Mr. Tumnus the Faun

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 10.05.08 (updated 29.06.19)    


I grew up listening to my dad read C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (and yes, I watched the BBC miniseries many times as a kid). When the live action film was released in 2005, it was the perfect excuse to make a faun costume! Though not intended to replicate the film adaptation of the character, I of course wore the costume to see the movie on opening weekend.


The original set of horns (circa 2005) were made from stiff paper I cut in such a way as to create shaped horns that would curl around my head, a design that landed somewhere between goats and rams. This form was taped up, then wrapped in string dipped in glue to form the ribbed texture, and finally painted with a custom acrylic paint and matte Mod Podge mixture that allowed me to polish some of the high points.

They were glued onto my forehead with super glue. Yes, I lost a lot of hair.

I eventually cut off the base of the horns so they were much shorter (more like 5”) and more manageable, but was never happy with how they turned out. New ones were eventually made out of clay, in a much more subtle 2” length. You can check out the Narnian horn article here.


I was in a full-torso back brace in high school. Not a particularly enjoyable time, to be sure, but there was one positive beyond the spinal corrections: I had left over titanium bars. My dad constructed hooves out of wood and created a foot brace using the titanium pieces. I added industrial velcro straps, gel pads intended for high heels, and of course the fur coverings (attached with more velcro so I could piece things together when dressing, instead of trying to put everything on at once).


These were largely repurposed, using the short tan pants from my Frodo Baggins outfit and a shirt and jacket I designed and made for a short film premiere where I was the lead VFX artist (No Greater Love,). And yes, I was slightly late to the premiere because I was finishing the last few stitches at home!


It was snowing as I drove through the small town of Sweetser, Indiana, anticipating seeing cherished childhood memories of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe translated to the big screen. The white of the snow easily reflected and diffused the light of street lamps, brightly illuminating the otherwise dark night. As I turned onto a side street toward Marion, a police officer pulled me over. “Did you realise you were driving without your headlights turned on?” Oh shoot, I really hadn’t. He was nice about it and let me off with a warning, at which point I started to drive away…only then realising I was wearing fur leggings, had 12” horns glued to my head, and in the seat next to me were giant hooves.

I’ll always wonder what story that police officer shared back at headquarters.