitting.

The base of the hoof would need a rubber plate or grip to make sure that when walking on a smooth surface such as concrete or hardwood floor, the wearer would keep their footing. Without any grip a person would end up slipping and tripping all over the place (please see the last image in this blog for a diagram of underneath the hoof and what the grip should look like in my opinion).

As you can see from the cut section image, the hoof resin would support the heel quite solidly when combined with the sole of a high heel. However, should more support be needed then a thin metal plate could be shaped and placed between the hoof resin and inner shoe for a stronger support.

Next we look at the leather sleeve.

Aemilias cool demon boofs (final)

The leather sleeve is essentially the upper part (from ankle to knee) of a standard pair of knee high boots with added leather to accommodate the ankles, the heel and to overlap a small portion of the hooves. This upper boot is sewn/attached directly to the foot opening of the hoof resin, roughly where you can see the dashes in the image signifying stitching. A small overlap of leather is then left to flap over the hoof so that the stitching is hidden. This gives the appearance of the hoof being more realistic.

Aemilias cool demon boofs (inner boof) copy

Like any pair of knee high boots there will be a zip on the inside of the leg for ease of wearing and removing. The laces and buckles have a purely aesthetic value and would have nothing to do with the functioning of the finished item.

In this last image we see the design from a slight angle as well as the underside of the hoof to show off the grip.

Aemilias cool demon boofs (outer 3D)

If anyone can help me in the construction of this item, please let me know as I would be very eager to see my design made real. If you wish to use an image or create this design for your own purposes, in part or in whole, please ask. We will most likely be happy to condone it as long as we are fully aware of where and why.

Design and Concept ©2010 Aemilia Hawk. All rights reserved.
Artwork ©2010 Linda M Jones. All rights reserved.