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Q: Amethyst Angel, where did you learn to make costumes?

A: In college, mostly. I worked in the costume shop at SCSU as part of my work-study where I picked up a lot of useful tips, (such as "always keep an organized workspace", "try not to sew the skirt you are hemming to your knee by accident" and "never operate a 300 horsepower, 500 lb. industrial sewing machine after a sleepless night of cramming on your finals.") I also picked up a lot of my costuming/armormaking skills in my spare time at home.

Q: What materials do you use to make your armor and props?

A: Mostly craft foam (a thick, durable, tear resistant foam sheeting) and styrene (thin ABS plastic). I will also use craft woods like balsa and basswood, insulation foam, foamcore board and other materials. The armor I make is durable, lightweight and has a smooth, realistic finish once it's been painted with enamel. (It can't be used in things like mock combat, but it holds up well as costume/display armor.)

Q: When and why did you start posting online tutorials about your costume work?

A: I seem to remember posting my first tutorial around 2003 when I really started getting into armor and propmaking. I had a lot of people writing in to ask me how I made my armor and props, and I thought I would share this information in a handy format that others could follow. (I also get rather bugged by cosplayers who jealously guard their costuming methods like they were state secrets or magician's tricks. I always feel as though such people have something to hide--like the amount of help they may have gotten from a family member in putting their costume together. I personally don't think it's shameful to rely on another person for help with a costume--as long as you give them the proper credit for it.)

Q: Why did you decide to write a book about your methods?

A: I wanted to (a) make a little money and (b) create a definitive sourcebook for my methods, filling it with all of the things I may have forgotten or have neglected to post in my online tutorials. While writing this book, I thought about all of the costume-related questions I have received over the years, and about all of the questions that I might be asked about this book once it comes out. I wanted to make this book absolutely idiot-proof and easily understandable to even the most newbish of cosplayers (and given all the time I put into it, I certainly hope I have succeeded.)

Q: Aren't you worried that if you publish all of your methods, that people won't need or ask you to make their costume anymore?

A: Well, that could be a concern, but costuming still takes a great deal of skill and time even if one knows how to do it. For example: the proliferation of how-to books on home construction hasn't stopped people from hiring carpenters. There are some people who will never have the time to make their own costumes, but for those who do and who want to give it a try, I wanted to provide a manual which will teach them the skills to do so.

Q: How and where do I buy your books?

You'll find my full booklist with ordering links here:
http://amethyst-angel.com/aa_bookstore_books.html If you want to look at my lulu.com storefront, Check out this link:

Q: What if I have any questions about your books and/or methods? How do I contact you?

A: Simply e-mail me at dietzt@cloudnet.com.

c. 2007 by Teresa Dietzinger Visit her Prop Blog Today!