Meredith Yayanos of Coilhouse interviewed Kim Graham about her finely-tuned digitigrade, "reverse leg" extensions. Graham has started selling them at Weta for NZD$1,320 a pair.
Please describe the Weta Legs. What sets your invention apart from other kinds of stilts or leg extensions?Inventor/Sculptor Kim Graham’s Weta Legs
They have been called the Holy Grail of costuming. How do you build a device that will give a person the backward leg of a dog or horse? They are referred to by all sorts of names: digilegs, digitigrades, faun legs…
What does digitigrade mean?
A digitigrade is an animal that stands or walks on its digits, or toes. But this is not easy to say unless you like tongue twisters, so it was shortened to “digileg”. They’ve also been called “dog legs” or “reverse stilts”. Originally, we called them leg extensions, because they’re not really stilts, but we want to give them one name that is pretty easy to say. Hence, Weta Legs.
Visually, the name seems very apropos – a weta is this weird, monstrous bug, and t here’s something vaguely insectoid about the leg extenstions. They certainly do make the silhouette of the person wearing them appear alien.
They do. A person’s body type is stretched out, and there is an unnatural bending to the leg that is both very attractive and outright creepy! It also changes your presence. Not because of your height, but because your entire gait is altered. It’s a very haunting appearance.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
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