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Somewhere Else Blog

February 23 2014

The portal has been established! Here are two photos:   The wall is plaster and the finish is a fresco technique, made of lime and crushed marble and applied by Ryan Chivers of Artesano Plaster in Boulder. Amy Bayless helped to apply the great pigments to the finish on the final day. Amazing. Am now working with Marian Reynolds who is making two customized lights to shine from either side of the portal to shine on it. Hope you like …

February 23 2014 Read More »

February 11 2014 post

  Here is the portal before we added the wire mesh which will hold the plaster. I have been working on this for the last three weeks with a professional, plasterer and plastering instructor, Ryan Chivers, who uses centuries-old techniques. He used to live in Nederland and now lives in Boulder. He has been a delight to work with and learn from.   Here is a part of the wall as of yesterday. At this point we have put two …

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January 2 2014

Here is the rough carving of the bear cub who will be seen in the paws of the polar bear Momma.     I wanted to show you a few more photos but am having a hard time resizing them. Sorry. I am just a few weeks away from installing this bear addition though. Yea!

November 30 2013 post

Just primed the polar bear. Will be sanding off much of the primer and then get started on the bear cub she will be holding. I know, this is not that exciting! But in a week or two I will post the bear standing up on some stairs and then at least I will start to get really excited.   One reason this is taking so long is, as you can plainly see, polar bears have big bottoms. A fact. …

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November 13 2013 post

Starting out again with apology: I have been terrible at keeping up with this blog. The good news is that it is because I am always out in the shop carving on the polar bear. She is big and I have been spending almost all my days out in the carving shed carving on her fur. It is a lot to do but I love every minute of it. Here is a photo of her head a few weeks ago …

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September 10 2013 post

I am not dead. But I have taken the whole summer to do some projects at home and so have not been carving the polar bear. She has been laying on the shop floor patiently waiting for me to build a garage. Now that I am done, today I started carving again. Actually, ‘carving’ is not the right way to put it. I am still in the shaping phase of the bear project. Today I added a foot, wood for …

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June 26 2013 post

I have been working on the polar bear every few days but have little I can show you. Let’s face it: she is on the large size and a lot of work on her shows only a little. I knew I needed to show you something, to establish that I am indeed working on her and so I took this photo of my feet standing next to her in the saw dust and wood pieces. Now I am starting on …

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May 4 2013

I am crazy with the glue these days putting together the polar bear. This will all work and look like a polar bear someday. I so hope that is true. first here is a sketch   Here is a look at the shop today:   One paw is underneath the right leg and the left paw is being glued up and will go . . . wait, there is not a left leg yet. Tomorrow.

April 15 2013

  Just installed the brown pelican in the building. I am satisfied with it and have already been talking with George about the next one, a polar bear. More on that later. Will have to wait until October to plaster the wall. I wish it looked better for the coming summer season! 14 inches of snow today and it hasnt stopped yet. April 15th? I would rather have the sun.

april 9 2013

  Here are a few more photos of the brown pelican I am carving. I am looking forward to painting this one, but I am still making some adjustments to his wings. Soon. I have finally admitted to myself, and thus to you, that I will not have this wall ready for plastering before the summer so I am looking forward to getting a nicer looking curtain for the summer and then by October I will have carved the rest …

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March 24 2013

Here are a couple of new pics of the Pelican. A few days ago I added the  boards which will be wings. Remembering that this bird will be flying into the building and half way through the wall, you will see that the legs, body/head, and wings are not attached to each other but to a mock-up of the wall studs. Here are the wings roughly shaped from this weekend: Lots more to do but he is getting there!  

march 15 2013

Here are a few picks of the progress on the pelican. I am shaping and carving the head, body and feet first then the wings; better to get the proportion right for those once I get the rest first. I hope to spend most of tomorrow on it although I might help someone move. As you look at the photos remember that you wont see, for example, much of his legs once installed, the 6 inch wall comes out from …

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March 11 2013

It is time for the pelican! On the original sketch George and I included a mallard flying into the building. Nothing against mallards, but we decided a pelican would be more fun. George has sketched a pelican halfway through the wall coming in for a landing. I always say, when people ask me, what is my favorite animal, that it is whatever I am carving at the time. And sure enough, it is true again. I have already cut out …

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February 25 2013 post

Today I collected 8 guys and we installed the giraffe on the Somewhere Else wall. Then later I put up the dog. They both will look alot better when the wall is plastered but here they are! Hope you like them.         That is Ellen posing with the giraffe. Next is a pelican!

February 19 2013 post

Finally, with spots, this giraffe looks like a giraffe. Here are some pictures of how she looks today. I am planning to finish painting the inside of her ears and a few other details in the next few days. Then next week, after putting some additional supporting material in her area of the wall, I will gather some friends and put her up. I am also installing the dog, Oberon, the same time. Then, with my shop space free I …

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Blog entry February 11, 2013

It has been a while since I have posted: it took longer than I thought it would take to turn lots of straight 2 inch thick boards into a long curved giraffe neck. But now I am doing finish sanding and, although these photos don’t show it, have started carving the hairs on the giraffe’s mane. That is a bit tedious but I will send another post showing that in a few days. Meanwhile, here are some photos to show …

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January 18, 2013 post

Here is a look at the carving shop from an hour ago. I have carved the basic shape of the front portion of the giraffe’s legs and chest. Now I am gluing up her neck one or two boards at a time. I am not the most intuitive of sculptors and especially with this animal where it is so important to get the neck right so that it goes around a corner and leans down a certain amount, I have …

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Dec 31 2012 post

I haven’t had much of a chance to get out in the shop this last week, happily so, with family and friends’ activities during the holidays.  I have attached the first short portion of the giraffe’s neck to her head. Wanted to get that done so she would a bit more together before the new year. Now I am gluing together boards to make up her chest.   Here is a photo of some of the boards, edge-doweled together. They are …

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giraffe project -2

We have had a light snow all day. It is beginning to feel like winter finally. Here is a photo of the beginning of the giraffe head. I put in some glass giraffe eyes -from a taxidermy supplier I have been using for over 25 years. It is a slightly strange store. I walk in and ask the woman at the counter for giraffe eyes 40mm in diameter. She asks me what kind of eyes: Quantum-vX Presige Eyes? Style 105 …

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The Giraffe Project-1

Now begins the giraffe. In this photo, I have pulled back part of the Somewhere Else curtain and put in a pipe which I have bent with the help of a pipe bender and three friends in order to define the curve that will help me figure out how to design the giraffe neck. She will be leaning out of Somewhere Else and looking around and out the glass door. Here is a sketch by George that shows a child …

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Oberon the Wonder Dog, by his friend and guardian, Bruce

Oberon the Wonder Dog, by his friend and guardian, Bruce Oberon the Wonder Dog was ½ Sheepdog and ½ Bearded Collie, and was a magnificent creature of Light, Love, and Happiness. He loved, and was loved, by everyone he met. He could run like the wind on the back of tomorrow, and was more intelligent than both you and I together think that we are. He liked to talk on the phone and one day first told my mother, “I …

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Finished with Oberon

December 4, 2012 Today I finished painting Oberon. Well, almost: I still have to work on the little pink swatch on his nose which mirror’s Oberon’s real nose. It reminds me of the scar on Harry Potters forehead. I had fun carving this dog. This is the first animal, after carving 63 of them, that I have used spray paint. I wanted to add some gradual color to his paws, tip of his tail, and his muzzle, but needed to …

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Post 25

Tonight, before Thanksgiving Day, I thought I better give you another weird photo and a thought. Oops, not sure I have a thought, except that I am having fun sitting in the shop hand sanding on Oberon. It is quiet, and I almost feel like I am petting this dog. Last week I met with Oberon’s guardian and pal, Bruce. Over coffee we he told me about Oberon’s life, about how Bruce found him at the pound and then had …

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Post 24

Here is Oberon’s head and side view of his rear half.

Post 23

Hi all. Today I am posting a couple of pictures that I have taken the last few days. I having a good time, having shaped the dog’s parts and now I am carving with knives and gouges, which is quiet, sweet work in my view. I am defining fur on Oberon. I am always trying to get better in this, but have a long way to go. Still, it is fun and I am satisfied at my attempts. Bruce, Oberon’s …

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Post 22

It is Saturday afternoon. Lots of wind and snow mixed with saw dust. At least it is when I go from the carving shed to the house and back. I am consciously trying to not do anything unlawful today because it would be easy to find me. I have just glued up two more sections, Oberon’s head and his left front leg. Not sure exactly how that leg will show itself through the wall, but I am excited to start …

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Post 21

Here is your faithful correspondent/carver checking in, with the back end and first part of Oberon. having just glued up this section, I am now shaping this part of the body and trying a few ways for him to enter the portal. I originally designed him to go in straight but I think it will look a little unnatural for him to look back, turning his head so sharply, even though my neighbor dog who looks just like this does …

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Post 20

Here is the first stage of gluing up the dog. I am beginning with the back part of the dog and will finish that first so I can match the head with it. The idea is to have Oberon, the Wonderdog, going in to the portal and then turning back to see if perhaps you want to come as well. Or maybe he is just saying goodbye.I am not sure exactly how much of the front part of the dog …

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Post 19

Before I start gluing up the dog, I thought you might be interested in a photo I took last week of a small catch-all table I use in the carving shop. I am about to clean it up, to get ready for the new job. My shop is not the cleanest work space you ever saw.

Post 18

Today is October 8, 2012. I am about to get to work on the next animal, a dog named Oberon. Although we do not allow dogs into the carousel house, because of the danger of getting caught in the machine’s mechanism, in our first year we made an exception. Oberon’s friend and guardian, Bruce, asked if he and the dog and all their friends, could celebrate Oberon’s birthday at the carousel. Oberon had a muscular disease at the time and …

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Post 17

It is a few days into October and I have finished painting this little penguin and fixing it so that she can be firmly attached to the wall/portal. Here she is in place at the carousel building. The curtain is just temporary until the wall is plastered. We probably won’t do that until most or all the animals are finished. Given a choice, penguin or person, I would rather be a human. But, given the other choice, would I like …

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Post 16

It is the last week of September, and I have finished most of the rough sanding and painted on a primer coat. As with all the animals, there is a point where sanding the wood just keeps lifting up more fibers (“hairs”). So I apply what I call a primer ‘sanding’ coat. This stiffens the surface fibers and allows for finer sandpaper and a smoother surface. With this penguin, I went through three cycles of primer coat and sanding before …

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Post 15

The next day I began to shape her basic form using a 5-inch Makita circular sander. After that, I carved with knives and gouges a bit and sanded a lot. I set up some temporary framework on the working stair set I have in the shop so that I could figure out how much of her I would inside and outside the finished wall.

Post 14

This penguin is walking into somewhere else. Her face and some of her front is not to be seen. Her size, and simple, pear-like form made her an easy form to shape. I began, as usual, buy cutting some basswood boards and gluing them together. You can see that in this one gluing, she has a body, her tail, and flippers. I will just have to add her legs and feet later.

Post 13

(I am new at this blogging deal and Facebook, so if this is a similar post to one below or above, I apologize. I hit a key and the post I thought I was sending vanished. So let me begin that post again here:) In late September, as I put the chimp at the carousel, I went back to the carving shed to begin the next animal: a penguin. Last year, then carousel director, Nancy Moon, gave me a small …

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Post 12

In mid-September, with the help of a friend, we carried the finished chimp to the carousel and placed him in his place on the steps. I had already built out the wall and snugged him into his section. I added a red scarf and had him sit on a piece of cloth from Thailand, just to help him present himself to visitors. The curtain behind him is temporary. When all the animals are finished, the new face of Somewhere Else …

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Post 11

Back in January, I found a photo of an old chimp which provided me with inspiration to create this one. George Blevins, my friend and the original illustrator of the carousel and many of its first animals, illustrated his legs and feet. I referred to this photo below, not just for technical reasons, but for guidance in how to personally reference this chimp’s soul. It is what it is, but one helped the other.

Post 10

Stitches out, numb thumb, we were back in business. It was now early August and I was carving the fur, one of my favorite parts of the process. In this photo, the chimp is sitting on steps, outside of what will be the Somewhere Else portal, but a good part of his lower back is designed to still be inside Somewhere Else, anchoring him to the place where he comes from. I had designed the ‘template steps’ to allow me …

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Post 9

It was late July now, and I had finished shaping the chimp for the most part. I would soon start carving his features and defining his fir. At the end of the day, I had the last block of wood, which I was pushing through my band saw in order to make a rough outline of his thumb. I was a bit tired and pushing a bit too hard, trying to not only cut through the 4-inch piece of wood …

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Post 8

The guy has arms now. As I was working on the chimp, taking his limbs off and on, with him sitting there, I was thinking fellow vets who had lost their arms and legs in war and then were sitting patiently while specialists refit them with new ones. In early 1968, while in a US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, I and other patients, when they were ambulatory but still getting treatment, worked with other war injured who were in …

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Post 7

In June, I had the beginnings of the head but had early on realized that because of the way this guy was sitting, I better keep his arms and legs detachable so that I could carve on them separately. So I used dowels to attach them and detach them as I went along.

Post 6

So, let us go back, back in time (you are getting sleepy, you must count backwards from 10 and then you WILL be back in April and May) to see some photos of the process of glueing up boards to make the chimp.

Post 5

For those having trouble with the url, here is a copy: “Somewhere Else” a New Carousel of Happiness Project Hippasus, a Greek philosopher who lived around 500 B.C., made an astonishing discovery, that within a dodecahedran, a 12-sided structure, could be found irrational numbers. No one at that time, including the famed mathematician Pythagoras, believed that this type of irrationality was possible, and for his efforts, one legend has it, Hippasus was drowned at sea by the gods. Not knowing …

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Post 4

Please go to this spot for a beginning description of “Somewhere Else”, a new permanent installation at the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland, Colorado. Please copy and paste the following url in your browser. http://eepurl.com/qiAGD

Post 3

OK, here is what has happened, for better or worse: I started this site so that folks who become supporters of the Somewhere Else project would have a place to come to see the activity (I almost called it progress) as it happens. And then, from late April until now, early October, I didnt ask anyone to become a supporter! I just spent the time on carving the chimp and then the penguin and not I am starting the dog. …

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Post 2

Today begins a top secret project for the Carousel of Happiness. Top Secret for others, not for you. I will explain soon as I begin to figure it all out myself.

Post 1

These are the first few boards being glued to make up the backbone of the chimpanzee.

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