Why do people wear custom fangs? For mainstream society, it’s typically an event; a curiosity or a momentary indulgence. Halloween. Masquerades. But for the real vampire community, the physical manifestation of the vampire mythos often plays a role in accepting ones vampiric self. Psychodrama, as the technique is called, is a process by which individuals use dramatic self-presentation to gain greater insight into, and a deeper connection with, their inner selves. The Observer will explore this topic in more depth over the course of subsequent articles and interviews.
GetFanged recently talked with Lance Canoe (manager/promoter and active member of the vampire community) and and Nate Sipe (fangsmith/artist) of Feral Fangsmithing about everything from the technical process of making fangs to the image of the vampire in popular culture.
How did you first get involved in vampirism, and fangsmithing?
Since I was a little kid; I’ve always been fascinated with Vampires and the darker things in life. I wasn’t raised in your traditional family… but rather in a family that resembled the Addams family. For many years I’ve been in search for the Vampyre community, but because in the past, Vampyres were still very much taboo, it made my search very difficult. Finally in 2010 I discovered and started following Lady~A’s Vampire social club, which ultimately lead me to the life I now live. After so many years of searching, I’ve finally found my home thanks to Lady~A.
I’ve always wanted a pair of custom fangs, but I found it very difficult to find an actual fangsmith locally (back home in California and now living in the Midwest). Unfortunately I had to resort to buying “so-called” custom fangs at hot topic, which were anything but custom and they most certainly didn’t look realistic. So just a few months ago I met Nate (our fangsmith) who is an amazingly talented artist on so many levels; he expressed that he would like to make some fangs, and I of course expressed how much we need a fangsmith in this region of the country. Shortly thereafter we purchased the supplies and Nate made his first pair of fangs. From there we combined our strengths and passions, which resulted in the official establishment of “Feral Fangsmithing”.
What process is involved when it comes to making fangs?
The dental acrylic comes as a powder and a liquid that are mixed together until they form a soft, pliable putty. The putty is then formed over the desired tooth and left to cure (usually taking between 3-5 minutes). After the curing is complete the acrylic is then removed from the tooth and shaped using a dremel tool. The fang is then stained so that it matches the color of your natural teeth.
Do you have any involvement in the vampire community or online vampire community?
Yes- I am active in the Sanguinarium Vampyre community, based in Chicago “Lady~A’s Vampire Social Club”, which is led by our Queen; “Lady~A”. Lady~A has contributed a great amount of support to “Feral Fangsmithing” from the very conception, for which we are forever grateful. I am a member of a few online communities, but I prefer not to get too involved; for personal reasons.
What is your view of the vampire subculture in the United States today?
Although I support the subculture 100% worldwide, I personally don’t branch out to any other Vampyre communities other than Lady~A’s, so I really don’t have grounds to express views about the rest of the subculture as a whole. As I stated before; I am a member of a few online communities, but I refrain from getting too involved, due to personal reasons.
How do you think movies, music, and social media have affected how today’s vampires are viewed in society?
Obviously Vampires have consumed pop culture these days, thanks to movies, music and social Medias. I think it’s wonderful if that’s sparked those that have had true awakenings, which have led them into the lifestyle of a Vampyre. However, I question the validity of other so-called Vampires, as I feel many have just jumped on the bandwagon because they think it’s cool, but they lack the vaguest conception of what a “true” Vampyre really is. I personally prefer to remain in the shadows, as I feel it’s important to keep the mystery of the Vampyre an actual mystery, to the mundane world. Call me old fashioned if you will.
Do you have a wide variety of clients who come to you to looking for fangs? Why do your clients want to be outfitted with fangs?
We do have quite a bit of perspective buyers contacting us with inquiries about our fangs. There are a lot of different reasons why people would want to have fangs of their own. One main reason is for the aesthetics of it. Also, some may feel that it completes them as a person. Such is the case for active members of the Vampyre community. Others may want them for costumes or simply because they just like them. No matter the type of person or reason, we take pride in our work and love what we do.
What styles of fangs are available? What style is requested most often?
We offer a wide range of styles including the traditional fangs and styles from popular Hollywood vampire classics such as Nosferatu, Dracula, Lost Boys, Interview with the Vampire, Underworld, Blade, and True Blood. We also offer Sabertooth and Cat styles. The most commonly requested style is the traditional with a fang on both canine teeth.
What are some important tips/tricks to wearing fangs? Are there any safety concerns?
First and foremost, it is important for us to express that we do not in any way condone biting. This could be very dangerous to both you and the person you’re biting. With that said, wearing fangs are very easy and be quite enjoyable. You simply just slide them in over your own tooth. A vacuum seal is created which holds them in place securely. They are very comfortable to wear and look completely natural.
You can perform normal daily tasks while wearing them, including drinking. You may drink anything you desire such as coffee, tea, wine, etc. It is important that if you decide to drink liquids that may stain, to rinse your mouth with water occasionally to prevent any damage to the fangs. Alcohol may eat away at the dental acrylic and cause the fangs to become brittle.
How can our readers purchase fangs from Feral Fangsmithing? Will they soon be available online?
As of now, we are offering custom fangs at local events that we attend. However, we are able to cater to buyers outside our immediate area by mail order. First you must contact your local dentist and have them make you an impression mold of your teeth. You can then send us the mold for us to create the fangs. The prices will vary a bit due to shipping costs. In the very near future, our website will be set up for online purchases.
What’s got you Fanged?
What’s got us fanged? Hmmm… What excites us is embarking on our new business in the world of fang making. We see very good things on the horizon for us, and it’s very exciting! I would have to say that a large amount of inspiration comes from Lady~A and the Master fangsmith himself: Father Sebastiaan. We can only hope that one day we will be just as successful in our business venture.