Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow, snow and more snow

No sooner had the recent rains washed away the last traces of snow around our neck of the woods then Mother Nature decided we needed a fresh covering of the white stuff.

I get antsy couped up inside so I decided I'd head out to the store to buy some fixings for making a pot of clam chowder. Surprisingly my wife decided to come along. Usually she likes to weather the storm indoors in her pajamas.

We walked along the beach so I could check out the higher than usual surf the weather bureau predicted we'd have.The dunes looked gorgeous in the dusting of snow.

As we were leaving the beach we had to cross a mid thigh deep drift of snow. I told my wife to follow me and walk in my boot tracks. She pooh poohed that idea and insisted on taking the lead. A few steps later she was mired down in the snow and promptly fell over! I hauled her out stifling a laugh and two steps later got bogged down myself. Luckily the beach was empty and no one saw our predicament.

When we got back home with the groceries we decided to make a snowman. It was fun but he didn't come out very well. I think I'll stick to working in clay!

The chowder I made came out pretty good. Usually I follow a recipe I have from a pamphlet titled: "Old Fishing Village Recipes". It is good but the salt pork and heavy cream can't be good for the old arteries. I found this recipe and doctored it up to suit my taste buds: Clam Chowder, New England Style - Recipe File - Cooking For Engineers I prefer using Yukon Gold potatoes and I substituted Fat Free Half n Half for the milk. I don't have a set amount of flour I use. I make a roux and add a bit at a time as I'm stirring the chowder till it is as thick as I like it. After lunch I headed to work in my studio. What do you folks do to pass a snowy day?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lobsterman Sculpture

During the winter months when I'm not fishing I often like to spend my time building wood boat kits. I've always had a soft spot for working boats like dredge boats and dories.

I suppose it was only natural that I eventually combine my love of the sea with my passion for sculpting. One of my recent sculptures in this theme is the Lobsterman. This piece depicts a lobsterman rowing his skiff called a Peapod through calm waters as he is about to drop his last trap.

The lobsterman figure is sculpted of Apoxie and polymer clays. The Peapod was hand built of wooden strips bent and fastened to the ribs much like a real Dory is constructed.

The trap was fun to make. It is highly detailed and features a piece of fish bait, a brick for weighting down the trap and a marker buoy. The finishing touch was adding a bit of broken shell and seaweed covered by some clear resin to give the effect of seawater sloshing in the bottom of the skiff.

The sculpture is mounted on a stained and varnished wood plaque over which Apoxie clay was sculpted to simulate water lapping at the hull. The sculpture measures 18" L X 9" W X 6 1/2" H and is finished in acrylic paints.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sea Serpent

Sea Serpents have always fascinated me. While "Nessie" of Loch Ness is probably the most well known of the mysterious serpent clan there are many others.

Author J.P. O'Neill wrote of one such creature in her book "The Great New England Sea Serpent".I came across a bit about the creature while poking around online at the UnMuseum:

Recently I had the opportunity to finish a sculpt of a sea serpent I had started some time ago. It is modeled of Apoxie and Super Sculpey clay.

My creature is behaving badly by serpent standards. I attribute its aggression to the brontosaurus attack on the rescue party in "King Kong" (1933)which influenced me.My serpent has just dashed a make shift raft to pieces and snatched up a survivor in its toothy jaws.

I've been reading the "Monster Spotter's Guide to North America" by Scott Francis which covers many lake monsters. The book sparked my curiosity about one serpent called the Cadborosaurus that reportedly has been spotted in lakes in British Columbia. I enjoyed creating this sea serpent with the attitude problem and I plan on sculpting a more peaceful creature in the near future.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shaving My Head For Charity

On April 15th I'll be shaving my head to raise funds for the St.Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research. If you'd like to help the children please stop by my page and make a donation : This year I am also offering some of my artwork for sale to benefit St.Baldrick's. The sculpture can be found here at Fishing Boy Sculpture by BlacknickSculpture on Etsy The entire proceeds of the sale will go to the foundation. Thank you, Brian