JordanCon 2021

JordanCon is being tentatively rescheduled for sometime this summer. Please see our JordanCon 2021 FAQ for the most up-to-date information.

JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Jordan was the author of the best-selling The Wheel of Time series. JordanCon features eight tracks of simultaneous programming, a Dealers’ Hall, gaming, an Art Show featuring original art by a variety of artists, and charity events benefiting the Mayo Clinic and other charities. Past guests have included Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sam Weber, David Wong, Jana G. Oliver, Emilie Bush, David B. Coe, Eugie Foster, Seanan McGuire, Michael Whelan, Larry Elmore, Saladin Ahmed, Todd Lockwood, Catherine Asaro, John Picacio, Patrick Rothfuss, Charles E. Gannon, and Stephen Hickman.

We are a 501c4 tax-exempt organization.

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

While reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I fell in love with many of the characters. Spensa and Skyward Flight are fun worth spending time with, if you have not read the book already. The non-human characters became my absolute favorites. After Isaac Stewart created an amazingly cute depiction of Doomslug, I had to create one for myself. The little yellow and blue space slug can pull at you with her gentle fluting. This November, readers find out more about Doomslug in Starsight. In support, I thought others might enjoy creating their own space slugs.

My mission was to create a slug pattern to create a cuddly Doomslug that mimics Stewart’s design. After some experiments with dart lines, curves, and other sewing tricks, I hit upon the proper shape to mimic Stewart’s rather rounded artwork rather than using a pattern that looks like an Earth slug (footnote 1).

Making your own space slug requires a handful of tools and a moderate skill level at sewing. The included pattern and instructions will walk you through the process.

Sewing Supplies:

Required:

  • ½ yard of primary material
  • ½ yard of accent material
  • ½ yard of fusible interfacing medium weight
  • Spools of thread of matching colors
  • Cotton or polyester stuffing
  • Black fabric material for eyes
  • Black and white embroidery thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Bobbins

Optional Supplies:

  • Walking Foot for your sewing machine – Highly recommended.
  • Roller cutting blade
  • Metal ruler/flat edge
  • 1/8 yard Double sided interfacing for eyes

More Optional supplies for an internal weighted pouch:

Reason – This gives the slug more heft and allows it to balance on its own better.

  • ¼ yard of third cotton material
  • Poly-fil pellets – up to 1 pound
  • Cotton or polyester batting

Note on Material:

Any material can be used to create your space slug: cotton, fleece, flannel, velveteen, etc. When working with the thicker sections, a walking foot will save you a number of headaches. If your fabric has a nap, including velvet or micro fleece, it’s best to cut your pattern pieces one layer at a time. Double check that the nap direction is the one you want. Ideally the nap will flow smoothly from the front to the back. If you plan to use velvet, please read this helpful tutorial before cutting your pattern pieces.

I bought a bright polyester velvet for many of my space slug creations. The one shown with straight spines was made with pure plush fleece, which is incredibly soft.

Pattern:

The pattern is printed on three pages of 11”x17″.
It will create a slug approximately: 6” tall x 13” long x 16” around.

Scale up or down to change the size of the slug. The ruffle and spines pattern need to be altered less, they are fine for a 15% +/- in size change. Brandon Sanderson said my original design was “just a tad too big.” The original design was 10% larger, creating a slug: 8” tall x 15” long x 20” around.

Cutting Directions:

Lay out the Body Pattern pieces on the main fabric. Match the nap of your fabric if applicable.
Cut matching pieces on interfacing as well. The second cut should be a mirror to the first.

Body Pattern pieces are:

1D Pattern PIece

Mirror of the pattern pieces 1D.

 

  • Body Side (1A) – cut 2
  • Body Base (1B) – cut 1
  • Face piece (1C) – cut 1
  • Top curve (1D) – cut 2
  • Top side (1E) – cut 2
  • Head Top (1F) – cut 1
  • Eye (1G) – cut 2

 

Accent Pattern pieces cut on accent fabric:
Body Ruffle (2A) – cut 1 – Cut on a double fold – Needs to be at least 40″ to go around the body with extra gathering. For a fuller ruffle, cut a longer piece or sew two pieces together.

Spines (2B) – cut 4 – Zig-zag spines should be cut on a double fold – Need to be between 50″ to 60″ to have enough length for deep loops.

Internal pouch – no pattern, no interfacing – simply cut a rectangle 20” long by 4” wide.

Note: The accent pieces are all long rectangles. It’s easiest to square up your fabric on a self-healing mat. Cut in strips with the help of a straight edge and using a roller blade cutter.

Design Choices:
Before you start making your space slug, you need to decide which style you are going to make. Besides fabric choice, each creator chooses the style of eyes and spines they want to make. For the eyes, pick if you want to use fabric eyes or if you will embroider them.
The spines are the harder choice, and often driven by your fabric choice. Thicker fleece will be very difficult to turn into the zig-zag loops.

Spine option 1: Zig-zags – Requires more material and more sewing skills. Your spine strips will each need to be between 50” to 60” in length. Thus the “cut on the fold” note for the pattern could represent a double fold. This design better mimics the official Doomslug design, but are not true spines.

Option 2: Straight Tubes – Requires the spine stripes to be the length of the slug’s body, about 14” each, if you don’t resize the pattern. These are much easier and quicker to attach.

Spine Opt. 1 (right) and Opt. 2 (left)

Two different spine designs. Opt. 1 – Zig-zag (right) and Opt. 2 – Straight (left)

Sewing Directions:

Body pieces have a seam allowance of ⅜”

The full sewing directions with helpful images are found here and can be printed easily.
The basic sewing order of operations are:

  1. Sew the spine tubes together – four of 2B
  2. Sew the Ruffle – one of 2A
  3. Iron the interfacing to all the body parts – 1A to 1F.
  4. Pick the type of eyes you want to create.  Attach or sew them onto the face piece 1C.
  5. Sew the lower body together: 1A (2 pieces), 1B, and 1C
  6. Sew the ruffle 2A onto the lower body piece.
  7. Pin the Spines 2B to first 1D for each side.
  8. Lay 1E on top of the spines, sew together.
  9. Attach a Spine 2B to Half of 1F.
  10. Attach 1F to one side of the top body.
  11. Layout and attach the Spines to the joined 1F and 1E piece.
  12. Attach the other side of the body to finish the top half of the slug.
  13. To attach the two halves together – Right sides of fabric together, line up the center of the piece 1F to the face 1C. Pin around the body. Be sure to leave an opening at the back or on a lower side for turning the body right side out.
  14. Create the internal weighted pouch by sewing a simple pouch.
  15. Fill with poly-fil beads, then sew closed.
  16. Wrap pouch with batting, stuff into the slug body.
  17. Use cotton or poly fiberfil to stuff the slug body to the density you wish.
  18. Sew the opening closed. I hand-stitch mine.
Slug body before finishing

Bottom and top half of the space slug body before joining them together.

Enjoy taking your space slug on adventures!

Sanderson and Doomslug, 2019

Brandon Sanderson with Doomslug at DragonCon

 

Doomslug group, DragonCon 2019

Gathering of Doomslugs at DragonCon, 2019.

If you make a space slug, please share your creation with me, Deana Whitney, either by emailing me at Workshop@jordancon.org, sharing it on Instagram at JordanConInc or Doomslug_Adventures, or showing it directly to Isaac Stewart at Izykstewart.

Note: This Space slug pattern is for fun and personal use only. You may not use this pattern to create a for-profit item. Deana Whitney is the creator and owner of the sewing pattern. Copyright of Doomslug is held by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Inc.

All photos copyright by Deana Whitney, 2019.

Footnote 1:

My first version of Doomslug was made for the signing party, but it looked like an earth slug.  To create it, I enlarged the Delilah Iris by 200% to create a 8” long slug. The back spines are a rectangle piece accordion folded, whipped stitched closed, attached to the back piece, then cut in random spikes. The bottom ruffle was another enlargement of the base pattern piece.

Earth Slug

Slugs from the Delilah Iris pattern.

JordanCon 2020

JordanCon 2020 will be April 17-19, 2020.
Our Author Guest of Honor Faith Hunter and Artist Guests of Honor Justin and Annie Stegg Gerard!. Toastmaster is Rhed Morgan.

Theme: Con of Legends

JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Jordan was the author of the best-selling The Wheel of Time series. JordanCon features eight tracks of simultaneous programming, a Dealers’ Hall, gaming, an Art Show featuring original art by a variety of artists, and charity events benefiting the Mayo Clinic and other charities. Past guests have included Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sam Weber, David Wong, Jana G. Oliver, Emilie Bush, David B. Coe, Eugie Foster, Seanan McGuire, Michael Whelan, Larry Elmore, Saladin Ahmed, Todd Lockwood, Catherine Asaro, John Picacio, Patrick Rothfuss, Charles E. Gannon, and Stephen Hickman.

We are a 501c4 tax-exempt organization.

Women of the WoT’Mere

In honor of International Women’s Day, JordanCon is proud to announce our Women of the WoT’Mere Fan Favorites Contest! The first ever bracket is set. We tallied your nominations and used your input to create match-ups for 16 of the most amazing female characters from “The Wheel of Time” and the Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere.

Between them, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson created some of the strongest, most inspirational female characters out there. This is a chance to celebrate your favorite female characters, so let’s keep it positive. We’re not asking who is ‘strongest’ or who would win in a fight. We just want to know who your favorite female character is so we can celebrate the great women of the WoT’Mere. Comments gushing about what you love most are highly encouraged!

Voting takes place daily on Facebook and Twitter. You can view the full bracket (featuring top nominees and their rankings of 1-16) here:
https://docs.google.com/…/1uB2uxMUyznK8NrrcPAVrwaIra-…/edit…

Meet the Artist: Angela Sasser

www.angelasasser.com

Angela is the author of “Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels With Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil” and an alumni of the University of West Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design. She works in many mediums, including watercolor and digital media, to create whimsical Art Nouveau and narrative fantasy art. She is also a leather artisan and mask-maker in her spare time. In the next few years, she hopes to expand her skillset into writing and illustrating her own novels.

How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?

I had always been a crafty child, thanks to my very crafty mom. I was always devouring coloring books, making my own pop-up books, and doodling my own little illustrated horror stories. Scariest Stories Ever Told provided so much inspiration for my young mind! That series and unicorns (what a mix!) activated my joy for the fantastical and the strange very early on.

When I was around 8 years old, I read the book Saint George and the Dragon over and over. I never got tired of finding the faeries and creatures its illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman, had hidden in the expertly crafted borders. Magic permeated every corner of the book’s fanciful illustrations. The first time I looked at the book’s credits, I realized that a human being just like myself had taken a story and created imagery for it. I wanted to be a person just like that, whether I brought life to someone else’s stories or to my own.

What do you see as the primary link between writing and art? (If you think there is one.)

As a writer and artist, myself, I find that both activities fulfill different sensory needs and oftentimes one will inspire the other in an amazing feedback loop of inspiration. I do my best work when I am both writing and drawing.

For example, a viewer looking at a painting can get an immediate read of a painted scene and impress upon it their own thoughts, feelings, and narrative, while a written scene can provide a deeper sense of lyricism, of hidden history and emotion put into words. I tend to write to get to know my characters as people, while drawing those characters and scenes gives me a sense of atmosphere and physical presence. One activity most certainly enriches the other!

If I had to put a word to what this primary link is, I’d call it ‘immersion’. Stories, whether told in video games, art, writing, or any other media, all give us a piece of the puzzle to an immersive experience, one that lets us form an empathetic link with the characters.

Are you a fan of The Wheel of Time? If not, what is your favorite book or series?

I’m a newcomer to the series, so ask me about this at the next convention you see me at after I’ve had a chance to finish reading The Eye of the World! Brandon Sanderson’s work has drawn me into the series via Mistborn, which I’m also currently reading. So far, I’m intrigued and can’t wait to dive into this rich, complex world!

My favorite book series, the one that first hooked me into mature fantasy is undoubtedly the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. Imagine if the spies and courtesans of Game of Thrones were the main characters of the series and you have a hint of the intrigue of the world of Terre d’Ange. Add the mysticism of fallen angels, an amazing female protagonist, and a complex sex-positive culture and you have all the things that make the world of Kushiel’s Legacy stand out in a way that’s inspired my muse for years.

What’s the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?

I’ve always felt like the geeky outsider with my love of tabletop games, fantasy EVERYTHING, and video games. Conventions are magical places where I get to feel normal, like everyone I meet is a kindred spirit who understands my passion for these things. It’s also a place I get to ramble endlessly about fantasy art without people’s eyes glazing over! The sense of connection I feel at cons helps me when my small world of the art studio starts to get lonely. My profession as an artist is an isolated one and it helps me feel less insane to get out of the art cave and bond with other like-minded humans!

I wanted to thank the Art Show staff and JordanCon con-goers for making my first year at JordanCon last year a special one and welcoming me to the JordanCon family! Winning Judge’s Choice award in the Art Show last year was a wonderful surprise and the first time a convention has given me a trophy with an award. I have it displayed proudly next to my favorite Assassin’s Creed and Horizon Zero Dawn statues! I’m looking forward to taking part this year and diving back into the thick of things. Please do feel free to drop by and say hello to me at my table in the Dealer Hall. I’d love to chat and geek out!

What are your plans for the future?

I’m currently working on a series of Art Nouveau paintings that I hope to turn into an art book next year! I’ve been toiling on this birthstone-inspired series of goddesses for the past few years and can’t wait to share their dreamlike visages with everyone in a beautiful cohesive volume. I also plan to Kickstart a coloring book based on this series in the next few months, since I have a glut of meticulous line art that came out of this series and would love to share that detailed insanity with coloring fans like myself.

After this series has been fully wrapped up, I can’t wait to venture further into the world of writing! I’ve always wanted to indulge my writing muse, but haven’t had the time with my art muse having a majority vote. Once my latest series is wrapped up, I look forward to adventuring into my story world of cursed princes, has-been monster hunters, and snarky elves! I look forward to sharing more about this venture in the coming JordanCons.

If you’d like to find out more about the authors and artists who share their work at JordanCon, check out our other “Meet the Artist” blogs.

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