Posted on

You Want to Make a Wand

Dubleve Wands has been my most successful product line to date. They’re each one-of-a-kind, personalised, have character, and spark the imagination.

I was encouraged by my fellow members at KW Artists Co-op to pursue them, and I decided to focus on them more than ever in 2018. A new direction for them has also been proposed to me not only from my co-op but from other friends and organisers.

Right now I’m working out the logistics and the how to get others making wands the way I do in a program format.
The first soft launch I’m going to do will be with Open Streets for the City of Waterloo July 15th 12pm-5pm. The theme for Open Streets this day is Cosplay. It won’t be a strong tutorial program; but it will allow you the opportunity to decorate a wand, make a charm, and take them both home in a box with you.

I’ll have enough materials to make a hundred wands. That’s ten an hour if they last that long at my booth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m working on a good weather draught.

Posted on

DIY and Chopsticks

I know many a fan of Pinterest and DIY blogs who make and sell wands for large groups of kids. Those wands are made in bulk, start off as rolled paper or chopsticks, are covered in clever glue dollops, given a coat of brown paint and gold paint by dry brushing, and they delight kids en masse for birthday parties.

Several times I have been asked at conventions about competition as though it should worry me. Even if there are several wand purveyors, I claim I don’t have any competition. The wand chooses the witch or wizard after all. In fact, I’m delighted the kind of compliments I receive regarding my wares. They do get compared to the chopsticks and paper rolled and the over-painted. I have been held up next to the Noble brand and there’s really no comparison. These wands are not trying to be what was held by an actor in a movie.

Those who have read the Harry Potter series, these wands came out of my head after reading those. These are based on what was discussed in the books, off of the core descriptions. And I think it is the most telling when a fan of or owner of my wands will confide in me that the wand is real to them. That’s the highest praise of all.

I have always enjoyed making properties (props) for film and theatre. The wands are my favorite to make of them all. And the whole point of them is, after reading the books, I wished for a letter from a far away wizarding school. And even if that letter will never come, at least I have my wand, and I can use it to help focus my imagination until my heart is content.

Posted on

First Wands, Wands First

It was always like someone else’s birthday, with the privilege of opening up their presents for them, everytime a shipment would come into Alex’s costume shop.

More than a decade ago, there was a very exciting arrival. We had received the boxes with the branded wizarding world capes, wands, hats, round glasses, and other magical accessories. The item I was the most excited to see was the wizard’s wand. I told Alex as much.

We thought we had deduced the box it was in, cut the box open, and began to search it out with an energetic fervor. Grabbed the card and formed plastic with the correct title on it, turned it over quickly, and almost immediate disappointment set in. It was such a let down in fact that I didn’t know just how upset I was, I laughed and joked about it.

Alex and I were somewhat dumbfounded. My total recollection is a little fuzzy now, but I think at one point she even exclaimed, “And I’m supposed to sell these.”

It was supposed to be the main title wizard’s wand as seen in the movies. But it closer resembled fake poop you might try and leave somewhere conspicuous for others to find and be disgusted by. It was a very oddly shaped piece of long brown plastic without any colour deviation. I don’t think anyone could have mistaken it for a piece of wood.

I know I proclaimed, “I can do better than that.”

And Alex said, “Show me.”

“Okay, I will.”

And with Alex’s help, I made Wooden Magical Wands to sell in her store. And when parents were faced with the option of buying either a piece of plastic that resembled poop for less than $10CAD or a wooden wand for $20CAD, they more often bought the wooden wand.

The great benefit of working with Alex was I got immediate feedback about what customer’s liked or didn’t like about their wands. While designing them I removed aspects and elements that didn’t work.
The original wands each had a predetermined charm already attached and this was problematic, especially if the charm got ripped away.
The wands became longer because at 6″ they were too short for most, the handle application was refined, I experimented with different finishes and stains, I added a link to the butt of the wand and created a range of charms for customization.
The charms didn’t do so well at first, so to the link became a place to attach a tag with the wand’s information like it’s wood, magical core, and the personality trait it was looking for in a wizard. The tags have changed over time as well.
I found a manufacturer of appropriately sized boxes, came up with a name, designed a graphic (well, borrowed one from Pamela Colman Smith who illustrated the Rider Tarot). I have received commissions for wands and that changed them also.
I have created ranges of wands that I make in batches (called waves) and different price points have resulted. I try to create savings where I can and pass them along.

In 2010 I launched my first online shop through Etsy. I have used Square, Shopify, and now I am bringing Dubleve Wands to its own separate brand under Twilight Rabbit Creations. I make and sell more wands than my Tarot decks, so it seems only fitting to make them easier to find on the web. Here my wands are now housed under www.DubleveWands.com

As far as the future is concerned, the wands continue to influence my art and creativity. I have plans for new prints and games based on them. So stay tuned to this blog to find out about the development of new wand-related projects, and what festivals near you will have a Dubleve Wands booth.

Thank you for staying a spell,
Jessica