30 Dec 2007
To close out the year, another photo from Pennsylvania. This is Buhl Mansion, built in the 1890's in the town of Sharon.
Inscribed on the mantle is the motto "Good Friends, Good Food, Good Cheer," and that sounds like a good way to wind up this year.
Location: 41° 13' 57.6" N, 80° 30' 04.7" W
23 Dec 2007
09 Dec 2007
Here's one more. Ysengrin (in Silvermane) posing in the snow in the San Juan Mountains, near Lake San Cristobal.
Location: 37° 59' 57.2" N, 107° 17' 37.3" W
02 Dec 2007
25 Nov 2007
This time we have a Halloween werewolf photo from Arizona -- Abbigail. Used with permission.
18 Nov 2007
11 Nov 2007
A quiet road through the redwoods with just a trace of coastal fog. Photographs don't capture the feel of being there; for a sense of scale look at the rail fence (about one meter high) along both sides of the road. Photo taken in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Addendum: I've been told that this particular grove of redwoods is known as the Stanford Group.
Location: 37° 10' 31.9" N, 122° 13' 17.0" W
04 Nov 2007
28 Oct 2007
21 Oct 2007
Sculptor Peter Wolf Toth travelled across the US from 1972 to 1988, creating some seventy sculptures honoring Native Americans, leaving at least one in each state. While some have been removed due to damage, most are still on public display.
This particular sculpture is Toth's sixth, standing in western Pennsylvania. The accompanying plaque reads: "Dedicated to the American Indians (Seneca) ... but they won't be forgotten, but will be remembered in our minds and in our hearts. Love is life. Peter Toth, June 30, 1973"
Location: 41° 10' 52.1" N, 80° 30' 08.4" W
14 Oct 2007
07 Oct 2007
Haunting season is well underway, and here's an excellent example. Castle Blood slumbers on a crisp October morning in Beallsville, Pennsylvania. Castle Blood tours involve a quest which changes from season to season; guests who successfully complete the quest are made honorary vampires. Kudos to Ricky and Karen Dick for a good show.
Location: 40° 03' 53.3" N, 80° 01' 23.6" W
30 Sep 2007
23 Sep 2007
16 Sep 2007
09 Sep 2007
Seasonal Halloween attractions are starting to pop up - here's a straw bale maze out at the Arata farm and pumpkin patch, just south of Half Moon Bay.
Location: 37° 22' 56.3" N, 122° 24' 11.4" W
02 Sep 2007
This photo is about a month old, and was taken at Waddell Beach, north of Davenport, California and a short drive from our present workshop location in Boulder Creek. Waddell beach is also one end of the Skyline-to-the-sea trail through Castle Rock State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park (the beach is actually part of the latter). This is a kitesurfer, not a windsurfer, though both often enjoy the waves off the beach.
Location: 37° 05' 43.5" N, 122° 16' 47.0" W
26 Aug 2007
Here we're showing four steps in the sculpting of Tyger Cowboy's Mideon, and his final head.
Ysengrin started with the rough shape of the head without the ears -- this made it much easier to make the brows symmetrical. The full size image shows guide lines lightly scribed into the clay. The basic head shape was made on top of a fiberglass cast of Tyger's head bolted to a stock maquette.
Next, the ears were added, shaped and adjusted to keep the symmetry. This was actually the most time consuming part of the process. Small differences in the ears that were unnoticeable from one angle jumped out when the head was rotated slightly.
Once the ears were done, Ysengrin changed the sculpting process from adding clay to removing it. Clay was shaved from the head, tightening up its form and deepening the mouth. Major wrinkles were cut into the sculpture and their sharp edges smoothed.
In the fourth image, the nose and lips have been finished, finer wrinkles and folds have been added, and texture has been added to the surface.
19 Aug 2007
12 Aug 2007
Well, the new werewolf made his public debut last weekend at Archon - so here he is. The linked image shows his size compared to Silvermane's head. Mideon is quite a bit larger, and quite a bit toothier ...
05 Aug 2007
Also from Colma, a large female guardian lion outside the gates of Hoysun Cemetery. Known as Foo Dogs to many English-speakers, the Chinese term is Rui Shi, or "auspicious lions;" the lions should always be installed as a pair, male and female. The female lion holds one of her cubs under her left paw, while the male rests his right paw on a globe. This particular lion (and her unpictured partner) were dedicated in 1989, and were cast from concrete - which has unfortunately not held up well.
Location: 37° 40' 46.0" N, 122° 28' 07.5" W
29 Jul 2007
We recently visited the final resting place of Emperor Norton I in Woodland Memorial Park, Colma, California to pay our respects. He proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States in San Francisco on September 17th, 1859 (later adding "Protector of Mexico") and continuously used the title until he dropped dead on January 8th, 1880.
The residents of San Francisco generally humored him, accepting his personal script, reserving personal seats at the opera and theater, and having him lead several parades. Restaurants would vie for the honor of having Emperor Norton dine there (free of charge, of course) so they could advertise his patronage.
The day after his death, the city shut down out of respect, with over 20,000 mourners attending his burial. When his remains were moved in 1934 to their present location, some sixty thousand people attended the ceremony. Offerings are still found at his gravesite to this day; when we visited there were several coins and beads carefully left at the base of his headstone.
Location: 37° 40' 38.1" N, 122° 26' 46.1" W
22 Jul 2007
15 Jul 2007
This massive hanger was built in 1932 to house the USS Macon; it covers eight acres and is 198 feet high. It's now owned by NASA and is also one of the major landmarks in the south bay area. To get an idea of how big it is, compare it to the normal-sized water tower next to the hanger in the full size image.
Location: 37° 24' 42.5" N, 122° 03' 11.6" W
08 Jul 2007
This is the same mold as shown the last two weeks, but at a earlier point - this is the first or splash coat of Ultracal 30 covering the front half of the sculpture. In the full-size image you can see the line of metal shims that will be the division between front and back halves, and the dam across the chest to make that edge of the mold. Screwdriver slots and keys are placed on the metal divider - tabs and half-spheres of clay, respectively. In this case we ran the division just in front of the ears.
01 Jul 2007
This picture needs more explanation than normal. The orange-red you see (in the linked full image) is a latex coat on the master negative mold of a (new) werewolf face; it's there to make it easier to clean out the Roma shell that's been laid in it. That shell of clay represents the foam-filled skin in the finished head. On either side, there are plugs of clay that will be the overflow channels for the expanding foam in the finished mold. The next step will be making the core mold that will shape this inside surface of the face skin.
Ysengrin has set the (hollow) lifecast of the client into this clay shell to check the fit - the space between the lifecast and the clay is where the underskull will fit, though most of the open space will remain air space. Because the lifecast is hollow, it gives the illusion of facing towards the camera.
24 Jun 2007
17 Jun 2007
This Sunday is Father's Day here in the United States. That's Ysengrin's father, taken back on 25 March 1944.
10 Jun 2007
03 Jun 2007
27 May 2007
The wonderous Neverwas Haul, making a stop at the 2007 Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. The Neverwas Haul was originally constructed for Burning Man 2006, and is a mobile, steam powered Victorian three-story house which allows members of the Traveling Academy of Unnatural Science to perform field experiments in relative comfort and luxury.
20 May 2007
13 May 2007
06 May 2007
29 Apr 2007
22 Apr 2007
15 Apr 2007
01 Apr 2007
OK, so we're a little silly on April Fool's Day. Still, we got a new recliner couch and Ysengrin wanted to break it in right ...
25 Mar 2007
18 Mar 2007
11 Mar 2007
04 Mar 2007
25 Feb 2007
11 Feb 2007
04 Feb 2007
28 Jan 2007
21 Jan 2007
14 Jan 2007
This is the "13" topiary out at the Winchester Mystery House. It's of fairly recent origin, and there's no evidence that Sarah Winchester had such a topiary during the thirty-eight years she was building the house. Still, it's one of the often-photographed locations there.
Location: 37° 19' 05.2" N, 121° 57' 03.0" W
07 Jan 2007