|First night with Thom, he let me|
wear Ashley's tail! I was excited and so
nervous, Ashley was top mermaid to me
so this was a high honor!
|<3 Thom and I <3|
Turns out, Thom felt the same way about me and mine and asked me to be part of the Mermaid Rentals Pod, I began swim training almost immediately and began planning my new career as a professional mermaid.
Working for Thom meant I got to wear a lot of different tails and learn how to care for, repair, and paint tails. I have worn tails that have been seen on Animal Planet, Comedy Central, and even the TV show Charmed. The most famous tail I have worn to date! The gold “Charmed Tail” was created for an episode of, you guessed it, Charmed for actress Alyssa Milano. Who it turns out doesn't swim and doesn't really like water… The Charmed Tail came into my care and I have worn her ever since, proudly at all the events Thom and I do together.
|The Charmed Tail, Dana Point 2013|
Despite my best efforts the tail is old and worn and Thom began talking about retiring her, but not until I had a tail of my own. Well as mermaids often find out tails are expensive and I had to go with what I could afford.
My Mother shelled out the cash to pay for a “silicone” tail so I could begin booking regular parties/gigs to help fund the tail I really wanted from Thom.
|Re-gluing Scales and|
|Re-gluing the Fluke...Again!|
It is home improvement store silicone and neoprine, which is tiring and stretching, making the tail bigger than its original size. Learn from my mistakes, research you tail makers, their material, and talk to previous customers. I used the knowledge from Thom in learning tail repair in order to keep the white tail together and just kept on swimming.
|Mermaid Ashley working on my tail.|
|Drying in the molds!|
Every time I went to Thom’s, I had to fondle the pieces of tail that were out of the mold. The call came all too quickly for me, the tail skins were finished and ready to be assembled and I was still sketching and coloring!
|Mermaid Fruit Roll Up!|
Thom reassured me that there was still time and that it would all come together and we picked a weekend to start fitting and assembling. My Husband and I headed over one evening, I mostly giggled and played around in my tail skins and then we got down to business!
The first fitting is the easiest part, the cutting is the scariest part and second fitting is even more nerve racking. It’s time to find out if you measured and cut properly… so nervous! Thank god I have friends who do Math, because I don’t trust my math skills and the tail body fit perfectly, thank you Crystal!
|Second Fitting and Fluke Placement|
Then we fit, marked, cut and secured the fluke with a Rapid Monofin snug inside the tail body. This was it the moment of truth, the tail was complete and it fit!
|All the paint and test strips!|
I had been looking at lot of different sea creatures for inspiration and looking closely at the SPLASH Tail. I knew I wanted to keep some of the gold from the Charmed Tail and I wanted the markings to mimic the markings on the SPLASH tail. I settled on a design I had created using the Octopus from adult to juvenile as inspiration. Everyone agreed that the octopus tail design was made for me!
|My original stretch|
Together Thom and I put on the primmer and then he let me lose… gulp, ok painting skills don’t let me down now. I will admit, I was so nervous to put brush to tail I pranced around and whined a little before really getting into it. It took two days to paint the entire tail all by hand with a little help from the Mer-family!
|Blocking colors for the base coat.|
Layer by Layer, the colors and pattern started to come together, I kept telling myself not to get discouraged, it wasn't finished. It’s so hard to be objective, when you are your own worst critic. I was unsure of my skills with this new kind of paint and I was so worried it would be ugly or weird looking or markings wouldn't match up, AH!
|Day Two: Painting the Fluke|
But once I settled into it and just let the paint and brush work for me and listened to Thom’s stories and memories, it all flowed. I was still scared by day two, but I knew it would be ok. On day two my Husband came with me to spend the day with Thom and I, he brought his giant didgeridoo and serenaded us while I painted!
|<3 Torleif, my Landsmen <3|
By midafternoon, I had my husband painting alongside me as we layered the colors on the fluke and before the night was out, I was honored to have Thom’s wife, Susan or Mom as we call her, lend a helping hand with the final clear coat.
|Torleif putting on the final wash of copper!|
|Meridian Mer-Gyver, 2014|
Check back with me for more blogs, photos, and adventure! Leave a comment, stay connected and be sure to follow Meridian Mer-Gyver at:Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/meridian.mergyverTwitter:https://twitter.com/MeridianMerGyve