Te Ka was such a great build, as it was intended to be a duo cosplay with Shelley Elise Cosplay. I designed her human form myself, and after my first initial wear at Edmonton Expo 2017, she got some upgrades and I'm so much more in love with her now. <3 Read the walk through below!
Te Ka was a secret build on Patreon featuring plenty of tutorials, and work in progress photos. Scroll to the bottom of this article for a list of specific tutorials you can find on Patreon.
I wanted an elegant design that utilized my satin under bust corset from Orchard Corsets. I designed an open front flowing skirt with a simple sheer panel halter for the top, where the spiral and heart would sit. I added gloves and a fire crown for elegance.
The first thing I did was go thrifting for fabric and buying new products. I found a huge orange sheet that was a nice burnt color, and the texture was very soft. It was perfect. I grabbed that and a nice black sheer material I lucked out with. I bought polymer clay and a resin kit at Michael's, and a ton of hot glue sticks. I ordered small click on lights for the crown, and EL wire for the skirt.
I wanted to create the heart from scratch so I carved one using polymer clay and then cast it using silicone to create a mold. I used a 2 part resin and expiremented with different dyes to get the color I liked.
After it was finished, I made the spiral using an old pair of tights and some liquid latex to create a skin prosthetic. I made the spiral out of puffy paint and the heart fit seamlessly in the middle and I was able to turn the light on simply by pushing the heart into my chest.
The crown was quite fun to make. I used hot glue on a stainless steel bowl to create semi-transparent flames on a curve, and added the lights to the bottom before painting in a gradient and with A LOT of glitter.
The wig was really fun to make.I bought two synthetic wigs on Ebay, one black, one orange, and cut the orange wig up into wefts to use as colorful streaks. I then curled the bottom half of the wig using foam curlers and boiling water. Later, during my upgrades, I curled the wig right to the roots and it looked much better and less flat.
About a month before leaving for the con I decided my design was too bland and added lava texture and flames to one glove and the side of my bra. I also decided on only one glove to give a type of transitioning appearance.
I made a long stretch glove and creating the flames and lava rock chunks from craft foam with a layer of textured hot glue on top. I was terribly stupid and decided to glue the lava chunks to the glove WHILE IT WAS ON MY ARM. I didn't want to stretch the glove by hand and risk inconsistencies. I lost a few arm hairs that day. #RIP
I painted the glove orange near the top for a gradient into the flames and an orange glow around the magma rock chunks. The one bra side was painted orange as well to match.
The skirt was very simple but time consuming. The hi-lo design resulted in A LOT of ruffles but I love the way it turned out. The black skirt on top did not have ruffles, but was cut into a wider circle shape to create a nice flow. I hand cut it to match the fall of the orange skirt and then hemmed.
The EL wire came at the last minute and I had to assemble once I arrived in Edmonton. I simply wired it through the hem of both the black skirt and the orange skirt and it created a beautiful ruffle replicating a horse hair braid. Unfortunately the EL wire wasn't bright enough to see in the day time, but it really glowed at night!
It was a huge success at the con and I was happy to be done and to cosplay with Shelley. When I returned home, I set to some fast upgrades. As mentioned above I re-curled the wig. I also added a firm extension to the crown rather than having ribbon tie behind my head. It sat much nicer on my head.
I also added glitter, beading, ruffles and a puffy sleeve to the simple side of my bra. It was still a single color, but the extra layers added a ton of dimension and texture. I also made two bangle bracelets dremeled out of EVA foam for the naked arm as well.
The black corset was very bland, so I created an extension detail down from the bra and it really added the color the centre really needed. I think the biggest upgrade, was my neck corset, which was made from foam, and the heart attached directly to it.
I also did an incredible transformation with my makeup. My original makeup had a pale red eyeshadow with red lips. I wanted to be darker and feel more fierce. So I did an extreme smokey eye, blending into an orange and yellow gradient, finished off with dark lips. Such a difference.
I also added extra elements to the white space in the design by doing some Maui inspired tattoos. My original design was very inspired by Henna, but I realized that didn't fit the character as well. The thicker, bolder lines of my tattoos really add to this character's attitude!
I am extremely proud of this cosplay, especially the upgrades. It was the first time I took the time to upgrade a costume after building it, and I'm so happy I did. This costume is easily one of my faves.
Patreon Exclusive Tutorials:
Te Ka Flame Crown
Sharpie Dying Resin
Plus 60 other posts with detailed work in progress notes, before and afters, and exclusive photo shoot material.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this post helpful, and here's my final cosplanner breakdown!