Saluki Furry Society gather for Furbowl event

Two+members+of+the+Saluki+Furry+Society+stand+next+to+founder+Tyler+Knupp+%28middle%29+before+the+%E2%80%9CFurbowl+event+in+the+Student+Center+bowling+alley+Feb.+27%2C+2022+at+SIU+in+Carbondale%2C+Ill.+%E2%80%9CI+started+this+club+my+freshman+year%2C+in+spring+2018%2C%E2%80%9D+Knupp+said.%0A

Sophia Rogers | [email protected]

Two members of the Saluki Furry Society stand next to founder Tyler Knupp (middle) before the “Furbowl” event in the Student Center bowling alley Feb. 27, 2022 at SIU in Carbondale, Ill. “I started this club my freshman year, in spring 2018,” Knupp said.

The Saluki Furry Society, is a “family friendly [registered] student organization (RSO) for those in the Furry Fandom.” The Saluki Furry Society hosted an event at the SIU Student Center called the Saluki Furbowl on Sunday, Feb. 27 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., where members of the Furry community could come out and bowl in full fursuit or plain clothes.

Attendees of the Furbowl event could be seen wearing a variety of different fursuits. One of the most prominent among them was a tall, green Husky fursuit worn by founder of the organization and coordinator of the event, Tyler Knupp. Like many in the community, Knupp said he handmade this suit, a process which can be arduous but rewarding in both experience and value.

“All of my fur suits I’ve made myself,” Knupp said. “The process takes a long time, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s very satisfactory to have something this huge that you’ve made yourself, because otherwise if you commissioned it from a more professional fursuit maker, you’re spending upwards of $3,000, and those prices are going up every year. So, after making my own, I only spent maybe $300 in materials. Lots of work went into it, but [it’s] much cheaper.”

Advertisement

Natalie Daniel, current vice president and a member of the Furry Society since 2018, was also in attendance. Daniel’s fursona, a term used to refer to the persona someone assumes as a furry, is an orange cat named Star. Unlike Knupp’s fursuit, Daniel’s fursuit is a refurbished hoodie. She said she spent a significant amount of time reworking the hoodie with all of the facial and aesthetic details of a fursuit.

“I really like to do sewing in my free time but I’ve never worked with foam or anything,” Daniel said. “I made a Star hoodie where the hood is her head instead of a big foam head and I made star sweatpants to go with the hoodie and I made a nice big cat tail to go with everything. […]  I made it all without a pattern, just eyeballing things and using my own clothes for reference.”

A couple of lanes over was Jasmine Parker, a member since 2018, whose fursona, Cotton Candy, was accompanied by a pink and white headpiece. She said this was the second iteration of this fursuit, as she unfortunately lost her first suit in a house fire in 2021. Another fursuit maker graciously helped Parker remake the headpiece.

Rebekah Brinton, recently promoted treasurer of the Furry Society, sat watching from the seating gallery. While not in a fursuit herself, Brinton had ideas for what she’d like to incorporate into a future design for a fursona.

“[My design is] based [on] two Pokemon: Umbreon and Toxtricity,” Brinton said. “I designed it myself, and I was really happy with it, but I wanted to change it up a little bit and make it a little more original. I wanted to make something that was really different, and hasn’t really been made before, which is very, very hard. […]  I appreciated the work […] before I started working on it. But, after working on my head, I appreciate fursuit makers so much more.”

Seated in an aisle behind Brinton was Zynn Moore, who’s been a member of the Society since their freshman year. Moore similarly was without a fursuit, but not without a fursona.

“Right now my main character is a chimera, which is a Greek mythical monster,” Moore said. “It’s a little bit different because I think it’s been stylized differently. I bought it a couple of years ago as an ‘adopt,’ which is when an artist makes a character design and sells it to people. ”

Advertisement

The one common sentiment among group members was that the Furry Society provides a great sense of community.

“Everyone is super nice and friendly,” Daniel said. “I didn’t even know what a furry was, and everyone was super welcoming. Everyone was super nice. That’s how I made all my friends here.”

“I think our club’s definitely very friend-oriented,” Brinton said. “Everyone’s very friendly. Everyone’s very open and accepting of everybody too, which is something that definitely helped me out mentally while being here.”

“I was dragged here by a friend and was really enamored with the art scene and creativity of it, and the sense of community,” Moore said. “So I would say if you’re interested in things like character design, making art, being creative or delving into fantasy […]. We just like to create and be weird dog people on the weekend.”

Staff reporter Ethan Braun can be reached at [email protected] To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois News follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement