Picture of the Week

Ysengrin cheated a bit.
Instead of posting a picture of 31 Dec 2006,
he's posted one for 01 Jan 2007.

24 Dec 2006

New Mold

A new Ultracal mold steams in the cold December air as it cures.

Ultracal 30 - and plaster in general - undergoes an exothermic reaction when it cures, resulting in the "steam" seen here.

17 Dec 2006

Remembering

Lance Pope's final resting place; it's been four years now. Laurel Land, Dallas, Texas.

Location: 32° 40' 19.90" N, 96° 48' 43.71" W

10 Dec 2006

Mushrooms, part deux

More mushrooms (these are unidentified) growing from a (different) fallen redwood. Still in Big Basin Redwood State Park. You should also check out the Virtual Big Basin Redwood State Park viewpoints.

Location (approx.): 37° 10' 13.2" N, 122° 13' 26.0" W

03 Dec 2006

Mushrooms

Mushrooms (Coprinus disseminatus) growing from a fallen redwood at Big Basin Redwood State Park in California. The park is just a few miles away from us here in Boulder Creek, and Ysengrin visits it fairly regularly.

Location (approx.): 37° 10' 13.2" N, 122° 13' 26.0" W

26 Nov 2006

Texas Star

The Texas Star stands over the Texas State Fair midway, and is still the largest existing Ferris wheel in the United States at 212 feet (65 m) in diameter. It was built in 1986.

There used to be a really phenomenal double Ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair called the Sky Wheel, two fifty-foot wheels on either end of a long boom (somewhat like a figure eight). No pictures of this one, and despite comments on the web that it was closed in 1957 (after an accident that killed one in 1955) Ysengrin remembers the Sky Wheel still in operation in the 1960's.

The original Ferris wheel, at the World's Colombian Exposition (Chicago, 1892-1893), was 250 feet in diameter. The London Eye is currently the world's largest Ferris wheel (443 feet), though it prefers to be referred to as an "observation wheel."

Location of Texas Star: 32° 46' 36.3" N, 96° 45' 33.2" W

19 Nov 2006

Jumbo

Jumbo, AKA Mammoth, a massive bronze by sculptor Tom Tischler, standing outside the Dallas Museum of Natural History at Fair Park.

Location: 32° 46' 42.6" N, 96° 45' 46.4" W

12 Nov 2006

Halloween 2006

Graafen running down a sidewalk in Fremont, California, late on Halloween night. This was the first time he'd worn the suit.

The head, hands and feet are all DarkFang's sculpts.

05 Nov 2006

Three Werewolves

Graafen, DarkFang and Ysengrin chill in our neighbor's living room.

29 Oct 2006

Ysengrin, trimmed

Ysengrin got a full-body trim for Halloween; two hours and a 30 gallon bag full of trimmed fur later, he's now less feral looking. That's also a new tail he's sporting; DarkFang has made a tail mold so we can make a standard soft foam tail blank (with internal support) that can be furred to order.

22 Oct 2006

'Yena jaws

A friend loaned us a set of lifecast hyena jaws (in hard foam) so we could make a silicone mold from them; here's a resin pull from the molds. The linked image shows both sets.

While our friend is interested in a 'yena head using the jaws, we've also pulled individual teeth to add to the teeth we have to build other jawsets from. EDIT: I assumed incorrectly; our friend isn't the original source for the jaws, so we'll not be selling the jawsets.

15 Oct 2006

Mideon at Archon

Tyger Cowboy at Archon, wearing the first-generation Mideon head from us (he was the original commission for Morsus). Ysengrin didn't think this sculpt was fierce enough - or large enough to be in correct proportion to Tyger's height - and is working on a second-generation Mideon for Tyger.

08 Oct 2006

Sinder

Remember the red wolf head, hands & feet shown earlier? Here's the completed costume - Sinder. He was attending King Richard's Faire in Carver, Massachusetts this weekend. Sinder made the bodysuit and the armor.

Sinder has also said he'll be doing commissioned armor - for now, drop us (RWP) a line and we'll get you in touch with him.

01 Oct 2006

Abbigail

Abbigail is the name our client gave to this Morsus-style mask; see her running around at Arizona Fright Nights (in Phoenix).

24 Sep 2006

A New Face

DarkFang holds his newest sculpture; he's carrying it to the shop to be molded.

17 Sep 2006

More Black is Beautiful

A black Silvermane with dark grey markings on the brow, modeled by DarkFang.

10 Sep 2006

Dire Wolf

We recently visited the La Brea Tar Pits and the adjacent George C. Page museum, down near Los Angeles. This is a photo of their Dire Wolf exhibit; the skeletons were reconstructed from bones found in the tar pits.

03 Sep 2006

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

There's a little museum down in Culver City, California, whose exhibits deal will all sorts of odd and unusual phenomona, art and folklore. It's The Museum of Jurassic Technology, the brainchild of David Hildebrand Wilson, and it's well worth the visit. This particular image is a model of Athanasius Kircher's Magnetic Oracle, based on this 1654 engraving.

27 Aug 2006

Second Lion Dancer

This was the second of two AYSC Lion Dancers at the Oakland Chinatown Streetfest.

20 Aug 2006

Lion Dancer

This was the first of two AYSC Lion Dancers at the Oakland Chinatown Streetfest.

13 Aug 2006

The Cats of Los Gatos

The famous Cats of Los Gatos, Leo and Leona, grace the entrance to the former estate of Col. Erskine Scott Wood. They are the creation of Berkeley sculptor Robert Trent Paine, who was commissioned in 1920 to do The Cats (also known as The Waking Cats); living in a small wooden studio on the estate while working on the project, which reportedly took two years. The Cats were cast in place in 1922, are made of poured concrete, and stand roughly eight feet tall. The gate between them was added many years later, and the names Leo and Leona came from one of the later owners of the estate, sometime after 1955. As you look at The Cats from the road, Leo, the sleepy one, is on the right and Leona, who's more awake, is on the left. They've survived several attempts at vandalism, as the missing tip of Leo's ear shows.

Robert Paine invented a pointing device for the accurate mechanical enlargement of sculpture models, and also created a fountain at the north end of the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts for the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco. I don't know if this fountain is still there (or not). The City of Los Angeles commissioned Robert to do a bronze bas relief for City Hall, and a 19 foot plaster of Paris model of his design was exhibited in November, 1945; work on the bas relief never progressed further. Robert Paine died in 1946.

06 Aug 2006

Big Sur

A tiny part of the Pacific Ocean and the California coast along Big Sur, taken last month from a turnout along Highway 1.

30 Jul 2006

Red Head

Here's the head and forepaws to go with the red hindpaws from a couple of weeks ago.

23 Jul 2006

Black is Beautiful

A black Khrahl with dark grey markings.

16 Jul 2006

Red Paws

A set of bright red hindpaws we made recently.

09 Jul 2006

No Pinch?

We hit the Pacific across the July 4th weekend; this guy was in one of the tidepools near Pescadero Point. Ysengrin is pretty sure this is a Striped Shore Crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes), but if any of you can identify it for certain, drop us a email. Note the two barnicles attached to the shell.

Location: 37° 14' 38.9" N, 122° 25' 08.3" W

02 Jul 2006

DarkFang, Cassandra and Taz

DarkFang poses with two of the Verdun wolves (the four-legged ones) back in 1997. That's Taz (upper left) and Cassandra (lower left). Sadly, Cassandra passed away in late 2003; Taz passed away in early 2004.

25 Jun 2006

Look! What's That ...

Here, Ysengrin (in Silvermane) and Lance Pope pose for the camera - and are distracted by an "attacking" playful ferret (out of frame). Unfortunately, we never reposed for a new picture.

18 Jun 2006

Stone Lion

This stone lion once graced Winchester Mystery House; it now rests in one the storage rooms there. It's about 18" high.

11 Jun 2006

Big Fuzzy

One of the questions we're asked is how did we start making werewolves. Well, this is how Ysengrin started, in his first self-made fursuit and head, back in 1986.

04 Jun 2006

Behind the Dealer's Table

After three days behind the dealer's table, you start getting a little crazy. That's DarkFang and Tyger Cowboy, back at MFF 2004.

28 May 2006

San Francisco

Looking at San Francisco across the bay from a turnout up on Grizzly Peak Road; that's the Bay Bridge in the foreground. The full image covers a larger area, and has been digitally tweaked due to the haze that day.

21 May 2006

San Diego

This weekend we were down in San Diego, touching base with a couple of friends. This photo was taken from Point Loma, looking back across the harbor.

Location: 32° 40' 29.9" N, 117° 14' 21.6" W

14 May 2006

Still Busy, part two

Orders in the shop are still keeping us busy; these paws were part of a larger order.

07 May 2006

Still Busy

We're still busy out here - this is a Khrahl head we just finished up.

30 Apr 2006

Happy Walpurgisnacht

Odinochka and Ysengrin at Midwest Fur Fest 2002.

23 Apr 2006

Bears!

More sculptures this week; this time a trio of bears in front of Colton Hall in Monterey, California. The sculpture was placed in 2000 and is named The Grizzly Bear and her Cubs, aka The California Grizzlies; the artist was Kris Swanson. The grizzly bear - appearing on the California flag in 1846 and chosen as the official emblem in 1911 - was hunted to extinction in the state by 1924.

The original web pages detailing the construction of the piece are gone, but can still be seen via the Internet Wayback Machine here. Be warned that it's slow.

Location: 36° 35' 51.2" N, 121° 53' 50.0" W

16 Apr 2006

Santa Rosalia

This is the statue of Santa Rosalia overlooking Monterey harbor, just to one side of the old fisherman's wharf. The inscription on the base reads:

Image of inscription

09 Apr 2006

Werewolf and Tiger Cub

Taken during the 2002 season at Haunted Verdun Manor, Ysengrin (as Silvermane) poses with a tiger cub. The cub was far, far more interested in the bottle than the werewolf.

02 Apr 2006

The Old Custom House

This is the Custom Building in Monterey, California, built in 1827 when California was part of Mexico. On 7 July 1846 Commodore John Sloat landed here, raised the American flag and declared the conquest of California for the United States. It should also be remembered that four years before, on 19 October 1842, Commodore Thomas Ap Catesby Jones also landed here and claimed California, but had to give it back two days later as the United States was not at war with Mexico at that time.

Location: 36° 36' 11.9" N, 121° 53' 36.6" W.

26 Mar 2006

Stormy Pacific

Who says California is always sunny? This was a heavy thunderstorm moving out to sea down in Santa Cruz. That's Walton Lighthouse and Seabright Beach.

We've had quite a few storms this year, including some snow. In the past month, we've been without power about five days, spread through several outages.

Location: 36° 57' 40.6" N, 122° 00' 10.6" W

19 Mar 2006

Casting Paws

Here's a fresh set of hind paws; the right one is still sealed in the mold, the left has just had the top of the mold removed. You can see the flashing around the paw from the seam between the mold halves. The excess around the top of the paw will be cut away; it's done to keep the latex pours from finding their way down the outside of the paw.

12 Mar 2006

DarkFang on the Hunt

DarkFang chases a patron, taken by Ysengrin many years ago. Originally intended for a promotion, it was never used (well, until now).

05 Mar 2006

Remolding a Paw

What happens when the mold we make from the original sculpture wears out or is damaged? Well, we take the master pull - usually the first pull from the original mold - and make a new mold from it. Notice the keys and screwdriver slots ... and the joining surface is not flat, but was shaped by hand to follow the curves of the fingers.

26 Feb 2006

Closeup Fox

Just a shot showing the textures on the fox head's skin.

19 Feb 2006

Back of a head

This shows the back half of a sculpture being molded - it's easier to see what's going on in the linked picture. The front half of the ultracal mold is done; notice the keys around the edge. The shims have been pulled out of the mold, and a clay dam built around the base of the sculpture to make the lip of the mold.

12 Feb 2006

Kelp Forest

This is the big kelp forest tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium; it's designed to have an artificial swell that simulates the ocean waves. Check out the live cam. Monterey Bay Aquarium is in Monterey, California, at one end of the historical Cannery Row.

Location: 36° 37' 06.5" N, 121° 54' 06.9" W

05 Feb 2006

FC 2006

We didn't take very many pictures at this year's FC - compared to previous years - but here's a shot of Wildfox and Ysengrin. For the record - Wildfox's fursuit isn't one of ours (he's the work of our friends at Arend Studios) and Ysengrin's beard is real.

FC - Further Confusion - is held in San Jose, California each year.

29 Jan 2006

Winchester House

This is the front of the Winchester Mystery House, Sarah Winchester's thirty-eight year, twenty-four hours a day construction project. Winchester House is a wonderful inspiration for many haunted houses (including Steven King's Rose Red), though reports of hauntings in the house are rare. Mrs. Winchester quietly passed away in her bedroom in 1922, becoming the only known death in the house.

The house was almost demolished at one point, but is now being operated as a tourist attraction, with several guided tours offered (including a seasonal flashlight tour). Winchester Mystery House is in San Jose, California, and is no longer surrounded by orchards.

Location: 37° 19' 05.5" N, 121° 57' 03.7" W

22 Jan 2006

Monterey Otter

This is a wild otter enjoying his lunch down at San Carlos Beach in Monterey, California.

Location: 36° 36' 33.6" N, 121° 53' 40.4" W

15 Jan 2006

Haunted Brookdale Lodge

Just a little ways down from us on Highway 9 is the Brookdale Lodge, supposedly haunted by the ghost of Sarah Logan (among others). This is the exterior of the Brook Room, originally built in the 1920's and rebuilt after a fire in the 1950's. The room was built to include an existing stream, which runs through the middle of the room to this day. This stream is also where Sarah Logan drowned in the 1940's.

Guests (and staff) have reported seeing the ghost of Sarah on several occasions, the lodge was featured on an episode of Haunted History, and at one point a ghost tour was being organized. The present owners downplay the reports.

Location: 37° 06' 26.3" N, 122° 06' 34.5" W

08 Jan 2006

Surfing Santa Cruz

An anonomyous surfer enjoys the good weather off Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz today.

01 Jan 2006

Lion and the Pumpkin

Lance Pope's final resting place. No marker stone here, just a stuffed lion and a little pumpkin. Together they stand for Lance pretty well.

There is a memorial stone for Lance out at Thrillvania.