What are you working on lately? Permalink

We always are behind on adding pictures but rest assured we’re always working. In the last months we’ve sent a steer head to a Hong Kong BBQ joint, a cow head to an Iowa museum, a truck load of bowling pins to a city with a bowlers convention, a huge collection of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my) who will shortly enjoy a great view of the Statue of Liberty, a big dog as a special Christmas gift that came a little late, and we’re working on a large table top dove for an art gallery fund raiser where they’ll have 50 doves out to various artists. With the fall of the dollar we are hearing more and more from Europe and Asia and have a lot of work quoted into UK and the EU. I’m hoping to deliver personally.  :)

Big or little? Permalink

Some things are nice yet small and do not lend themselves to fiberglass structures in the same way that we make larger ones. Large pieces are made in parts, and fiberglassed together with a lot of hand sanding. These large objects are expensive because their materials are expensive and hand made. There is a lot of hand work. Hours and hours. It’s what it takes to make them right. We also do rotational molding and this is a one piece mold that works well for smaller table top sculpts.  And smaller is less expensive. In fiberglass: size = money.

How does it get to me? Permalink

We ship it or we deliver to you. Depending on the size and quantity we may deliver a trailer load or have a truck deliver it or have it come via UPS or Fed-Ex freight. Trucks are surprisingly not expensive. We regularly ship full truck loads around the country and it’s as simple, and a whole lot more reliable, as calling a taxi. Often you won’t need packing materials if it’s in a big truck as we’ll just cover with blankets. But if you’re a 12′ nuke cooling tower or a giant Longhorn (hook ‘em) then that takes a little more custom care. The fact that we’re in Maine makes very little difference when you need to decide on who to make your object. Shipping will be the lowest part of the costs associated with your project. Reliability and quality are your most important. We will get you your items to you in good shape and on time.

Can you make a __________? :) Permalink

Yes. We can make anything. Big- small -weird- not -technical- finished-one of a kind- dozens-fast-slow-painted-hairy-glossy….. we can make it and that’s what we do. We just delivered the big golf ball. We’re about to ship a nuclear cooling tower. But that’s not what you’re asking. So ask in detail. Let me rephrase the question: “Can you make this dog (see attached picture) , painted as shown, 4′ tall at the top of his head, we need it in 4 weeks. Please quote with freight and crate to Osh Kosh, Wi.” Now that’s a question I can answer. When you want to know if we can make something let me assure you we can make anything, in any size. The question you have to ask yourself is are you ready to get your huge dinosaur?

But is it art? Permalink

This I love. These comments are usually uttered by the snobs among us who feel unless an object is presented in a sanitized galery or auditorium it cannot be art. Picasso drawing in sand on a beach? The poetry slams that sprang out of the bars of New York and San Fran.? The “outsider” art that is now celebrated? The same sniffers who reject or question art that they somehow did not approve of or act as the gatekeepers do so specifically to enhance their own power of deciding who or what is recognized. Usually, just to sweeten the deal: the people doing the rejecting are not artists. The truth is no matter what the canvas: beach or cave wall, napkin, or alley: art is a human instinct to create even as we fight to survive. The art I have seen on  animals and objects has often been better or as good as anything I see in galleries. Artists will always surprise you with their vision and creation.  They come from out of no where and often are not known “artists”. Art is where you find it.

The big golf ball goes to NYC Permalink

We received an order from the most prestigious ad agency in NYC to build a 6′ golf ball for the FedEx Open golf tournament which will be in NYC in August. It will travel around NYC as a prop for  the”coming soon” photo shoot.

The ball is a real #@tch to build and transport. But it all worked out in the end. Everyone in NYC was happy. I had a falafel at my favorite take out stand so I was happy.

To deliver it to the 4th floor of a much taller skyscaper I had to lay it on a  blanket, on top of a plastic tarp, and pull it down a 6′3″ wide hallway with two helpers to make sure it did not scratch, look for photos soon on our web site.

Need a big golf ball? :)

What are you working on right now? Permalink

This is the time when everyone is making plans. We’re building a 12′ nuclear cooling tower for a power plant museum, a 6′ golf ball for a Fed Ex commercial, and a big steer head for a BBQ joint in Hong Kong! Plus all kinds of quoting. What are you working on? Anytime you have a question please post it and we’ll do our best to answer here or privately.

How long does it take to get a project going? Permalink

If you are thinking of doing an “animal/objects on parade” you’ll need the objects themselves and that is the easy part. You also need to do a call for artists, arrange sponsorships, decide on locations, get permission to place them, have help installing and caring, plan marketing materials like guides, coloring books, maps, etc., plan the auction, etc. etc. The fastest I know of was one community started in late November and put the objects out late June. Starting in Sept or October is better but it all depends if you have an organization, paid staff, reliable fund raisers, etc. You need to lay it out, all that you plan to do. The good thing is that when you put the art out on display you then have the next four months or so to plan the end game: auction, etc.  If you have any questions about timing, just ask us.

Auction time!!!! Permalink

Many times we supply animal parades and the end result will be an auction. How you present your art all show long from the time they go out, to the entire time you prent and care for them, how you care for them, how you promote the art, how you display and promote the event…. all will dictate how your auction will go and will directly impact the auction values. Some groups have a “good enough” attitude and they do not go the extra mile in care, materials, bases, promotion, etc. and they are disappointed when the gavel comes down. Inevitably; the groups that go the extra mile and care for the art as it should be, prepare great promotional materials, and always point toward the auction as the ultimate goal as always happy with the results.  It is worth doing, it’s worth doping right!

What to do if it gets broken or cracks? Permalink

From time to time: life happens. An object cracks or separates. It’s not normal, not usual, but every now and then: it happens. As I have said: fiberglass is tough. But a enthused vandal or a vehicle or a baseball bat or just a mistake: life happens. It’s time to repair. What we use is mat and fiberglass gel to connect the piece and a bondo to fill cracks also. If you have something coming apart: is it from something violent? Vandalism? Artist cut up / into? It would be unlikely that as built that the items would start to fall apart. To repair:

It’s easy.

If you do not want to do it yourself: take to any auto body repair shop. If you have partnered with an auto dealer, they too will have in house expertise.

Do it yourself:

  1. Mask off the art you do not want to be marred by new fiberglass.
  2. Use http://www.autopaintersupply.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TASI&Product_Code=6199&Category_Code=EBF or a similar product available at all auto supply stores.
  3. Clean area where you will be filling
  4. mix up small portions and fill cracks.
  5. sand smooth
  6. it is easier to put on smaller amounts than it is to remove later through sanding.
  7. remove masking
  8. re-decorate

It happens. Patch it up and move along little doggies.