Miami-Dade County

Artist, musician brings final ‘fang tour’ to TattooLaPalooza

rsavransky@MiamiHerald.com

MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Dnash got her first pair of fangs in the mid-’90s, and has been making her own ever since.

The fang-maker and musician kicked off her final fang tour in Miami on Friday after touring for 10 years. Custom teeth, tusks and fangs from her company, Teeth by Dnash, are featured at TattooLaPalooza, a convention of tattoo artists and other craft-makers running Friday to Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.

Dnash’s custom teeth are made using Lang Dental acrylics, the material used by dental labs to create temporary crowns, partials and full dentures. All teeth made by Dnash are temporary and use individual caps. A pair of custom fangs, which includes two teeth, starts at $125 and ranges in price. Dnash said all teeth are customizable, and her only limitation is the “state of one’s natural mouth.”

Dnash has been in the fang-making business for 20 years, but she did not begin touring until 2005, she said.

“I travel around to different places because it’s such an unknown art or craft,” she said. “I try to go to lots of places and get exposure.”

During TattooLaPalooza, attendees are invited to book appointments to get tattoos done throughout the day. The event is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased at the door or in advance to attend. A one-day pass bought at the door costs $25; Sunday hours are noon to 10 p.m. Several contests also are being held during the convention, including “tattoo of the day” and “best of show.”

This is one of many times Dnash has made a stop at TattooLaPalooza during her yearly tours, she said. This year, she also was invited to a few new locations, including a tattoo convention on Faroe Islands. Her next stops are Tampa, Vancouver and Seattle.

She also will head to Europe around April and will continue her tour until the end of the year, when she hopes to end up in Iceland.

During the tour, people are invited to make bookings to be fitted for the custom teeth.

In addition to selling to the general public, Dnash’s teeth have been featured in a few movies over the years, including National Vampire, a 2006 documentary about the vampire lifestyle, she said. Dnash said she is currently working on one of the most original pairs of teeth she’s made, which will be finished completely in metal. She can also create fangs that are glow-in-the-dark, tie-dyed or color tinted, and is open to customizing each order to a customer’s request.

Although this will be her last tour, as it has become too expensive traveling, Dnash said she plans to continue making fangs through home studio appointments out of Stratford, Connecticut, and by mail order.

Dnash said she first became interested in fang-making in the mid-1990s, during a time when there was a “vampire and werewolf craze.” She got her first pair of fangs from Seattle before moving back to Connecticut. When one of her teeth broke, she got extra materials to fix it and then began making additional pairs, kicking off the business and starting a website.

The demand for fangs varies throughout the year, she said, depending on different factors including location and time.

In addition to making fangs, Dnash, who is a transgender woman, works as a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. Her work features a wide range of genres including pop, rock and progressive. Dnash has produced several solo songs, and plays various instruments including the drums and piano. She is planning to record at some locations throughout her tour, she said.

Greg De Stefano, who got his first pair of fangs from Dnash about five years ago, said Dnash’s work is some of the best he’s ever seen.

“I'm just a goth nerd and loved Buffy and Angel while growing up,” he said in a Facebook message, referring to characters from the 1997-2003 television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “So getting a pair of fangs was a dorky dream of mine for awhile. They friction fit and stay in place with no glue and everyone compliments them when they see them.”

De Stefano said he owns three pairs of fangs and often tries to schedule an appointment with Dnash when she comes to his hometown.

Dnash said she hopes her final fang tour will draw customers and spread word about the business.

“I’m making a big hullabaloo about this being my last fang tour,” she said. “This is the last time I’m coming around.”

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