Many years ago I built an animated pull-toy for the son of a friend — a jaw snapping, tail-wagging alligator. It was a great piece. Ever since I wanted to get back to animated artwork.
The problem was finding a way to join quality (ie. round) wheels to axles. This is important to provide direct drive to the action of the sculpture.
Yesterday I experimented with steel rod, thread cutters and various simple hardware and am confident that I can not make a reliable connection to the pewter wheels that I am using for the pull-toy series.
On the bench today is a pair of leaping and running dogs. There will be more toys with action ahead!
Posted in The Pull-Toy Series | Tagged automata, automaton, dog, Folk, folkart, pull toy, pulltoy | Leave a Comment »
The Pull-Toy Series No. 10 – White River Willy – Sea Serpent
19″l x 9″w x 8 1/4″t
White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Leather, Pewter, Found Wood, Brass
The Hamilton County (Indiana) historian recently approached me and shared a story that he discovered about a giant serpent discovered a few blocks from my home in 1892. The entire story may be found by visiting my website at 50littlebirds.com.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged art, carving, Folk, folkart, folklore, hamilton county, Indiana, sea monster, sea serpent, toy | Leave a Comment »
Noblesville (Indiana) Democrat for July 15, 1892
A Big Snake Story
Last Friday morning Samuel Applegate and George Farris, two young men of this city whose reputation for truth and veracity cannot be questioned, saw a strange sight which they converse very freely about. They were driving north on the Cicero Pike between the Lake Erie car bridge and the wagon bridge when their attention was attracted towards White River when they noticed what they at first supposed to be a large dog splashing in the water. Closer observation changed their opinion as to the character of the animal. A few moments later they saw the entire body of the monster, which had the form of a huge serpent twelve feet in length and perhaps three feet in circumference with a forked tail. On catching a glimpse of a man, the animal immediately disappeared and has not been seen since. It is supposed that it came down White River from some larger body of water during the recent floods.
In the 1820s this monster, painted by Indiana artist George Winters, was said to inhabit Lake Manitou in Fulton County.
When Hamilton County Historian, David Heighway, shared this story with me the wheels started turning. Why wouldn’t I carve the Noblesville Sea Monster?
We will see where this leads over the next few weeks.
For more information about the Noblesville Sea Monster read David Heighway’s article here.
Posted in The Pull-Toy Series | Tagged folk art, folk lore, folklore, legend, monster, myth, Noblesville, pull, pull toy, sea monster, sea serpent, serpent, toy | Leave a Comment »
The Pull-Toy Series No. 10 – The Donkey
12″l x 5 1/2″w x 12 1/2″t
White Pine, Found Wood, Leather, Copper, Steel, Glass, Horsehair, Cotton, Wool, Pewter
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The Pull-Toy Series No. 9 – The Dachshund
17″l x 5 1/4″w x 10 3/4″t
White Pine, Brass, Steel, Pewter, Copper, Leather, Found Wood, Glass
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
I’ve been commissioned to draw and to design and create, but this is the first custom pull-toy. The client sent photos of a worn, primitive stuffed animal and wanted my interpretation. Without the photo I’d have never taken this direction. I’m glad that I did!
Pull-Toy No. 8 – The Elephant
12″l x 8″w x 10″t
White Pine, Leather, Glass, Pewter, Steel, Copper, Horsehair
(Custom pieces cost no more than existing pieces. The process begins with a short exchange of emails. I then produce drawings for the client’s approval. Changes are made. With a deposit of 50% I begin work. I send photos documenting progress. The piece is completed within three weeks and shipped with payment of the balance. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in a custom piece.)
Posted in The Pull-Toy Series | Tagged carving, elephant, Folk, folkart, primitive, pull toy, sculpture, toy | Leave a Comment »
The Pull-Toy Series No. 7 – The Holstein
15 1/4″l x 5 1/4″w x 11 1/2″t
White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Glass, Leather, Pewter, Bone, Cotton
Posted in The Pull-Toy Series | Tagged bovine, carving, cow, Folk, folkart, holstein, primitive, pull toy, pulltoy, sculpture | 1 Comment »