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Pickled Vegetable

Pickled Vegetable

I conquered my first giant pickle mascot costume this week. How many times do you get to say that in your life?

There’s an Austin based company that sells pickle shots, apparently chasers made from pickle juice sold at bars. I’ve heard before in my life that pickle juice is great for your throat, I’ve seen performers of many kinds drinking pickle juice before they go on stage, so I could understand that there may be some good to come of these pickle shots. I’ve yet to try one myself, perhaps because the bars I frequent do not carry such products, or possibly because I rarely drink liquor. From what I gather this product sells better in west 6th st. bars (if you’re from Austin you will understand that reference). Regardless, the company was in need of a mascot costume to start a “Drunken Pickle” campaign, and I was happy to take on the project.

I went back and forth between what type of foam to use. It seemed that an open-cell polyurethane based foam would be best. I needed it to be somewhat washable, durable, but flexible and light weight enough to wear around all night (while drinking) in the hot Texas summer. I know from experience that regular upholstery foam degrades much quicker and can also lose shape. I went with a 2″  , 80″ x 72″ full sheet of Extra Firm Foam. I imagined that I’d be doing a lot of carving and shaping to get the rounded look, I also purchased a can of Claire Mist Spray Adhesive in hopes that the foam would easily glue together, creating a better seal than hand sewing. I used my husband as my pickle model (Thank you Dear, for always being my mannequin), and started to plan out exactly how the pickle would be constructed.

Pickle Shooter Mascot (sorry for the horrible phone picture)

 

What I learned about foam: Despite how firm the foam you are using is, using carving as a technique to get a good shape is incredibly difficult. I ended up ditching the extra firm, which turned out to be way too heavy to comfortably wear, and impossible to shape, and went with a much lighter high quality upholstery foam. I essentially made 4 long pieces that I cut and hand sewed together to create a seamless pickle shape, created an outer tight fitting fabric shell, added in the proper arm holes and face. The final product turned out great, but it did take a little trial and error on my part. Now I know for the next giant vegetable mascot costume that I need to build. I never did get a proper photo of the pickle in action, however recently I stumbled across an obscene video online starring the Drunken Pickle himself. I won’t show it all, but here is a quick clip: