I use a ball and socket armature for the Pixies. Moving the legs to a back position allows the Pixie to belly-rest on the shoulder with their tails positioned around the neck and up to the front for balance. You can position the arms and legs; just don’t spin them around in one direction, since that would tighten the internal thread to the point of breakage.
The wire in a dragon should bend pretty well, you just don’t want to bend it back and forth repeatedly, as for the armature the manufacturers say it can bend up to 28 degrees. I bent the armature as much as I could before it would snap apart, and took the pic below. It is very sturdy and you will feel resistance when it has reached the bending limit.
The wire in a Reiver or any dragon should bend pretty well, you just don’t want to bend it back and forth repeatedly, as for the armature (link below) they say it can bend up to 28 degrees. The smaller armature on the left is what is in a Reiver; I bent it as much as I could before it would snap apart, and took the pic below. It is very sturdy and you will feel resistance when it has reached the bending limit. I use the larger armature in the larger dragons.
You can position the arms and legs, just don’t spin them around in one direction, since that would tighten the thread to the point of breakage. You should be able to turn the legs back towards the tail and have a stand up (like a dog) on her back legs and the tail should be down, it will take a bit of tweaking to get the dragon balanced. You can position the back legs to be apart. You’re trying to archive a tripod using the back legs and the tail. I’ll need to come up with a “How to pose a dragon” demo in the near future.
A Shoulder Dragon and can rest upon your shoulder. The feet should be slightly cupped to fit upon your shoulder, drape the tail down your back and up and over to your opposite shoulder for balance. Feel free to turn the head and position it, the armature should be able to take a lot of positioning.
Badenoch was a new Sea Dragon design; I had found the perfect fabric for a sea Dragon.
Badenoch is 58” measured from the nose to the tail, going down the neck and along the back. The Price was $289.00, Plus shipping. I actually have a few more cut out in this fabric waiting for me to work on, there is an amazing amount of top stitching and hand sewing involved with a Sea Dragon.Badenoch is about the same length as a Royal Dragon, but thinner with swimming wings, fins and a fluke tail.
I haven’t made a Royal in a while, but here is a pic of one. A Royal Dragon has a larger armature, plumper body and bigger wings; they currently cost $325 with shell claws and $285 without shell claws.
As for “Baby Dragons”, the Nipper dragon is currently retired, but I do sell many other smaller dragons, Sprite, Imp, Moth, and Moon. I will hatch a few of these this summer.
he Nipper dragons could not ride on a shoulder, so I designed the Pixie Dragons – which can.
and – 2 Blue Moon-Moth Dragons…Indigo Draconic Lepidoptera
Moon dragons have evolved to resemble large moths – they are nocturnal, and have soft furry wings. Their nests resemble cocoons, and are highly treasured for weaving and are sought after by the Woodland Fae.
Moon dragons seek out night blooming flowers to feed upon nectar, and use the moon to navigate. They are not easily fooled by modern lights, and thus are seldom seen.
Moon dragons are not designed to ride on your shoulder , and prefer to be held or carried in a basket. At night they will be attracted to moonlight.
I’ve tweaked and I think, improved the Pixie Dragons, they will now be able to ride on smaller shoulders. I’m still debating on having custom buttons made to give the dragons, “belly buttons”.
I’m now using a ball and socket armature for the Pixies, this allows the dragons to belly- rest on a shoulder with their tails positioned around the neck for balance.
Their limbs are now attached with covered button joints instead of crystal beads.
While I am keeping the single and double sets of wings as an option, I also will be experimenting with using alternate designs of dragon wings.
I have retired the other smaller dragons in an effort to make dragon hatching easier and quicker.
After keeping track of the expenses and time, I’ve calculated the price of $125.00 would allow me to make $8- $10 an hour.
If your curious, here is how I calculated the cost of a Pixie…The last time I made a batch of Pixies I kept one aside and only worked on it with a timer so I could keep track of the time it took to hatch. I rounded up or down to the nearest quarter hour.
3 hours to trace the dragon pattern onto folded fabric, 8 dragons = 136 parts to trace. 4 hours to pin and cut 1 hour to match and bag 8 dragons
8 hours @10 = $80.00 / 1 hour per dragon = $10 in time, plus $3.25 in cost of fabric
Out of 2yds fabric @ $15 each, total of $30, I could cut out 8 Pixies = $3.25 per dragon for the fabric, this is an average fabric cost. If I really like a fabric I will pay much more for it.
So time and cost of fabric is approximately $13.25 per 1 bagged pixie dragon, for pre-sewing expense.
Hatching Time Per 1 Pixie @ 10.00 per hour =
Pin parts/ 1 hour Sew parts, turn and top-stitching/ 2 hours, = 3 hours
Paint face nubs and claws / 1 hour Assemble, button covers, mane, name tag / 2 hours.= 3 hours
Print receipts/ paperwork, package & ship per dragon, = 1 hour Total time of 12 hours at $10.00 an hour =$125,00
Then there are Shop supply costs which May include, armature, threads, wire, paints, eyes, nose rings, stuffing, leather lacing, name tags, feather boas, fox fur or faux fur, plus Etsy and PayPal fees best estimate, = $20.00 – $25.00 per dragon.
Start to Finish for one pixie estimate 10-12 hours, plus $13.25 for pre-sewing cost, and a minimum of $20.00 for shop supplies, adds up to more than I ask for them. If I was making them one at a time I would need to charge more, but I usually try to sew in multiples to save time, I may have up to 12 dragons going at the same time. When I cut out dragons I will cut out 4-8 at one cutting, and often will cut out an entire year’s worth of dragons over a month. I buy my stuffing in 20 lbs boxes, and my armature in 50 ft spools. Sounds crazy, but does save time and money!
got some good questions today, and decided to share them.
I LOVE Halloween!!! I am VERY interested in your black-and-purple Bat-wing Reiver dragons! Can you please show me the fabric? (2) And a photo of what the bat wings look like? (3) And may I please tentatively reserve one bat-wing dragon in black-and-purple, with either purple or green eyes, whichever you think best? (But NO nose ring and NO harness, I would want my black-and-purple bat-wing Halloween dragon to be “wild”, not at all tamed!)(4) Also for Halloween, what is a Black Drat? And how big is it? And what does it cost?(5) Again for Halloween, what is a Dragonkinz? And the size and cost?I’ll ask about some others in a separate message.Thank you! – M….. ; )
While the Halloween dragons are still in the planning stage, I have made larger dragons in the midnight purple I will be using – Lilith was the first– she also has bat wings, and of course the Halloween Reivers can have either a black or dark purple body. They will be very dark dragons, and I will add a black mane of either fur or ostrich boa- depending on which looks best. I’ll be cutting them out in July and will send you some pics as I work on them.
A Drat – half Dragon and half cat; the best way to describe one is a furry dragon with paws, cat ears and whiskers- (I have made a few of these, but a black one will be new)
A Drabbit- half dragon and half Rabbit, is about the same as a Drat but with rabbit ears and a tail puff. I haven’t made one of these yet. I’m thinking of them for next Easter.
DragonKinz are a style of “not dragon” creatures I’ve come up with, although they are still a work in progress. I’ll need to calculate the cost of making one before I can set a price.
Basically I want to start sculpting and casting resin parts for the faces, feet and hands, they will be Gryphons, of various sorts, eagles, owls, ravens, and other combinations of forest creatures. Sadly, to make DragonKinz work I either have to cut back on Dragons or give up sleeping…possibly alternate months between the two.
The other question was mostly about the differences between a Reiver and a Pixie
Hi Sherry –
Can you please give me a bit of a dragon education?
I was looking at your website at the different types of dragons. I don’t see the Pixie type listed on the Dragons Descriptions page: dragontry.com/?page_id=36
It appears that all the Reivers have two wings, but all the Pixies have four wings – is that correct?
And all the Reivers have a nose ring and harness, but the Pixies do not – is that right?
What are other differences between Reivers and Pixies?
Are the Reivers and Pixies very similar in size of body?
And size of wingspan?
Do you have any photos showing a Reiver and a Pixie next to each other, for comparison?
And do you have any photos showing those one or both of those two types together with one of your larger Guardian dragons, so I can see how the larger Guardian compares in size?
Thanks for your help!
Take care, M….. ; )
Hi M……, Basically the Pixies are new, they were designed to replace the (retired)Nipper/baby dragons. They are a combinations of several prototype dragon designs- The double wings are a nod to dragonfly wings- I like them, but some preferred the single set so I always have a few of those made too. I can put in nose rings and a harness if desired, but usually don’t.
Reiver vs Pixie The Reiver’s wing span is 19 – 21, The pixies wingspans are a bit smaller- 18-19 I’ll need to fix that typo- thanks for finding it.
The Pixies have “standing legs” and the Reivers are designed to lay on your shoulder and have “Resting legs”.
The Reiver has a ball and socket doll armature and that makes it easier to ride on your shoulder, the Pixies have a wire armature. Still bendable but not as secure.The reivers limbs are attached with a covered button joint, while the pixies limbs are attached with crystal beads.
The Reivers are bigger, with longer body and more detailed, than the pixies
Reivers and Pixies have different shaped wings and ears
I try to design new dragons every year and retire older patterns. I’ve been hatching dragons for over 20 years and probably have 60 or more different dragon patterns retired. I might bring some of them them back….Lol…
This is the handout I made up for doing our panel at Dragoncon 2014, with Nefaerieous Deeds on creature creation.
First a big Thank you to all that attended, and apologies for the handouts that I brought with me. – I have fixed a few typos and spelling errors in this version- in all fairness I finished this the night before we were heading out and I was a bit weary eyed. I know this isn’t perfect, but it will give you a good place to start…Happy Sculpting!
1-The head consists of 4 parts – the top, two sides and a bottom.Remember you must use a stretch fabric to be able to sculpt.
2- Sew a dart in the front of the bottom, clip open.
3- Pin and sew the sides to both edges of top.
4- Pin and sew front seam, matching the two sides to the front point of the top.
5- Pin and sew the bottom to the front. (right sides together)
6-Pin and sew remaining bottom to the left and right sides. (leave back open)
7-clip all curves.
Inserting the eyes
8-Use a pencil to mark eye placement, I usually try to center the eye between the brow and the jowl. Turn the head right side out.
9-Use an awl to pierce the fabric, then insert the safety eyes. Secure in place with their washers.
10-I like to use 12-15 mm eyes.
Stuffing the head
11- Use a stuffing stick, stuff with polyester filling
12- The open back, the dragon head can now be sewn onto the body. but for this tutorial I will leave it off.
13- Side view.
14- Top view.
Sculpting the head
15-I use a ball & socket armature for a large dragon, you will need a 6 inch doll sculpting needle threaded with a long double string, knotted end. Use button thread!
16- Enter needle from the center top back, exit needle in front of an eye.- (Pull entire length of thread through)
17- Enter needle next to the eye.
18- Push needle though the head and out just in front of the other eye, repeat from eye to eye twice and tug the thread. (Pull entire length of thread though).
19- Tugging the thread will shape the inner eye.
20- Place pins where brow will be, insert needle from inner eye to the first pin- (Pull entire length of thread through).
21- Insert needle by the middle pin- exit over the eye- (Pull entire length of thread through) tug slightly.
22- Insert needle half way back to inner eye- exit by last pin (Pull entire length of thread through) and tug.
23- Insert needle behind eye and exit by middle pin- (Pull entire length of thread through) and tug to shape the brow.
24-one side finished, on to the other side…
25- Insert needle and exit by inner eye on the other side- (Pull entire length of thread through)
26- Add pins to the other brow.
27- Repeat to make the other brow, then exit in front of a brow. (Pulling entire length of thread through)
28- In front of brows, insert needle one side-then through body to the other side – pull length of thread through each time.
29-Repeat twice- pull length of thread through each time.
30- Tug the thread to pull in and narrow the face.
31- Insert needle so the thread will now be on the outside, repeat twice, pulling length of thread through – and tug.
32- Use pins to mark the front placement of nose, insert needle by the narrow part of face.
33- Exit by the nose pin- pull length of thread through.
34-place a second set of pins about ¼ inch apart- on both sides. Insert needle through nose and exit on the other side.
35- . Try to make figure eights inside with the thread.
36- Repeat 2-3 times
37- Repeat, pulling length of thread through and gently tugging
38- Tug hard to form inner nostrils of the nose. Place a pin in center of nose top, add two pins on the bottom near the dart seam, see pic 40. Insert needle in nostril and exit through top by pin-repeat twice- pull length of thread through each time.
39- Insert needle into top of nose by pin, exit by one of the bottom pins. (Remove pins when they are no longer needed as a guide)
40- Place two pins on the bottom of the head – this will sculpt the chin.
41-pull the needle and length of thread through each time, and insert the needle into the next pin and exit by the pin in the top of the nose- repeat- twice
42- Tug to form the nose.
43- The head is now over half way done!
44- Insert needle into top of nose and exit by front of the brow- pull length of thread.
45- Insert needle about ¼ inch over through the head to bottom of head. Stay within the brow crease.
46- Place two guide pins into the bottom where the jowls will be indented, exit needle in bottom, pull thread through, then enter needle by 2nd pin and exit to brow- repeat twice and tug, pulling length of thread each time.
47- Tug to form jowls, this will also bring down the brow to give the dragon a unique expression.
48- Repeat for the other brow. This will sculpt the jowls/cheeks.
49- Time to make head ridges!
50- Place two rows of guide pins, equally spaced and symmetrical.
51- Starting at the front pair of pins, insert needle by right side pin, through head exit by left side pin, pull length of thread through.
52- Insert needle by left front pin and exit by right side front pin, tug.
53- insert needle on right side pin with thread on the out side, and exit on the left side, tug. To sculpt head ridge. repeat thread on the outside twice then insert needle and exit by the center set of pins.
54- Insert needle by front pin and exit by center set of guide pins ( Remove pins as they are no longer needed.)
55- Repeat for the other head ridges and exit needle by the back of the head and knot. The Head is now sculpted!!!!
Sprites have been specially hatched to be more magical, they love glitter, and all that glitters! Most have faerie wings, a few take after a more distant dragon ancestor and have dragon wings. They are attracted to bright colors and like to nest near flower patches and gardens. Where they can be seen gathering nectar for their evening meals, although a few have mistaken faeries for flowers at times….never fear they do not bite…much.
Sprites are a new design, I was trying to find an easier/quicker dragon to make for shows, alas I’m only a little faster at hatching these than Nipper dragons, so back to the drawing board for some tweaking. Perhaps I need more glitter on my desk.
I will at some point finish up the ones I have already cut out- more purple and pinks as I recall. But after that I won’t be making any more exactly like these…maybe after I change a few things on them the sprites will make a comeback.
Or, I have thought the design might be a nice beginner dragon hatching pattern to sell.
If any Sprites make it back from the show I will list them on Etsy.