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20,000 Leagues Nautilus Kraken Top Hat

December 7, 2015


Diary of a Kraken Top Hat: A lovely lady named Lisa Bennett of Steampunk Angel Couture commissioned me to make a hat for her. Her only requests were to have an octopus and her logo on the front in the Steampunk style. This is the direction that inspiration  took. 



I found a very simple top hat pattern online and brought it into Illustrator and modified it to suit my needs. I'm making these hats with .5 inch thick EVA foam so I had to account for the thickness of the foam in the pattern. 


I also wanted the shape of the hat to have a more elegant curve, not just the basic straight up and down stovepipe look. Using the thicker EVA foam made it possible to add heavier sculpture to the top. The thin craft foam would not have worked for my puposes.




I've cut all the pattern out in EVA foam for three hats here, next I will assemble them with contact cement. It was wishful thinking on my part to make three at this stage but hey, I have sold them all so BAM. 









I used an exacto to cut out the logo for Steampunk Angel Couture that I will mount on the front of the hat.











Here I am working out the surface design layout. the stickers represent where the lights will go.















I decided to make porthole windows to cover the lights, I sculpted them in polymer clay to get the transluscent quality I wanted. 


















 I made seven covers, this left me with three excess lights I needed to figure out how to use. I came up with these little lantern style covers for the extra lights. I also ended up making necklaces out of them, which were super cute.





















Some time after making the light covers, I decided this hat needed an operational propeller on the back end and I was going to make this a submarine hat.  I found a small hand fan at the Dollar Tree and encassed it in Worbla. Then I mounted it on the back of the hat with a structure that I felt was submarine like  I used Worbla to line out the pattern on the hat.


Then I sealed all of this up with PlastiDip latex rubber spray. This helps keep the paint job from peeling off of