Katie Power’s Facebook profile may identify her as a Spring Hill resident who is an avid horseback rider, an aerialist and one who playfully acts as a mermaid. But in the eyes of many friends, her profile is not complete without the addition of another job title: Angel.
Power, a longtime artist, has found her special niche in crafting and creating mermaid fins. These are wearable artworks that she handcrafts individually in accordance with custom orders, shipping them around the world. Moreover, her handiwork was featured in the Netflix documentary “Merpeople.”
“It’s great; I love it,” she said. “They’re a lot of work, and I must keep up with demand. I make about one fin a month.”
The process through which Power creates her special brand of costume art has changed and evolved through her decade’s experience as a fashioner of fins. “I once made the tails from spandex,” she explained. “Now I make each one from a mold I cast from silicone, plaster and glue. The fins have gotten bigger and bigger over the years.”
Power’s clientele has also grown in size and scope. “I recently sent a fin to Australia for a person attending a Renaissance festival,” she said. “I’ve sent them to England and the Netherlands and made them for women, men and children.”
Each of Power’s fins is a unique and vibrant work of art, whether people order them for party wear or as costumes for professional swimmers to perform in a tank or aquarium show. “The fins come in a full array of bright colors,” she said. “Pink, blue, green—I’ve even made a black fin.”
And Power, an avid swimmer since youth who goes by the nickname Mermaid Kassia, also has fashioned fins for her own usage. “I lived near Weeki Wachee as a child and always loved the water,” she said. “To this day, I love to swim with friends while wearing my fin.”
Power is a most merciful mermaid, donating many of the monies generated from her craft to philanthropic causes. She is, in fact, the owner of Moon Dance Ranch, a horse farm at which she cares for rescued horses.
“Almost all of the money that I make making tails goes to helping the animals,” she said. “So it makes me feel good to bring joy to people by turning them into mermaids and in turn, it helps take care of the animals.”
A one-time teacher at The Arc Nature Coast Inc., which provides essential services and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community, Power has been known to rescue people as well.
Longtime friend Gary Bogard credits Power with being an angel of mercy in his life, providing a great deal of assistance to him after the death of his wife.
“Katie and my wife Lynn were great friends,” he said. “She helped me so much after Lynn died, cleaning my house, driving me to doctor’s appointments and fixing me food. She is so valuable to me.”
Power reveals that she even set aside her fin-making craft for the time being to help her human and animal friends. But regardless of whatever else is going on in Mermaid Kassia’s life, something keeps her swimming back to the art that brings her the greatest joy. “I just love making fins,” she said. “It makes me happy.” For more about artist Katie Power, visit https://www.facebook.com/mermaidkassia.