This was a first for me on two levels-
it was my first black and white pattern stockwhip, and also it was my first order
from Australia. It's a big thrill for me,
and I think probably most synthetic whip makers, to get an order from the Land of Roohide. As I get more colors in of my new material, keep your eyes open for more variety of two toned whips...
For me, this is ideal- I could tell how long he wanted the handle, the placement of collars and knots, everything down to what kind of pattern he'd like and what kind of knots. So with that kind of information and good communication, I was able to do this:
This was a bullwhip I was commisioned to do for my Friend Mario Desgonte in Germany. Even if you're not familiar with Mario, if you've spent much time on my site you know his work, because all of the best photographs were taken by him. Including all of the still shots on the Whip Basics Reviews. I believe I mentioned earlier that if you like you can send me your own sketch, and Mario, being a very visual person, new exactly what he wanted:
For example, this was my sketch for a set of Exowhips for Marina in Russia. She liked what I had done with my Bela and Lokai set, so I showed her this sketch, she approved, and I made her these whips:
I thought it would be interesting to share some information about how the custom process works. Usually, a customer has an idea of what they would like- Or perhaps they have several ideas and they need help narrowing them down. I'll collect the information, and then I like to do a sketch or sketches that you can see to make sure we're on the same page. There have been times when I COMPLETELY misunderstood the first description, sometimes with pretty comical results (there would be nothing comical about getting a whip that was way off the mark!). This way, you can rest assured that the whip you receive is the whip you've been dreaming of...
For this set Alfred wanted to practice fast rythmic cracking in a small apartment. A lot of people enjoyed the contrasting pattern work on Bela and Lokai, so Alfred asked for something similar here. I've never done whips this short before, it's actually far more challenging than I expected because you have a very small space to develop the taper in.
My friend Fritz wanted an 8 foot bullwhip (like a Leistungpeitsche bull) for doing shows at some festivals in England, but he really liked the contrasting pattern.work from my Bela & Lokai set, so we mixed them together. The hardest part on this whip? The Zig Zag pattern in 20 plait right above the transition knot. I hadn't done a Zig Zag before, so that was definitely a learning experience.
It has always been my goal to reach a point where my whips had the weight, balance, and smooth rolling action of kangaroo hide. Not just similar, but to the point that if you were to wear gloves and be blindfolded, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. You can read what Robby thought of the whip on the Testimonials page...
I had the opportunity to use several new (to me) techniques in making this whip- It was the first time I've used brass for collars, and I also aged them with a chemical process and did a personalized inscription on the aged brass concho, which is the first concho I've ever done. It was also the first time I've put a copper collar directly over the heel knot- I was worried about this, but Robby says it's quite comfortable, so look for more of that.
Freddy wanted a whip with a very clean silhouette, so he asked me if I could make him one without my usual spiral grapevine service, and no knots other than the heel knot. I'm all about people getting what they want, so I said, "Sure!" I've seen others make whips in this style, but It's the first time I've done it myself. I also used some lead in the core to give the whip a more leather-like feel overall...watch for more developements on that front in the future. To add more support for the extra weight and stress that will put on the transition, this one has 4 internal bellies.
This was a first on two levels: It was the first time I got an order for a whip with a snakehead handle, and it was the first time I plaited in white dacron. The handle is a brass walkingstick handle painted red to go with the burgundy and red plaiting and knots. The shape of the brass snakehead has the interesting quality of automatically giving you a good alignment with the whip. it also gives a touch more leverage due to the curve.
Technically everything we do here is custom, but we like to experiment and do things that are really unique. Here are some of the custom projects we've done at our customer's requests.
This was a collaborative effort with a gentleman who works with metal and wanted a Mokume Gane collar on an Exowhip. He made the collar out of silver, white gold, and platinum. The V-pattern plaiting in Burgundy and Black reflects the pattern of the collar. Due to the cost of the materials, this could well be the only time I get to do this so I really enjoyed the experience.