The Dragons Are Here!

April was the month of the dragon.

Most of my time in April was devoted to finishing up a large dragon head sculpture and making a mold for it.

Have I mentioned my dragon-curse? I've tried to make dragons before, and something invariably goes wrong. The first dragon I ever made was ceramic. It exploded in the kiln. Another I sculpted in wax... and it melted on a cross-country move in August. That sculpt had taken over 200 hours. Still another dragon had a freakish issue in which the silcone molding material bonded to it, ruining the original and making the mold unusable.

BellatorOn the other hand, dragons hold a strong appeal. I'm very fond of reptiles - I've been keeping lizards as pets since I was fourteen or so. I know how scales work, and I enjoy putting them together in ways that don't precisely occur in nature (but could). Also, I worked for a year in a museum fabrication shop that regularly made dinosaurs... but never got to work on an actual dinosaur. Maybe I have something to prove there.

So, in April I made a dragon. There will be 100 in this series eventually. Now, I just have the first three, and I'm pretty happy with how they've turned out. Each of these heads will be unique - in addition to hand-painting them individually, I manually set the eyes and resculpt the area around them by hand. Because each of these is so much work, I'm naming them individually. The series itself will be called draco primoris, after the species name of the dragon. The first three are named Autarch, Bellator, and Grimcaul.
Grimcaul
Image for scale

Dragons in this series are going to be available for sale within the next few weeks. I'm altering the material a little bit to make them lighter and stronger so that they will ship well (though it will still be a huge box!). You'll be able to order a dragon with your choice of scale and eye colors with or without a mounting board.

New Goggle Designs - Just in time for Burning Man

Since I began making goggles a bit over a year ago, I haven't added any new designs. Today, I'm proud to announce that I have three!

First up are the tentacle goggles - this is probably the thing that has been most requested over the past year. I've tried a couple of different ways to do them, but a good tentacle-style was eluding me. I'd tried a couple of different ways to make them before, but they looked a bit silly. This is my favorite so far. I will likely offer them in different colors. If you have a request, let me know!

Eyestalk GogglesSpeaking of silly... I think these eyestalk goggles are one of the most ridiculous things I've made. Maybe that's why I love them.

I guess they could be used for... Beholder cosplay?

Really, the possibilities are endless. I'm sure.

Think about it.

ScarabGogglesThe new scarab goggles are probably superfluous. After all, I already have my Egyptian goggles. Still, I had these tiny faience scarabs that I made... and it seemed like a good idea. Scarabs always seem like good ideas to me, I guess.

I'd been planning these designs for a while, but it had taken me until now to actually put them into practice. I think I was spurred on here by the fact that I got a commission for some custom goggles that were ordered in preparation for Burning Man. Those turned out well, so I started making the new designs that I had planned out.

Remember, if you're thinking about getting a pair of goggles for Burning Man, you still have time to order. Goggles get sent out quickly via USPS Priority Mail.

In case you want more details on my goggles in general... these are based on metal shop goggles that are imported from Germany. The covers and lenses are removable. I sculpt the exterior of each pair by hand using an epoxy-based resin that is weather resistant. I then paint each pair by hand. Eyestalk goggles include acrylic taxidermy eyes. Scarab goggles include wee scarabs that I made from Egyptian faience.

Monster Tiles Are Now Available!

I like sculpting monsters. I also like sculpting small things. For the past few months, I've been working on a new project that combines the two.

Green Dragon TileMy monster tiles are individual pieces of ceramic art that are primarily designed for use in games. They are cast in porcelain and come in one, two, or three inch square sizes. You can use them on a battlemat (the monster types are appropriately scaled for d20 games). They can also be used as alternate markers for other games. The bandit, for instance, would make a great addition to just about any Settlers of Catan game. You could even have the awesomest Monopoly set ever. Not all the tiles are of monsters, per se: I have adventurer-types, animals, and even a treasure chest.

OK. The treasure chest could actually be a monster in disguise.

The monster tiles had their debut in the Artist Alley at Balticon, where they were a big hit. While most people seemed to want to use them for games, they were picked up by plenty of non-gamers, too. Someone even suggested redoing her bathroom in them. (If you want to do that, contact me for bulk pricing.)

Brown Ceramic Spider PendantRight now, I have a couple dozen tile designs available. Most of these are one-inch tiles, with a few two and three inch ones. I'm making more as we speak. Eventually, I'll even do some larger tiles. As of right now, all of the tiles are available in six colors: red, white, green, blue, teal, and brown. This is great if you want to have, say, five goblins that you can easily differentiate in a game. I'm also offering unglazed tiles, because I know that just as I like sculpting little things, there are many people out there who love to paint little things.

In addition to just plain tiles, you can also get the one inch tiles as pendants. In the next few days, I will have magnet versions of the one and two inch tiles as well.

new monster tilesI just finished sculpting the next set of one inch tiles.

This set includes an evil warlord guy (who was suggested to me by a customer at Balticon) - or maybe a death knight, a black bear, an elf (play guess-the-gender!), a hooded undead horror (wraith? crypt thing? lich? grim reaper?!?), a gnoll (but not the half-gnome/half-troll kind), and a pseudodragon. Right now, the originals are in plasticine. Eventually, I will cast them in porcelain and then they will be available on the site (give me a week or two).

I'm actively looking for ideas for new tile designs, so if you have suggestions or requests, send them my way. Sure, I have a pile of books filled with monsters, but what monsters do you want to see?

Artificial, a film by Greg Mannino

Featuring my wall mask.

I hereby declare this to be awesome.

Old Magicians' Magazines

This past weekend, we found a huge pile of old magazines for professional magicians at a local used book store. They are all from the 1930s and 1940s. The covers on these things are fascinating, so we had to share some of them with you. 1947 Conjuror's magazine cover The Hungry Clown? What's that? The Hungry Clown Poor Hank. There are also some great advertisements in these magic magazines: magic ads Including an ad for your very own super zombie? super zombie ad Some people get an angel and a devil. Kellar gets two devils. 1929 Sphinx cover Poor Kellar. Still, he's better off than Hank. ::shudder:: I love the drawing on this cover: 1934 Sphinx cover: bullet catching trick This is the standard cover for older Sphinx magazines: 1933 Sphinx cover This merely looks... uncomfortable: 1946 Sphinx cover I'm wondering if there is anything in here about building automata. That would be useful.

Need Goggles for Burning Man?

I'm continuously surprised by the uses for our goggles that people have been coming up with. Today, someone bought a pair to wear to Burning Man, which we think is pretty cool. It certainly makes sense on an aesthetic level; Burning Man fashion is notorious for people wearing outlandish, artistic outfits (assuming they wear anything at all), and we have a some appropriately strange and unique goggles that you won't find anywhere else (because Angela designs and makes them all herself).

Black Spiked GogglesGoggles at Burning Man aren't just a matter of style, though. There are some serious safety issues at Burning Man, and eye protection is very practical. Burning Man is held in the desert, and keeping dust and sand out of your eyes is a real concern. Our goggles should function admirably for keeping your eyes safe from dust on the playa. They seal well over your eyes, and they don't have any holes that dust or grit could get through. While the lenses that we ship them with are clear, they can be easily replaced with tinted or polarized lenses to help reduce glare.

If you don't see what you're looking for in our selection of goggles, you can contact us about customized goggles.

Update:

We just got sent a video made by or Burning Man bound friend. We love our customers!

Check it out:

Need a pair?