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A Fight to the Death – The Giant Squid and a Sperm Whale

24″t x 25″l x 19″w

White Pine, Cherry, Composite, Brass, Copper, Steel, Glass, Leather

Available here.

Read the story here.

I grew up with my nose in books. I grew up dreaming of ships and the sea and knots and boatbuilding. I grew up summering in Maine. This all came together in a book published by Yankee Magazine‘s, Yankees Under Sail. I pored over this book day and night. My grandfather had a copy, too and I pored over his when visiting.

There were a few illustrations that made such a strong impression on me. Those impressions are so strong that they still rise to the surface from time-to-time.

Recently I carved a sea-serpent — a serpent with ties to my Indiana town — but in my head I was carving those serpents from the pages of Yankees Under Sail.

About a year ago I drew this in one of my ever-present Moleskin notebooks.

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This drawing festered in my brain until I created this.

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A friend, Kitty Fenstermaker, asked where this idea began. It took me about 30 seconds to pinpoint the beginnings of this artwork. It was this illustration from Yankees Under Sail.

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One never knows where these things will lead. I’ve opened the door. I suspect that there will be more giant squids and sperm whales in the future.

 

The Pull-Toy Series No. 11 – The Begging Dachshund

White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Pewter, Glass, Leather and Copper

13″l x 17″t x6″w

Automated pull toy – dog waves its paws when pulled.

$724

Available Here.

 

 

A Breakthrough

 

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!

 

 

The Pull-Toy Series No. 11 – 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

$879

Available Here 

 

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.

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.

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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?

sea-serpent

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.

 

fullsizeoutput_67aThe 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

$348

Available Here.

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