One of the things that have been most fun for our kids this summer has been the making of magic wands.
Earlier this summer, my husband and I learned about Expectocon - a Harry Potter themed convention a few hours away, to be held in August. With my oldest finally reaching the Harry Potter age, and my son deeply invested in the lore of Merlin, we quickly decided to make a family trip of the event.
Naturally, magic wands were deemed a necessity. And suddenly a whole new branch of Kempfert Family Game Makers was born.
My husband's candle wand turned out beautifully with bronze highlights on the sculpture.
Of course, my favorite is my own wand, which is sculpted and painted to resemble a mystical irridescent white wood, inlayed with crystals with vine detailing.
So how do we make these, beautiful wands? And what are our plans for them in relation to the business?
I'll answer the second question first. Magic wands will soon be available as part of Kempfert Family Game Makers stock, and will be making appearances at local events and stockists.
As far as how we make them, our first batch of wands are made from locally sourced pine.
The wands are carved and shaped by me. I would like to say that I start with a solid design for each of them, but maybe it's more magical to admit that I really just kind of go with the flow and let them decide what they want to be.
Some wands just get some basic shaping, while some get some more detail.
(these photos were taken while we were setting up a new D&D campaign. In case you're wondering. I'm a level 1 halfling wizard called Badger with some pretty sad wisdom stats)
After the wands are shaped comes one of my favorite parts.
Some wands get added details, so we break out the clay! Sculpting and drying takes up a significant amount of production time, but it's so worth it. It makes the wands really pop and turns them into something really special.
Usually, I find myself sculpting in two stages, doing both a wet sculpt and a dry sculpt on the wands to get the level of detail I want.
It can take a couple of days to complete both a wet and dry sculpt on the clay to get look I'm going for.
Sometimes work means doing some dry sculpting while checking emails and waiting for spaghetti water to boil during drawing time.
Once the base of the wands is finished, it's time for my next favorite part - the painting. Painting is when I really get to see things come together and bring pieces to life
After the paint has dried, it's a matter of varnishing, adding finishing details like leather or ribbon wrapped pommels, jewels, and anything else the wand may have been designed for. Once the finishes are in place, they are ready to be photographed and put up in the shop.
While the process can be fairly quick, some wands take several hours to create, not including drying and setting time.
It can be painstaking, and it is one of the reasons the premium wands in our shop are priced higher than other wands. These wands represent hours upon hours of sculpting and painting, of backaches and blisters, that culminate into something truly magical for our collection.
We hope you've enjoyed this look into our process. To get a better look at these wands, or to purchase one for yourself, head on over to our shop.