Sunday, March 28, 2010


For X-mas this year Aurelia got me a lost-wax metal casting class at Pratt Fine Art Center here in Seattle. It was super fun making things out of silver. The class was taught by Jennifer Stenhouse, who was awesome. Our projects were oriented toward small, jewelry sized objects. I really had a lot of fun, but I would like to try larger work in the future. The bird skull above is a pendant for my sister. It's sort of a cross between a few different species, I just pulled out details I liked from crows, pheasants, and quail. She had just taken ornithology in school, and was super excited about bird taxidermy.

I made this ring for Aurelia out of a paper wasp nest, probably Polistes dominula, that I painted with liquid wax and set in a wax ring blank. It is as heavy as it looks.

This ring has another organic component, the head of some Asian Lucanidae beetle. I have no idea what genus it is. After being cast in metal the jaws are very sharp.

This is the wedding ring that my wife made for herself when she took the same class last year. I have one just like it. She was also my lovely hand-model.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tusken Raider Costume

Last year for Halloween I built this Tusken Raider costume. I wish I had taken more photos, but I was kind of screwed for time.

I got some atrocious faux leather from the Joanne's bargain bin for the skin and hot-glued it down to a thermo-formed styrene faceplate. Instead of having a full helmet I left the back open so it could breathe, and made a web out of all the belts I could get at the Goodwill. When I told the cashier I was going to cut them up he looked all sad and said "but these are nice belts". Wrapping the mouth was a bitch and took 3 tries. I can not overstress how helpful it was to have a plaster copy of my head left over from school. For the eyes and spikes I got some resin pieces from eBay that were very poorly cast and needed a lot of love, tons of bubbles and pitting. I may as well have whittled them from a block of Bondo. If I were going to do it again I would have just bought aluminum ones. After finishing them I glued them down with e6000, which is great stuff, but make sure your shop is better ventilated than mine. I cut three holes for peripheral vision and put one layer of bandage over each, this probably saved my drunk ass on Halloween.

Here is the finished mask with all the bandages glued in place. Another advantage of the bcak being webbed instead of an enclosed helmet was the fabric stretches, so I didn't have to put in velcro or a zipper, and it fit really securely.

Here is the whole costume at Trolloween in Fremont. I made the bandoliers myself from pictures of the enfields used in the films. The real thing is too expensive, and I don't like buying leather. The waist pouches are IDF surplus and kind of sucky, but they held a flask well. This is a good shot of the Czerka rifle I made along with the costume, which was probably the most fun part to make. I ended up ditching it halfway through the night because I kept hitting people with it on accident. Note the orange tip so I wouldn't get shot by SPD. This was probably the worst costume idea for a dark, wet, Seattle Halloween. I couldn't see a damn thing in the mask.

Me and my sister as Leela from Futurama. This is a good shot of the moisture collector. It was made out of two empty spray paint cans, aluminum rod and some brass pipe reducers.

I don't know this guy, but his Tron costume was rad (any Tron costume is rad). To weather the robes I used green and black spray paint for painting your truck camo and old coffee, which smelled suprisingly bad together.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I thought I would post some marker sketches from the past few months. Mostly aliens from stuff I've been reading or watching or whatever. This one is an alien from Andre Norton's "Galactic Derelict". Awesome vintage sf with some homoerotic cowboy flair.

I drew this after reading the original draft script for "Alien" where a lot was different from the final film. It's still one of my favorite movies, but it would have been cool to see a film version of this script.

A sort of cartoony, suited up Reman from Star Trek. I really liked seeing what degenerate vulcans would be like.

A small picture of Skade, from Alastair Reynolds"Revelation Space" books. One of my favorite villains ever. I was totally rooting for her half most of the time.

Scorpio the hyperpig from the same. At first I couldn't really disassociate him from the Muppets, but Reynolds put a lot of thought into how a world designed for humans would suck if you were a pig. It was fun to think about how to adapt a space suit for a pig.

Also from the Revelation Space story "Weather" is this quick sketch of the secret of the conjoiner drive.