Handmade Dragons for the Hagrid in All of Us

“Crikey, I’d like a dragon.” — Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Just as there are lots of different kinds of dragons in the world, there are many different sorts of dragon lovers out there. But there is one thing most of us have in common. We are all Hagrid. We all want to own a dragon. Whether we dream of riding a dragon of Pern or flying with Toothless, we agree that dragons make awesome friends. However, they’re hard to find and challenging to feed, so we have to make do with substitutes. Here are some ways to get a dragon in your house without having to knock out a wall or buy a herd of cattle.

When I was at the bead show in Tuscon in February, I got to see Cindy Hulsey’s wonderful beaded dragon in person. The dragon is part jewelry, part puppet, and lays along your forearm. I was reminded of Anne McCaffrey’s cat-sized fire lizards, tiny dragons perfect for apartment dwellers. You can get the pattern and all the beads needed to make it from Hulsey’s Etsy site CCBeadwork2.

CHulseyArmDragon
Cindy Hulsey’s beaded Black Dragon

You’ve probably seen the popular video of an artist making a dragon-head wall trophy from paper mache. Dan “The Monster Man” has a lot more dragons out there, each cooler than the next. This article about his trophy heads contains mostly dragons, and you can find other wonderful dragons in his paper mache gallery.

One of many amazing dragon heads by Dan "The Monster Man"
One of many amazing dragon heads by Dan “The Monster Man”

If you aren’t up for making your dragon companion yourself, there are plenty of clever artists ready to make one for you. Kate Higgins of Flamingo Incognito turns the classic pink plastic yard flamingo into dragons and sells them on her Etsy site.

Smokey Embers Dragon made from a flamingo by Kate Higgins of Flamingo Incognito.
Smokey Embers Dragon made from a flamingo by Kate Higgins of Flamingo Incognito.
Welsh Red Dragon made by Kate Higgins of Flamingo Incognito
Welsh Red Dragon made by Kate Higgins of Flamingo Incognito

Another Etsy artist takes a more whimsical approach. Olga Shirobana’s soft-sculpture dragons remind me of Toothless, from the movie How To Train Your Dragon. Big-eyed and sleek, her made-to-order dragons would make great companions.

A soft sculpture dragon by Olga Shirobana (UniversesSwirls)
A soft sculpture dragon by Olga Shirobana (UniversesSwirls)

I doubt the last dragon I want to share with you is for sale, but I had to include it because Kim Rhodes’ painted sculpey sculpture is so beautiful. Maybe if you made her an offer…?

Painted dragon sculpture made from polymer clay, foil, and wire by Kim Rhodes
Painted dragon sculpture made from polymer clay, foil, and wire by Kim Rhodes

Do you want a dragon, too? Which of these is your favorite — or is there another one you have your eye on? Please share!

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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