Dr Phil’s London Shibari Workshop

Benjamin and I have been on many Shibari and Kinbaku training courses over the past 9 months. We have had private tuition, attended workshops, demonstrations, performances and events or have even simply met and managed to discuss rope one-on-one with Riggers and Rope Models who have dedicated their lives to it and are simply amazing at what they do. Names like Bruce Esinem, Nina Russ, Gorgone, Kasami Ranki, Vinciens, Kirigami and Peter Slemrian to name but a few. However, I always seem to avoid going into depth about our experiences with them as it is often simply training or technical discussion; which can sometimes come across as tedious for those not interested in that particular subject or too much of a single type of study (Which is not always the best thing to fill up a blog as diverse as mine with; I prefer to mix in as many different aspects of my BDSM practices that I can).

I hope to change things and add a little more to my blog in the way of personal and lifestyle experiences. It has been suggested that I should write more; Ergo, I shall!

Dr Phil’s London Shibari Workshop:

Dr Phil is a French Rigger who has had a passion for bondage since the age of 24. Benjamin seemed eager to attend the rare opportunity of a rope workshop in London hosted by him at Chez Esinem, and we jumped at the chance when a couple of our friends announced that they would want to go along with us.

The class was quite small, consisting of only 5 Riggers and 4 Models (not including Dr Phil and his Model), so it allowed for discussion and getting to know people, which is always a bonus, and primarily concentrated on styles that we were already relatively familiar with (it is great when you understand the basics to begin with, it helps in noticing each Riggers individual and often subtle variations) but also included a little of the aesthetic and non suspension ties. The only harness that we remembered to take a photo of was a very pretty (non-suspension) version of Hojōjutsu.

untitled-1-3The latticework between the shoulders makes a great ‘handle’ for controlling your play partner.

Also joining us at the workshop was well known artist and frequent addition to BOUND: Isobel Williams, Who sat on the sidelines during the ‘throwing of string’ and sketched, inked or painted away. You can see some of her rendition of the day on her blog at: http://boulevardisme.blogspot.co.uk

It turned out to be both a fun and informative day. One I would gladly repeat.

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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.

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.

The Hourglass Photoshoot 09/05/12 Demonic Cheesecake

Before I begin with this post, you will notice the amount of links provided. The reasoning behind this is to limit my need for explanations or filling this blog post with ample descriptions. If you need elaboration, click on the relevant link.

As some of my readers will know, especially if you keep track of my Facebook or my Twitter profiles, I contacted my friend (Nicole) earlier this year to talk to her about having a professional photo shoot done at her studio. I am pleased to announce that the images have arrived.

It was wonderful seeing Nicole again after so many months. We both lead busy lives and live quite a distance apart, which makes getting together frequently a little difficult.

This was my first visit to her studio (The Hourglass) and my first ever professional shoot. Needless to say, I was somewhat curious as to what the whole ordeal would entail. But her skill as a photographer is apparent, one only needs to take a glance at her work to understand just how excellent she is. I could hardly trust anyone else with my first studio experience.

Plus it gave me an excuse to visit and ‘catch up’ over a cup of tea.

The camera started on photo number 666. Excellent start. Incredibly appropriate.

I am also aware that I am quickly becoming recognised as having a particularly ‘Steampunk‘ style. To this end, I decided to play on it somewhat by grabbing a few props for use in the shoot. Most notably: my flintlock pistols. Grouped with Sasha, Tempest and the athame that I use for carving ginger root and similar into items for the art of figging, I felt my small arsenal was adequate to portray most of what I wanted in the images.

Nicole specialises in (but is not limited to) burlesque and pin-up photography. Have you ever seen a Demonic Mistress attempting to appear like a pin-up girl? No? Neither had anyone else. The collection has been aptly named “Demonic Cheesecake” for this very reason.

The day was incredibly entertaining. The smiles and laughter rarely stopped.

A couple of tasteful nudes were included for good measure. It seemed only fitting.

You can keep up to date with Nicole’s activities on her Blog, written by her wonderful stalker, Emma, at: http://thehourglass-nicole.blogspot.co.uk/

However, if you have the inclination to procure your own pin-up photos, you can find The Hourglass studio online at: http://www.thehourglass.eu/

Needless to say, I would highly recommend the experience. Which brings me to the result of the said experience.

Each image has multiple formats of black and white, sepia, colour and effects. There are also a few which are reserved purely for my private pleasure. For this reason, I am only posting select images. However, the majority of the collection that has not been shown in this post will be added to my gallery and profiles as soon as I find the time to do so.

Enjoy.

Aemilia 10 reduced Aemilia 11 reduced Aemilia 15 sepia reduced Aemilia 12 sepia reduced Aemilia 05 sepia reduced Aemilia 07 sepia reduced Aemilia 06 sepia reduced Aemilia 01 sepia reduced Aemilia 09 sepia reduced Aemilia 02b sepia reduced

Photos courtesy of The Hourglass.
Photography by Nicole Kline.
All images are copyright © The Hourglass 2006-2011