Monday, December 3, 2012

Announcing Giveaway Winner!

My apologies for the delay in announcing the winner of the Tombstone sculpture giveaway. The clean up here since Hurricane Sandy has kept me on the go.

I used Rafflecopter to randomly draw the winners name. Congratulations to Betty B. on winning the sculpture! Our Post Office is due to reopen soon due to storm damage. As soon as it does I'll be mailing Betty her sculpture.

Life here since the storm is slowly returning to normal. My wife and I powerwashed the basement walls and floors.

We also sprayed moldicide on the walls and mopped the floors with bleach.

Our totaled cars which have been sitting blocking the garage door have finally been towed away. And the city has sent the claw around to cart away debris too large for regular sanitation pick up.

While it was good to see the remnants of our destroyed possessions finally carted away we could have lived without the "claw" as I nicknamed it breaking our concrete curb and tearing up our sprinkler line!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Wipeout

Hurricane Sandy hit us a good wallop here in Long Beach, NY. For several days as I fished the surf leading up to the storm the sweep grew increasingly stronger.

My wife Diane on our corner the morning of the approach of the storm  
The beach ramp on our corner after Sandy with Diane reaching up as high as the surge came.  
The roofs of the public bathroom and food concession on Grand Blvd. barely visible behind a sand dune barricade.
Diane next to the foundation of one of the buildings. The tin roof of the food concession was found a block north of the beach.
The concrete slab and cinder block wall under the boardwalk demolished by the storm. The beach suffered terrible erosion!
 The section of wooden jetty Diane is standing next to in the photo was never visible before having been completely buried under sand! The area around the lifeguard shack in the center of town was hit hard.

Last year Hurricane Irene pushed the lifeguard shack off its foundation. All Hurricane Sandy left was the foundation!  

The evening off the storm my Mom, Diane and I were having dinner. I had an eye on our house barometer as well as my tide clock.

We were eating and watching Dexter as the rain intensified and the barometer started dropping fast.

  Water started meandering slowly into the street from the west end of the block.

The barometer needle started nose diving and I remember smelling a funny odor like wet screens or someone ironing. Suddenly water started rushing around from the east end of the block!    Within a few minutes the street light went dark soon after a power transformer blew plunging the town into darkness!

As the needle on the tide clock marked the arrival of high tide the level of the water rose and filled my car. The dome light, turn signals and parking lights started flashing.

The water mark on my car. The water had risen high enough inside to fill my center console and my cup holders! The water continued to rise till it covered our lawn and was up to our first step. Around the side of our house it cascaded down the cellar steps filling our basement stairwell. In the center of the street it was like a raging river of chest deep water and debris rushing westward.

Around 9:30 pm I checked outside with my flashlight and saw the water had begone to recede. Around six inches of our walkway had reappeared. I was never so happy to see a patch of pavement in my life!

During the night it was eerie to hear furniture and stuff floating in the basement bumping around. The next day the water was so deep I had to put my waders on to go down and flip off the main circuit breaker in case the power came back on.

Diane is pointing to the water mark on a storm window from our basement. We had 33" of water in the basement - the stairwell had 54"! My studio workshop is destroyed. The storm wiped me out! I lost my kiln, compressor all my tools and supplies. Mine and my mother's car our totaled. As is the washer/dryer, freezer, burner and water heater. Long Beach looks like a wasteland.

There are piles of garbage and debris almost everywhere. Some neighbors have noticed rats starting to scavenge the piles at night. Totaled cars litter the streets their plates removed and insurance adjustment tags stuck on them.

We were without power, heat, and clean water or sanitation/sewage for 13 days. There was no phone or cell usage so we were without communication with the outside world. There was a 7pm to 6 am curfew in effect due to looting and a few shootings in town. We heard a couple shots fired one night behind our house at 2 am!

It is going to take a long time for the city of Long Beach and our community to recover from this! We were fortunate to get help from Samaritans Purse volunteers to help tear down our basement walls and remove our washer dryer. Here is my Mom posing with the crew outside her home.

Diane and my Mom in our gutted basement
The "new normal" in Long Beach as my wife calls it. Totaled cars and debris.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Tombstone Sculpture Giveaway

This offbeat Halloween knick knack is sure to catch the eye! The giveaway is open to all US residents. Become a fan of my Facebook page to be kept up to date on future giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Skeleton Zombie Cowboy

I haven't had much opportunity to update my blog lately. In between sculpting some new walking dead cowboy pieces I've started cleaning out my studio.
Here is one of my latest walking dead cowboys. I named him Sinister Slim. There are a few other photos of him posted at my Etsy shop:
Getting back to the studio cleanup. I'm sure I'm not alone among my artist friends when it comes to hanging onto "treasures"! You know what I mean. That special something that would be just perfect for some project that you have planned in the future. Well I bit the bullet and started giving stuff I haven't used the heave ho. My goal is to have one of my work tables set up for just photographing new artwork!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Zombie Cowboy Horror Sculpture

I've been working on some smaller zombie pieces lately. I thought it would be fun to design a walking dead cowboy.
Imagine a quick draw zombie with a deadeye? He could plug you and eat your brain at his leisure. No more rambling, clumsy zombie chases!

The first character I worked on I named Bad Cole Latimer. I listed him in my shop this morning:

I'm putting the finishing touches on the skelly cowboy I've been working on. Hopefully if the weather clears I'll be able to take it outside today and finish painting and spraying him!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Visiting Obscura Antiques

My wife and I are fans of the Oddities TV show. So we decided to head in to NYC and visit the shop: . The shop is crammed with every imaginable kind of cool collectible! If I only had more shelf space and deep pockets. Diane and I poised for a photo in front of a two headed calf. After Obscura Antiques we headed over to Katz's Deli for lunch. Their food is delicious! We pigged out on brisket sandwiches.
We've had some strong storms come through our area creating big waves and strong rip currents.
I visited the beach Tuesday morning as the winds began to intensify. The combination of the wind and high tide left a patch of water in the middle of the beach that the seagulls were using for their morning bath.
At the height of the storm Diane and I visited the beach. The winds were so strong it was an effort for us just to get up the boardwalk ramp! The sea was all roiled up and ugly looking. The wind was unrelenting! It whipped the sand so powerfully it stung our skin. In spots on the beach mini sand storms formed.
When I went beachcombing the next morning I found three surf lures. Once I add new hooks I'll put them to good use.
I also found this perfectly preserved little crab. It is remarkable it came through that violent storm without being broken to bits!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shark Sculpture Sale on Etsy

There is still time to visit my Etsy shop and use coupon code SHARKWEEK12 to receive 10% off anything in my shop. There is free shipping on orders over $100.

Speaking of Shark Week two of my sculptures were featured in Shark themed treasuries :

I've been having a blast eyeballing all the sharky eye candy on Etsy this past week! One of my favorites was the Great White shark print seemingly peering  at you through a porthole picture frame.

I got some work done on the lower jaw of my current shark sculpture. While that was curing I marked off the eye locations and drilled out and (temporarily) installed the eyes.

If I don't play hooky and go to the beach tomorrow I may drill the locations for the pectoral/dorsal fins.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shark Sculpture Work In Progress

I wanted to have this shark sculpture finished and listed in my Etsy shop to coincide with the kick off of Shark Week 2012 this Sunday. Unfortunately it's been slow going.

At this stage the work has been all about wet sanding and filling in the low spots. Speaking of Shark Week one of my shark pieces was featured in this shark week themed treasury:
You can use coupon code SHARKWEEK12 at my shop:
 to get 10% off my shark art at checkout.

This weekend I'm hoping to install the eyes - and jaws in this shark. The eyes will give the shark some  'tude'  and the jaws and teeth are always fun to design!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Celebrating Shark Week 2012 With A New Sculpture

It's been awhile since I've sculpted a shark. And since August 12th kicks off the start of Shark Week 2012 : Shark Week : Discovery Channel I thought it was the perfect time to return to one of my favorite subjects! It is always fun rummaging through my reference materials hunting up shark photos.

Finding a carving pattern for a Great White shark would help guide my work.

Making the armature for my sculpture out of styrofoam would save on clay and weight!

Mounting the styrofoam sections on aluminum wire which is bolted to a base.

Cutting the styrofoam to give the shark a gentle curve.

           Starting to add Apoxie clay.

Tracing the fin pattern onto my clay fin.

Fins ready for carving and refining.

Pectoral fins and dorsal fin primed before final sanding. I'll be posting more photos as work on my Great White shark sculpture progresses.