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Meet the sculptor who made this creepily realistic sloth costume

“Give him a hug!” Uhm, maybe no.

Karoline Hinz is a Berlin-based prop maker and sculptor who has created pieces for theatre productions, music videos, and film and television. For instance, she previously created Kung Fu Panda masks for 20th Century Fox, as well as human-sized sex robots for Netflix.

But her most viral work has to be the full-sized sloth suit. Able to fit a human adult, the costume features movable extended claw-gloves, claw-slippers, and a silicon face with punched hair and glass eyes. And unlike other sloths, it can actually move nimbly (and even ride a bike).

Dear sloth lovers! I keep getting a lot of messages/mails/etc with a simple “how much for the sloth costume?!”. So here comes another explanation: This one particular costume is not for sale! It is one of a kind, commissioned by a customer a year ago. I put endless hours of work into this, for example the head is hand sculpted, then casted in silicone and every single hair of the face is hand punched! It took about 8 weeks for the costume to be done (with the help of my lovely friend Alexandra who took good care of most of the sewing part). For a private person however, I don’t think this costume would be affordable, as we’re speaking of a couple of thousand euros working time alone. While I’m open for serious inquiries at all times, right now there is no way for me to produce this cheaper. Then again – having something similar being outsourced would most likely result in lack of quality, and that is not what I am aiming for. I hope you all understand that this is what I do for a living and I too have to pay for rent, insurance and food like every other person. I will keep you posted about everything concerning the sloth! Please be a little patient, I am still on holidays and will be back to my normal studio life by the end of next week. THANK YOU🖤 PS: please always make sure to give credits or link back to my instagram account! 📸 @dominikbutzmann #slothcostume #karolinehinz #propshopberlin #slothlove

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On social media, people either want it or want nothing to do with it.

“I am so uncomfortable but I want one too!” said one commenter, while another added: “That would scare the legitimate fuck out if me if I saw it walking down the street. Still, great costume.”

Unfortunately, even though many have inquired about buying the sloth costume, it’s not for sale. That may be for the best. Just think of all the pranks you could come up with this!

Just hit 4.5k! That’s insane, thank you!! I also got the question a lot how to see while wearing the costume! The answer is simple: the sloth head is actually sitting on top of your own head, much like a helmet! There is a small space with mesh just underneath the sloths chin (you can spot it here in the picture pretty good), mostly covered with fur but you actually can see quite good while wearing it! Again: this particular costume was a commission and is not for sale. Since it’s my job to make stuff like that for a living however it is possible to send serious inquires to hello@karolinehinz.com . Please keep in mind that I am a one person business and make most of the stuff alone, which takes a lot of time. I‘ve been planning to do miniature resin sloths as well as new patches and stickers so I’ll keep you posted if something comes up.// / / #propshopberlin #slothcostume #slothstume #karolinehinz

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We recently caught up with Hinz to know more about her incredible yet unsettling artwork:

Please tell us more about yourself. How did you get into costume making?

“I am a trained prop maker and sculptor. Originally, I learned at a big opera house in Berlin where we produced all the stage designs. After my apprenticeship, I started working as a freelancer full time. We didn’t learn to do costumes though, that’s something I taught myself over the years. With all the things I’m doing, it’s a constant progress of learning new techniques and materials because every job is completely different.”

How would you describe your work/style?

“I don’t have a certain style. People approach me for totally different things, from small-scale props to huge over-dimensional sculptures. It’s a weird but awesome mix and I’m happy that the clients trust me and have faith that I’ll be able to make exactly what they want.”

Meet my sloth. I had to hide him for about a year in my closet but now he is finally allowed to step out in public. This has to be my favorite project ever so far. It consists of a padded under suit, full body fur suit, slippers with claws, extended claw gloves (which can move!) and the headpiece of course. I sculpted the head and casted it in silicone and punched all the face hair, added glass eyes. The suit was sewn with the help of my friend Alex because she’s way better and faster then me on the sewing machine! We figured out the proportions together and I could work on all the other pieces meanwhile. Please, go to my website for more pictures – propshopberlin.com. I am sure I will upload more photos on here in the future. Also a huge thank you to my good friend @dominikbutzmann for the amazing pictures..you can tell they’re a bit older by the look of my studio 🙂 I also worked more on this after we did the pictures. Thank you Thilo for trusting me on this in the first place, it really is a dream come true. As stupid as this might sound, sloths mean a lot to me and they helped get back on track a few years ago when I had a tough time. I could talk about these creatures for hours, so if you have any questions (about the costume or sloths in general), don’t hesitate to ask🐒 It still makes me so happy every time I look at him and I hope I can put a smile on your face as well. Please, if you share any of those pictures, don’t forget to give credit. SLOTHLOVE🖤🖤🖤 (Btw, yes, it’s me wearing the costume. lol) / / @folivoralove @instasloths @sloth.day @diekuttner @odd_studio @wuendisch @theslothinstitute @jaguarrescuecentercr @simonegiertz @testedcom @therealadamsavage @samtrull / / / #sloth #sculpting #sculptor #cosplay #sculpture #kostümplastik #crafts #slothcostume #karolinehinz #karolinzky #maker #sewing #hairpunching #creature #makersgonnamake #faultier #airbrush #fursuit #sloths #slothlife #slothlove #diy #girlboss #propmaking #sfx #propshop #propshopberlin #claws #instasloth #costumedesign

A post shared by Karoline Hinz/Prop Shop Berlin (@karolinehinz) on

What inspired you to create a full-body sloth suit?

“It was commissioned by a company. Unfortunately, at this point, I am not allowed to reveal who it was. But since sloths are my favorite animals I’ve always wanted to do a sloth costume anyways, and this was a happy coincidence – I don’t have much time for personal projects, sadly.”

What was the most challenging part of making it?

“Everything was challenging, yet at the same time fun to work on. I made everything from scratch and a good friend of mine who is an amazing seamstress helped me with the bodysuit pattern.

“We figured out the proportions together and she helped me sew it while I was working on the head and the claws meanwhile. I wanted him to look cute but very lifelike, not like a mascot, so the face was very important.”

What are the funniest responses you’ve gotten over it?

“I got a lot of lovely messages! Lots of people love sloths, at the same time, a lot of people are freaked out by them. Probably because this costume seems to be on the thin edge of looking a bit too realistic maybe, I got a lot of comments of people who felt really unsettling with the thought of sloths being at a human size.”

What are you working on next? How do you plan on topping this one?

“I have a few projects at a time, commissions from different clients that I can’t talk about yet.

“But I have already planned for a year or so to make second sloth costume for myself, this time trying the less popular two-toed sloth which looks a bit different.

“I also would love to do an armadillo. My list of personal projects and ideas is endless, I just need to find the time besides working for clients, which is not always easy.”

You can see more of Karoline Hinz and her work here.

In partnership with our friends at Glenmorangie, Lost At E Minor presents the second episode in the We Are The World We Create podcast series, dedicated to celebrating those people, and their exceptional creations, that help make the world a more interesting place. In this episode, Bigsy speaks to Masterchef contestant, Reynold Poernomo, and street artist Brad “Beastman” Eastman, and delves into why dessert is everyone’s favourite course and how being a street artist can change how you perceive the world. Listen now!

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