Friday, December 25, 2009

Espanola Valley animal shelter auctions 8 more bronze mice (and a dog bowl decorated by Hugh Hefner!) among other things...

The Scottish Rite Masonic Hall made for a very theatrical venue to auction off another bunch of mice to benefit less fortunate and homeless critters.

It seemed to be a building made specifically for a group of people who shared a remarkable fondness for wearing strange hats.
The walls were filled with framed pictures of current and previous wearers of odd looking hats.
I wouldn't have imagined that so many unusual headgear enthusiasts would likely be found in one place, Santa Fe being quite small and all, but it seems there's quite an underground appreciation for them.

We arrived early, and thanks to a bit of hustling by Fran Nicholson (sculptor, fellow donator and mold maker who lives in the Fred Flintstone house near Santa Fe) we got shown around the dark and cloistered theater by a very nice man, in a strange hat.
The theater is used by the members to enact certain rites of passage, sometimes before an audience, sometimes not.

Your's truly hiding in the trees...

The theater was wonderfully dressed to appear like a woodland scene, and it was quite magical being among the trees.
They are all painted on canvas, and stuck on string netting which allows you to see through the gaps. All stacked up, it makes for quite an illusion.
There's lots more of them up in the ceiling, ready to drop down and envelope the stage in numerous other gauzy worlds. I'd love to have seen more.
They were made in Chicago in 1911 or 12, for another Scottish Rite Temple which ran out of money, so Santa Fe got them instead.

Around 1950 a bunch more temple was added, creating an enclosed garden. It really is quite an enchanting place.

I would have thought it would make an ideal home for a ping pong club, especially when I learned it's unused and empty most of the time.
But alas, the sound of ping pong balls never echoes through its hallowed halls.

Mmmm, I wonder....if only the game of table tennis required the wearing of unusual headgear, then perhaps it might stand a chance....

The mice were arranged to be auctioned as a group of three, another group of two, and three individual ones.

The shelter put on a splendid event, very festive and fun.
My parrot ran out of juice before many people showed up, so I didn't get any pics of the happy crowds that arrived later.

Oh, here's my holiday card.
Hope you're all having fun!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Your Sprightly holiday pictures

I must say I was thrilled when Anne Medley and Dana Currie took Christmas pics of their mice and emailed them to me!

Dana's Sprightly is rummaging about through the Christmas greens...

While Anne's mouse is in front of the tree sporting a Santa hat, which I loved so much I asked her where she got it so I could get one too.

So I bought five little hats!

Inspired by Anne and Dana, here's a pic of my Sprightly with Chubby sporting their brand new festive hats. The spectacular backdrop was provided by Meridee: she painted it, it's the Chama river up near Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu.
So now, thanks to you folks (and Meridee's big stuffed pepper I just ate) I have a nice warm glow inside, just in time for the holidays...Thanks again Dana and Anne!

My website... - Sculpture that loves you back
My Etsy store, CritterVille.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New sculpture in the making: tree frogs on a vine

One tree frog has landed on the vine.
Soon there will be two more joining it.

I already know how and where the other two will land.
Can you guess?

My website... - Sculpture that loves you back
My Etsy store, CritterVille.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sir Ranulph Sprightly Mouse leaves on his epic Antarctic journey to reach the South Pole!

Above: Sir Ranulph, just prior to leaving Santa Fe, Wednesday.

Inspired by Ralph Sprightly's visits to the Australian continent, his uncle, Sir Ranulph Twizzle-Stick-Wicker-Basket Sprightly Mouse, has embarked upon an epic journey to become the only mouse to venture to the South Pole.

"Mice have colonized every continent on earth, except Antarctica..." explained Sir Ranulph, "so I will be accomplishing not just a great feat for myself personally, but something deeply significant for all of rodent-kind."

Above: Artist's impression of Sir Ranulph's epic journey.
"I've been practicing standing on snow and ice for extended periods, and sleeping with the light on" said Sir Ranulph, when asked about his rigorous training regimen.

Ranulph Sprightly Mouse left Santa Fe on Wednesday, and his first stop will be McMurdo Station on Antarctica, where he will have a nice cup of tea and perhaps some biscuits, before hopefully getting his photo taken a few times and then heading off to the Southern-most tip of the planet where it won't get dark for months.

Despite the constant sunshine, it will be quite cold.

When asked about his Uncle's attempt upon the South Pole, antipodean adventurer Ralph Sprightly said "I'm rootin' for ya, unc. There's a cold one waitin' for ya at my place when you get back!'

Stay tuned for Sir Ranulph's updates!

Above: Nephew Ralph Sprightly Mouse looks at Australia's pride and joy, the Sydney Opera House.

Next: Sprightly arrives in Antarctica!

My website... - Sculpture that loves you back
My Etsy store, CritterVille.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to sculpt critters, make bronze animals etc. 24 of my 'how to' sculpture posts: Now easy to find, all in one place.

I was trying out the search feature the other day, to find an old 'How to' post.
Seems I hardly ever used those exact words, and I know I've posted quite a few of them, so I put them all in one place, in chronological order with the oldest first.

How to make mice, monkeys, elephants, frogs, turtles, bases, and all sorts of other work in progress for anyone interested in having a go, or simply curious about what goes into this sculpting and casting caper...

Beijing Olympic mascot (unofficial) - This post shows a turnaround of my monkey turtle discus thrower as it progressed.

Making of 'Big Boy', my large Cane Toad sculpture - Two of these live on a bridge over a pond in a park in Loveland, Colorado.

Bumper to Bumper. Turtle sculpture work in progress - 1

The birth of Nosey mouse.

More mousey 'how it's done'.

Bumper to bumper turtle sculpture, work in progress - 2

Making 'Tiny mouse'.

Death of an elephant. This is just some pics of a sculpture being 're-claimed' for future sculptures.

Even more Nosey 'how it's done'.

Bumper to bumper turtle sculpture - work in progress - 3

Bumper to bumper turtle sculpture - work in progress - 4

Step by step how to make a tiny elephant sculpture.

Next steps in bringing my tiny elephant sculpture to bronze.

How to make small sculpture bases by cutting up and edge polishing black granite tiles.

Putting it all together (making micro sized bumper to bumper turtle sculpture).
Hoodrats and the black hole of doom!....making the hood ornament version of Sprightly for my car.

Hoodrats, Darth Vader, and the tree snake of death!

Sprightly mouse hood ornament-The hoodrat rides!

Final bronze elephant and more garden snake action!

My new butterfly salad toad sculpture is finished.

My secret weapon and favorite tool for creating sculpture...(worth a look just to see my secret weapon)

Race against the clock- getting new stuff cast in time for my first gallery show...

New shiny toy and new work in progress report.

How a hole in the head sometimes helps, and how to avoid one when it doesn't.

The tree frog has landed.

Well I hope you enjoyed that, there's lots of other stuff buried in the archives too of course!

My website... - Sculpture that loves you back
My Etsy store, CritterVille.