What is Worbla?

Cosplay-in-progress: D3 Demon Hunter by Lightning Cosplay, from Worbla.com

Lightning Cosplay’s finished D3 Demon Hunter cosplay, from Worbla.com.

People have seen “Worbla” pop up on our class calendar a few times now, and it leaves most people wondering what
it is and what they can do with it. Worbla is a thermoplastic that comes in various sized sheets. It’s become a popular material for people who cosplay, because ease of use make creating realistic looking armor and props a snap. But it is also used for making sculpture, making toys, masks, and jewelry.

Using plaster rolls to make a mannequin of my torso, which I will be using next week to form my Worbla armor piece (will post more progress images next week).

Using it can be simple once you learn the basics and get a bit of practice: create a paper pattern (whether it is
for a Halloween costume, scroll work for a walking stick, or a pendant to be worn on a necklace) and trace the pattern onto the Worbla with a Sharpie marker or a pen. Use scissors or a hot knife to cut the pattern out of the Worbla. Using a heat gun, you can then apply heat to shape the thermoplastic to the desired form. Right now, I am working on a Faun (half human, half goat/hooved animal) cosplay which will have an armor-like torso piece made with Worbla. I created a plaster mannequin of my own body (duct tape mannequins are also a frequently used method) which I will be using to form and mold the Worbla, I will be posting progress pictures next week.

Once you have the pieces formed to match what you imagined with the original paper pattern, it is time to apply finishing techniques. Worbla can be layered, sanded, textured, hot glued, and painted with a variety of mediums from acrylic to spray paint. When the Worbla is still warm you can gently press items into it to create a desired pattern or texture. Or, when it is completely cooled, you can sand it down to the desired smoothness.

We can teach you the hands-on basics of working with Worbla – from designing a pattern, to making the proper cut of the material, heat gun and pressure techniques to mold the Worbla, and how to correctly layer – on September 20th in our Armor Making: Worbla Forming class. Then, on September 21st, we will be teaching students the finishing techniques that will take Worbla from a plastic-looking material to the look of battle-worn metal armor in our Prop and Armor Finishing: Battle Damaged Painting class.
To sign up for these or any of our other Cosplay Workshop Weekend classes, call 951.266.6630.

Another Worbla work-in-progress. This Elder Scrolls Emperor armor is designed and built by The Tragic Shrew:

A feathered shoulder pauldron by Bambi Cosplay:

Check out more examples and get inspired at Worbla!

Get ready for Halloween with Vocademy!

Last week, Vocademy cosplay instructor and owner of Hoku Props, Chad Van Wye (pictured, second from right), appeared at Dragon Con in Atlanta wearing a Miraak cosplay which he made here at Vocademy. September’s Cosplay Workshop Weekend is now on the schedule for the 19th – 21st, check out the class calendar or view the Cosplay Workshop Weekend page for more information. The classes are filling up quickly after our appearance at last month’s Club Cosplay, so call 951.266.6630 ASAP to register.

This week we have a schedule packed with classes and events. Call to register.

Tuesday, Sept. 9th

Do-It-Together Tuesday (free event) @ 6pm
Mini Maker Faire info meeting & Maker show-and-tell @ 7pm

Wednesday, Sept. 10th
Laser Cutting & Engraving Introduction (free class) @ 5:30pm
Laser Cutting Basics @ 6:30pm
Shop Math & Measure @ 6:30pm

Thursday, Sept. 11th
Shop Drawings & Prints @ 6:30pm

Friday, Sept 12th
Woodturning – Open Sided Turning @ 6:30pm

Saturday, Sept. 13th
Welding Introduction (free class) @ 11:30am
MIG Welding Basics @1pm
Box Building & Box Joint @ 1:30pm
MIG Gap Plate @ 6pm

Sunday, Sept. 14th
3D Printing Introduction (free class) @ 11:30am
Welding Introduction (free class) @ 11:30am
3D Printing Basics @ 1pm
MIG Angle Iron Cube @ 1pm
Laser Cutting Basics @ 1:30pm
Making a Campfire Grill @ 6pm

Vocademy invited to Maker’s Roundtable, & Congressman Takano visits Vocademy

Vocademy’s Gene Sherman (top left) and Rosalva Chavez (second from top left) at the Maker’s Roundtable, hosted by Mayor Rusty Bailey in Riverside, CA. YOU can get involved with the Maker Movement by joining the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire!

Last week was an important one for both Vocademy and the Maker community in the Riverside area.

On August 25th Riverside Mayor, Rusty Bailey, hosted the first-ever Riverside Maker’s Roundtable, consisting of a very select group of 30 individuals representing a variety of sectors including government, education, manufacturing and the non-profit sector. The goal was to discuss Riverside’s role in the Maker’s Movement. Vocademy was in attendance, being represented by Gene Sherman and Rosalva “Salsa” Chavez, along with representatives from UCR, Toro, Bournes, DGA Machine Shop, Sandals Church, La Sierra, Congressman Takano’s office, and Superintendents from RUSD and AUSD. We are proud to say that Gene Sherman was invited to give the keynote speech, in which he discussed how and why he opened Vocademy.

After Gene’s speech, the representatives present all discussed a range of topics including how to better prepare our workforce by providing them with a combination of education and experience; addressing the skills gap; how to bring shop skills back to the classrooms; and commercializing technologies coming out of the universities and NAVSEA Corona Division, as well as how each company present can help promote and support the Maker Movement.

Congressman Mark Takano and Gene Sherman at Vocademy – The Makerspace.

Then the very next day we had Congressman Mark Takano visit us at Vocademy. He has been an amazing advocate of the Maker Movement and for Vocademy, he even started The Congressional Maker Caucus back in February and his office played an instrumental part in getting us invited to the White House Maker Faire (Thanks Yuri!).

Congressional Maker Caucus sign made by Vocademy’s own Dylan Harter (pictured with mom, Lori)!

We wanted to give him an award to say thank you for all his support, but we wanted to do it the “Maker” way. Dylan Harter with the help of some members, recreated the Maker Caucus logo into something much more special. The sign is now headed back to DC to be proudly displayed!

Maker Caucus sign, made with wood, acrylic, 3D printed items, and electronics. You can learn the skills needed to make your own light-up sign at Vocademy.