Creatures of Castlefest: CozaCrea

In Creatures of Castlefest we want to put the wondrous creatures, that are part of the world of Castlefest, in the spotlight. From visitor to entertainer, from exhibitor to volunteer. What moves them and which role does Castlefest play in their lives? This time: Cornelis, designer of CozaCrea. You may know him from the wonderful Steampunk creations at Castlefest.

We live near Lisse and my daughter Kim and son Erik had been at Castlefest a couple of times. Every year I would see all these odd figures at the entrance. Eventually, my children and my curiosity convinced me to go take a look. I expected to just admire all the beautiful creatures and to see what Castlefest is all about. While I was strolling on the festival grounds I saw this elderly couple. They were clothed in medieval attire, but it was their walker that grabbed my attention: it was completely steampunk styled. That made me decide: that’s what I want to make too!

It started with styling a walker, but has since become a yearly, big project. Each project I do, I only do once. The biggest challenge I give myself is building my projects from rubbish and waste materials as much as possible. If I would simply buy every piece I need, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge anymore.

My projects never start with a thought out plan. I have a general idea of what I want to make - like when I want to build a boat, it won’t become an airplane. But that’s it. I slowly collect all parts and place them on my project one at a time. Once I’ve found the perfect spot for each of them I go on to the next part. Sometimes parts come to me through acquaintances, like an old grain silo I got from a farmer. Then, that will be my starting point. After that my quest starts to find the right items to add to the project. I always keep an eye out for the perfect parts, it is a process that is always present in the back of my mind.

To get everything finished in time for a next Castlefest edition I start a year and a half in advance. Coming up with everything, gathering all the parts, building and painting it, all in all it takes over 1000 hours. Yet it is my project and I like to keep doing it alone. My family helps me during Castlefest and my wife sometimes gives her opinion when I’m building, but that’s about it. It is my hobby and I put a lot of time and effort into it.

My projects can be found at Castlefest and I attend the local flower parade. After that I try to find a new home for them. I simply do not have the space to save them all and by selling them I can cover the costs. Then I just start building the next project for the year after. Now the 2020 edition of Castlefest was cancelled it left me with two projects as I had already started the process for the 2021 project. Maybe I will combine them!

In our home you will not find any steampunk styled objects. I would love to have some, but I understand my wife in this decision. I simply wouldn’t be able to stop and before you know it the whole house would shine due to all the metal and chrome elements.
Next to my projects I still work fulltime and love to spend weekends with my wife at the campsite. I also love a good game of boules and am a member of a boules association. I like to keep busy.

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