Gasping for air (or rather, some time to sit down and write), we can now bring you a much-needed update. Lets knock that Further Confusion post further down the page while giving you a bit of insight into what has been happening with us.
Since returning from Califur, our team had to get back into the flow of our primary jobs. It has been demanding and our respective work schedules have put us out of synch with one another. On the plus side, we do have some inventory left over from the convention, which is still available on our Wild and Free page.
Admittedly, we are not producing masks as quickly as we normally expect to (6-8 weeks for standard mask orders). As much as we regret the way our customers may feel about this, our Real Life obligations need to come first. Fortunately, demand for our products has not diminished, and consequently the wait has grown to full expectancy. We continue to do our best to meet customers’ desires, including answering emails from an ever-increasing amount of prospective customers.
Of note, if you like our horse masks and desire a hood, we have been made aware that our friend Spring Pony is selling her hooded mask. Details can be seen after the jump.
Is it December already?
Man, time really did just pass by and I do not even feel like any of us even blinked. And yet, here we are facing the end of 2014. When autumn arrived, it seems that all three of us became really busy with our respective families and friends. When November came, there was no shortage of birthday, Thanksgiving and anniversary celebrations for that month. So, things got a bit hectic around here, with us having just a few opportunities to get together after work and brainstorm/toss some ideas around.
Such brainstorming has also been related to hooded masks, which we closed orders for back in August. When winter falls, and the temperature drops (well…by Southern California standards anyway), its harder to achieve the finished quality of each latex coat/pouring. So, some of those moments of brainstorming and breaking out our supplies have been geared towards this popular option. We have been re-tooling our hood making process, identifying some better materials to use when creating and sizing them. This should eliminate some of the problems and other issues that made the process take that much more time for us to complete each hooded order.
Once the holiday season is over and our outdoor workshop is more suitable, we will be opening back up for the more complex orders. However, while you wait, hop on over to our Wild-and-Free listings to see some of our ready-to-ship products. For those in the US, there is still just a little more time to grab one of these and get it to its destination in time for Christmas morning.
On a random day in July, Wildgasmasks found itself faced with a heavy reality when it came to our signature design. While fulfilling the last JG1 in a 3-jackal order, the impermanence of our creations was obvious. The mold had been used far longer than its expected life. With a heavy heart, we left those 6 broken pieces to rest.
….but that hiatus was never meant to be permanent. Stego and meddle (our newest addition to the jackal lab) had enough interest (not to mention interest from our customer base) to set upon a new-but-familiar path. Over a year later, the original jackal gasmask has been rebuilt, and with a few subtle changes.
- The JG-1 has been corrected from a slight misalignment at the eyes. It might not be noticeable to anyone else but us, but our new design has corrected the asymmetry.
- The Face Seal is now an integral part of the mask, built in to the shell itself. Our JG1 mold required us to create the seal separately and attach it later. No longer!
- The addition of lens clamps. Following the designs used in our HG1 and HG2 (horse) masks, jackal mask lenses are now clamped into place rather than being held by the rubber alone.
- Improvements made to the mold, especially in regard to how it goes together. Sure, many of our customers wont see this but it is was definitely worth Stego and meddle’s efforts, now allowing for a faster turnaround time
I cant tell you how happy we are that this day has finally come– the day that sweat, tears, and frustration turns into joy and opportunity. meddlesome pony and Stego have birthed a new era of jackal gasmasks, and the day has come when we can open up for orders.
Currently, from viewing our queue page, we look a bit full while we take care of our normal workload. In addition, we have been taking on a few orders from those “left behind” when our mold broke all that time ago. So, we want to start compiling a waiting list, creating the first big wave of JG 1.5s that will be released into the world.
While hooded mask orders are being accepted, they will be placed on a separate waiting list, due to the longer turnaround time and needing to space them out a bit. Placement on either of the two lists will be in chronological order and we will send out another email when we are ready to put you on the queue. If that wait doesn’t bother you, please contact us, and we will get you started.
I cant tell you how nice it is to have an update for you guys…let alone one that is the polar opposite of our last one. Over the past few months, having to lament the loss of productivity, we are happy to report that we’re back in full force (and then some!). This is thanks to our secret weapon — a third set of hands in the form of our shop pony. With pony’s help, we have been able to get back up to a consistent production speed and have begun taking care of people who have been waiting in the wings.
For those following our Twitter, you may have noticed more updates happening more often and more opportunities to look in our lab and see how we are doing. Our production still has its limits, mainly in the area of hooded orders. Sadly, its a matter of replacing certain pertinent tools to this process, and our search has resulted in a lot of dead ends. When we do find this specific tool (and at a price that our small shop can afford in these tough times), we can go full throttle and start taking on more orders for our encasement-happy friends. This hurdle has also affected the potential of long-overdue-but-planned projects. In fact, a number of people have recently asked us about the brand new species designs. Much to our dismay (especially Kats), the aforementioned dearth of these specific building tools results in us having to put our bright ideas on the back burner.
With shop pony putting his ass to the grindstone and us optimizing our processes in what small ways we can, its only a matter of time before we will announce an opening of our queue. Soon, we will happily begin taking hooded orders, even if it is on a case-by-case basis. If this kind of mask style is your fancy, I thank you in advance for remaining patient and dropping us a line to let us know that you haven’t given up on us yet.