I don’t have a Mer name to introduce myself with, so for the sake of the forum I guess Montem will do. I live in a tiny town in rural America that eternally resides in the 1940’s. So you can get the idea of what the response is to someone who swims dressed up as a mermaid is… Yes, I am proud to be the local eccentric artist, who everyone wonders is crazy. This is what prompted me to reach out and discover if there are people out there with the same Syrenitis affliction that I have!
I was born and raised half my life in Florida. The ocean and Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” were the deepest cultural influences to stick with me. This is saying something since we moved to the mountainous state of West Virginia. The thing I miss the most of living down there is the ocean. I used to fall asleep to its lullaby, dolphins playing in the silver surf of the moonlight, as we sat on the back porch. I carried buckets of shells, sea glass, and bits of random treasures that I collected from the days of being neighbors with the big blue all the way to the mountains. I have come to love my new mountain home and its breathtaking beauty. There is always a small tugging in my heart that draws me back to dreaming of the ocean and swimming as a mermaid. Even though I’ll likely never get to swim as a mermaid in the ocean I would be content to let the outside reflect what has always been on the inside. Who more is a part of the ocean than a mermaid?
It felt strange when I decided to tackle the hurdle of making my mer-tail (as I am not in my twenties anymore). I will apologize in advance as I am over analytical about most everything! Though I found this makes me a great artist! I figured since there are differences in fresh and salt water fish(this seemingly silly thought of now being surrounded by fresh instead of saltwater) I would try to capture and produce the beauty of a black and red Rose Tail
With some out of the box ingenuity and seamstress work I managed to get it down. It has a long flowing dorsal fin on the back held upright and flowing with a flexible piece of plastic cutting board to maintain shape and movement. Reinforced ventral fins of the same flexible material are on the front. I was just as worried about my fins looking like fins while moving through water as I was with it looking good once it was dry. There are two equal size “dorsal” fins starting just below the knees that come out with a little support in them, giving the full tail figure that the bettas display. Then over the monofin is an encasing layer of thinner flexible plastic that provides a larger footprint for the fin giving the full-bodied tail shape and form. The fins are made from burgundy fabric liner and medium transparency black chiffon, while the body is made from black scale spandex swimwear fabric. To reduce the appearance of legs and smooth the tail lending to fluidity of the overall shape, I sewed in a one inch layer of quick dry foam in the body of the tail. It doesn’t cause any buoyancy issues and a pleasant side effect is that the tail dries supper fast! Lastly I used by brushes and thinned paints to add the striping and fin detail to give it a more realistic look.
Sorry for such a long hello, but I wasn’t sure what to write until I started then I just kind of rambled on! Thank you for taking the time to read this! I look forward to hearing from you!