Artist Profile Pt. II
Over the course of more than fifty years,
the last thirty-five or so having been serious ever-maturing efforts, I
have sculpted a great many subjects in a wide range of treatments and degrees
of importance. Among them have been whimsical little creatures, big
game animals in every-hair detail, nudes, science fiction heroes and creatures,
portraits large and small, historical and prehistorical figures, cowboys,
Indians, and the odd monument here and there. Almost universal among
my subjects are living creatures, and I guess I've sculpted everything
that moves under its own steam but a Lithuanian wombat, and I might try
that next. You can see many of the fruits of my labors at my website, www.sprattart.com,
and, yes, many of them are for sale.
Given the ability to execute a recognizable
likeness of almost any creature I can think of, over the decades I have
been repeatedly drawn back to the wonderful worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
as a source of inspiration. I have never been able to resist the
urge to put his astonishing creatures into the full round. Whenever
I get bored with the earthly and urbane subjects of our world, I climb
back into his pages, and leave this dull place behind for a while. One
of my favorite places to escape to is Barsoom.
Deep in the winter of 1996, a look out
my window revealed two feet of snow on the ground, and the thermometer
read in the teens. It was too cold to work in my poorly-heated "dirty"
studio -- a small out-building where I do my casting, sanding, grinding,
and general mess-making, so I decided to chuck work and leave Jasoom for
a while. By nightfall I was riding around in Tara's pocket-purse,
dizzy and breathless and spinning high above the ochre moss, and knowing
not whither we were bound, yet kneading with my left hand my ubiquitous
ball of wax. Soon the aged Ace paperback found its place on my crossed
knee, and both hands went to work on the happy ball of wax, and within
an hour Gahan of Gathol was perched grinning on my table-top. By
the end of the next day he was a Chieftain of Jetan, with six accomplices
and a beautiful, beautiful Princess, wearing next to nothing and worried
about her future.
It is said unarguably that ERB's cornucopial
imagination was the source of many wonderful things of our world, from
xerox copiers to organ transplants; I know for a fact that he indirectly
sired several chessgames authored by myself -- but more about them later.
Very soon it became clear to me that I was making a Jetan set. After
a few days of my typical nitty-gritty application of details to the eight
little figures they were ready to mold. In a few days more of repeated
castings I had my set of forty, and a complete, detailed, paintable Jetan
set. Another day's work with masonite, good enamel and brushes, with
some judicious touches of gold paint-pen, produced a quite proper and fitting
board, quite striking in its black and orange, and upon which my little
platoon looked businesslike and ready to slash it out. It was a splendid
souvenir from my latest trip to Barsoom, and I was elated. I shared
this delightful treasure with one or two of my closer pals, and we found
out that Jetan is actually a very fun, very playable game, made even more
fun by the delicious, selfish knowledge that I had brought it back straight
from Barsoom, and that I was the only person in the universe who had one,
and that lovely, lovely little Princess, such a joy to behold.
There was another element about the set
of pieces that appealed to me, that I only came to realize later, and that
was that the little sculptures were "empowered," by their roles in the
game; they actually "do" things among themselves -- an element usually
missing with sculptures which stand alone, loaded with symbolism as they
may be. This was a fun new feature, and I had to mess with it some
Thuvia and Banth
SARANG IS BORN
One day I sat pondering the wonderfulness
of my handsome little Barsoomians, and the helpless dependency of the lovely
little Princess, whose future is ever in doubt, and it came to me that
she might like a feminine companion to swap girl-notes about who was the
best fighter, and commiserate in their hours of dark despair. Promptly
I measured off the required 2/3-of-a-hen's-egg of wax required for a figure
that size, then another, and another, and it came to me that a series of
Jetan games could be played with a different Princess for each game, or
something like that.
So I rapidly commenced forming a few more
little Barsoomian women, and hit the books again for character studies.
The first lady had been Tara, but how about Dejah Thoris, and Thuvia, and
who else? This was starting to turn into a serious sculptural effort,
and I've always considered it important to get the facts straight, if possible,
and there were--uh--other considerations.
First there was the problem of costuming.
In most events throughout the Barsoomian stories, ERB's Martian characters
are wearing strips and straps, jewels and weapons and very little else.
This I'm certain was a large part of his appeal, even in 1912, and by being
circumspect in his particular verbage was able to carry on his titillating
scenarios through eleven novels, printed in millions of copies, second
only in numbers printed to the Bible.
There's gotta be something RIGHT about
THIS, and who am I to alter it? However, the wordsmith can get away
with nudity much more easily than the graphic artist; the "naughty"
exponent images form in the mind of the reader, not the writer, once the
condition of near-nudity is literarily laid. A graphic artist's work,
on the other hand, especially sharply realistic images, are in your face,
and you don't have to imagine them to see them. I find Burroughs'
Mars stories to be particularly challenging for this reason.
The big question for myself and many others
considering or executing graphic portrayals of these tales is "Can we,
and should we, portray these scenes as they were written?" We are
stuck with the dilemma of balancing fidelity to a revered author's imagery
as written with judgments about what our public is willing to see, and
sadly we must respond to the emotionally crippled judgment of our many
emotionally crippled peers, lest they scream and throw things.
is, I am certain, partly why there has been such waffling on making the
movie "A Princess of Mars"--the first book Burroughs ever wrote, and why,
except for the most enlightened viewers, most Barsoom artists expand Burroughs'
minimal costumes to include enough fabric to cover the really interesting
anatomical parts, as I have grudgingly done, at least for public consumption.
I have kept the top coverings of the girls
minimal, yet colorable, "pastie-"wise, in keeping with some of the modern
treatments of fantasy heroines, and indeed have found that the simple display
of full frontal nudity does not bother most people nowadays, as long as
the nude character seems oblivious to it. I have yet to hear the
first complaint or negative comment about it on my website, which has more
than a few nudes therein.
At this point I was beginning to assault
a sculptural project of some magnitude, and felt it incumbent upon myself
to give serious consideration to the matters of physique and dress; given
a choice I've always preferred to sculpt accurately and as plausibly as
possible. These little women have obviously female forms, but how
did they differ from women of our species?
My questions regarding the differences
between Barsoomian figures and Jasoomian figures, and any other general
anatomical characteristics between the two species, aside from egg-laying
and navels (when I called a couple of local veterinarians and asked them
if chickens had navels, they hung up on me.), were resolved early in A
Princess of Mars, wherein John Carter describes the pretty Thark prisoner
as "identical in every detail to the earthly women he had known."
In Burroughs' typical blithe circumscription
the question is never asked nor answered just how well John Carter knew
Earthly feminine anatomy, but as is mentioned in a foreword "there is much
I dare not tell you (about Barsoomians), and one might assume that a healthy,
mature male soldier would have at least a working knowledge of--er--How
Remember, too, that Dejah Thoris was wearing
a belt and some doo-dads, and maybe some sandals. It has been noted
that possibly he couldn't see the lack of a navel at first because of the
harness belt. Anyway, I'm content to believe that there are no significant
differences between the average dimensions of anatomical parts of Barsoomians
I would assume that the same ranges of
build and weight variations would apply equally to Barsoomians as Jasoomians,
with Ectomorphs, Endomorphs, and Mesomorphs -- skinnies, mediums, and chunkies,
--and part of the charm of Burroughs' stories is that he has provided a
variety of Barsoomian characters thuswise to fulfill the individual preferences
of his readers. Everyone's got their druthers regarding the shape
of their opposite-gender ideal, which I suspect is formed by some happy
event early in one's maturing process.
My apparent preference for large breasts
is largely a result of my ability to make the breasts on my little figures
any size I want, and with small sculptures such as these, a little exaggeration
makes it easier to identify the genders of the characters. Also,
in pieces of sculpture showing rapid motion such as running figures, the
free movement of breasts, unsupported by bony structure, behaves to some
extent as long hair, in travelling freely with the motion, and is useful
for endowing a rigid sculpted object with the illusion of movement; longer
hair and bigger breasts do this more dramatically.
Aside from a very few references to "soft
roundnesses," Burroughs refrained from juicy details about his girls.
I suspect that he knew full well that to do so would have been to invite
censure, as well as to slow the rapid pace of his stories, which gallop.
It wasn't but a few days before I had nine
Barsoomian women, of various sizes and shapes, and was in love with them
all. What am I going to do with NINE? Hey, how 'bout a bigger
game? With THREE rows of pieces, and a 12 x 12 board? Well, why not?
Who's in charge of this detail, anyway. And MORE Barsoomian critters--a
Thark, a Banth, a Calot, a Teedwar--hey, now I'm ONTO something.
And we'll call it -- call it -- SARANG!
Oh, yeah! "Sarang" is a Korean word meaning "Love," and also an East
Indian family surname, like, uh, "Barsoom," heh-heh-heh. I think
ERB would have approved. And let's do an Assassin--a Gorthan--and
some women warriors, like the THA, as in THAN, and a PANTHA, as in PANTHAN.
Oh, this is gonna be so-o-o cool! But what are all these new characters
going to do as chesspieces? This was clearly going to be a real PROJECT.
After my sidekicks and I had played Jetan
a few times, we discovered it to be quite fun, and my friends really liked
the playing set I'd made; the pieces were large enough, at five inches
or so, and detailed enough that when simply parked upon the board, made
for an interesting decorative item for anyone's den or livingroom, and
one fellow wanted a set of his own.
It was around this time that it occurred
to me that Edgar Rice Burroughs fans might also like some of them, and
after some telephone exploring I located George McWhorter, Curator of the
Edgar Rice Burroughs Museum at the University of Louisville, and asked
him if he knew of a way to get the word out. George immediately responded
with some interest, and was so kind as to advise me of the unusual and
rare nature of an actual Jetan set, and answered many questions I had about
how to go about fielding my games, and the accuracy and appropriateness
of the changes I was considering regarding the expansion of the game.
This was the beginning of a firm friendship.
Jetan is a frisky, close-range game, as
explained to me by Larry Lynn Smith, who sponsors a website for Jetan play:
Larry Lynn Smith's JETAN
WEBSITE and who has explored the potentials of Jetan play in considerable
depth. Larry has covered the elements of "gambling," series play,
and move-limitations of each individual piece in a thorough, creative way,
using terminology that I'm sure ERB would have loved--"Free Panthan," "Chained
Princess," "Wild Thoat," and other exciting descriptions, as well as program
a method of points accounting for series of ten games; he has covered many
elements of Jetan that I missed completely, my simple-minded focus being
mostly on what the creatures and pieces look like.
Aaron Smalley maintains another Jetan website,
symbiotic to Larry's, called the
TOWER , where one may compete against other Jetan players for skill
rankings up to and including "Warlord," and offers a significant prize
to anyone who attains that exalted rank.
A Frenchman named Jean-P. Cazaux has also
fielded a Jetan site, mostly patronized on the continent.
These three gentlemen have exerted considerable
thought and effort into making this game playable online, and in my opinion
deserve some acclaim and patronage.
By early Spring I had made twenty-five
different Barsoomian figures for my new game, and was now faced with the
pleasant problem of how to make them move in character with their characters
in Burroughs' books, and make a workable, playable chessgame out of it.
The board was 12 squares on a side--rather
large, as chessgames go, so I'd need a few powerful pieces to move as the
Queen, the Rook, and the Bishop, able to cover a lot of ground in one move,
some medium-range pieces which could cover three or four squares in one
jump, and short-range pieces for close-in confrontations. I did not
feel entitled to alter the moves of any of the eight original Jetan pieces,
so I left them alone--in Jetan-Sarang they move just as they do in Jetan--and
I rounded out the game with the new pieces. After some experimentation,
I arrived at the following rule-sheets
Jetan Rules Sheet
Click for Full-Sized
Click on each for Full-Sized
The result was a large chessgame
that was very exciting to play, though it took a while. Several games
I played with my son and some of my friends ran over three hours, but it
was fun, and some people really like long games. Additionally, I
had hand-painted a set, with great care, and set up on a table prior to
play, or just to look at, I thought it was awesome. The smallest
board I could practically use for these big, fancy pieces was thirty-two
inches square, and dominates a card table, and the three-deep, twelve-wide
armies of Barsoomians are intimidating. I felt that I had accomplished
a true work of art.
Well, apparently, so did George McWhorter.
He asked me if I'd like a write-up in the Burroughs Bulletin, the lovely
slick Quarterly he puts out as the Burroughs Bibliophiles, of which, incidentally,
number 30 was to cover The Chessmen of Mars. How perfect! Well,
Soon thereafter I began getting calls about
the Jetan set, and began producing them for others. Without boring
you with details, I managed over the next couple of years to produce from
the original molds, four 96-piece Jetan-Sarang sets, and six Jetan sets,
most with some extra Princesses, and several hundred individual figures
and small groups which have trickled away as small sales and gifts, for
a total of perhaps 1000 figures. I still am able to produce these,
with increasing difficulty, and have some on hand; if I manage to squeeze
the twelfth Jetan set out of these molds, I shall let them fade into history.
I have a new, smaller set coming soon, easier to produce.
The original molds for my Jetan pieces
are called "sandwich" molds, and are literally a sandwich of plaster, rubber,
figure, rubber, and plaster, which allow for very complex and highly detailed
castings. They must, however, be assembled and disassembled for each
and every casting that is produced, which is very time-consuming.
These molds must be made with great care,
or you will suffer misalignments, excessive flash, incomplete fills, and
a myriad of other problems that lead to wasted material and time.
I have had to learn how to make my own molds, because there was no one
to teach me, the materials cost $l50 per gallon, and I make original figures
for which there are no molds, and sometimes I really push the envelope.
I've always believed that the form of the sculpture comes first, and the
mold can by-golly accommodate it or bust.
After casting and hand-finishing several
sets of Jetan and Jetan-Sarang, I had tried several different methods of
coloration. The styrene resin-plastic from which the castings are
made is similar to that of model airplanes and cars and what-have-you,
and may be finished with the same types of paints and glue and fillers.
Anyway, the first two sets of Jetan I painted
in yellow/orange with light blue clothes for one team, and jet black with
red clothes for the other, following the Burroughs description. I
found this less than satisfactory because the detail of the black pieces
was harder to see, even though the sharp contrast made the metallics and
harness details look really sharp; Burroughs purists like black and
However, I thought I could do better.
For the third set I made one team somewhat dark-skinned, like American
Indians as Burroughs described--"a light coppery color," with light blue
clothes, and the other team still rather dark-skinned but clearly lighter
than the first, with red clothes. The flesh-tones were different
enough to easily distinguish between the teams, and still endear one to
one's own players. Burroughs had some peculiar ideas about race and
color typical of his times, and I found it desirable to experiment with
other types of coloration, for reasons of ethics and aesthetics.
For a fourth set, I painted one team dark
Indian red with orange clothing, and the other lighter brown with black
clothing. A fellow from Raleigh bought a whole 96-piece Sarang set,
and just recently brought up forty or so of his paint-jobs to show me--stunning
detail, with jewel-paints, wow--and he's doing them in matte dark Indian
red with black clothes on one team, orange on the other. His pieces
look eerily REAL, and he has surpassed me in the finishing department by
several orders of quality.
For two of the big Sarang sets, I did one
team in Indian flesh-tones and the other in light blue, which I decided
was the highlight of black, with light blue and red clothes, respectively;
the set I have is the twin of the one in the Burroughs Museum in Louisville.
Here I must insert a comment about the
feathers, which are a fun part. The feathers indicate rank, and I
assumed that each piece's first feather would be the same color as their
teammates, their second feathers would be the same, their third, etc.
The higher-ranking pieces with five, six and seven feathers would be rewarded
with a rainbow, similar to the fruit salad of medal-ribbons on the General's
chest, y'see? The consistent feather-painting adds identifiability
and harmony to the teams.
Boards upon which to play the two games
I made out of 1/4-inch masonite, triple painted with Rustoleum oil-based
enamels, and decorated with 1/8-inch paint-pen lines across the tediously
hand-painted borders, with a red edge or tabling around the whole board,
and some decorative scallops and squiggles to border the whole. Two-and-a-half-inch
squares work well with these large chess-pieces.
It's one thing to hand-paint and finish
a set of cleaned Jetan or Jetan-Sarang castings for yourself, but it's
something else again to go into production for others. The time required
to hand-paint a set is about two weeks, for me, and that drove the cost
beyond most people's budgets, the hand-painted board takes ALL DAY, also
prohibitive in cost, and after some time Meester Arteeste was getting a
little tired, so I let it rest, selling a few pieces here and there, and
moving on to other things. I had never thought as I began that I
would go so far as to produce so many of these pieces, and it was not,
and is not my intention to go into mass production.
As I realized that others like these sets,
I asked Danton Burroughs what he felt about my selling them, and he said
at the time that it was all right to sell a few sets to fans, but advised
me not to go overboard with it, in order not to intrude on the market of
any bigger outfit who might want to license the product for mass-production.
I am a product designer, not a mass-producer, and it's fine with me to
make a few; I do have other projects.
At this time I do not feel that there exists
a large enough market for full injection-tooling of Jetan sets, UNLESS
the game is included in some scenes and events of the coming MOVIE, A Princess
of Mars, or its sequel, and the product is ready for marketing as the movie
Several years passed.....
discovered that there is considerable interest among fans to obtain Jetan
sets, and because of that I am in the middle of creating the same figures
again in 2/3 scale, with some simplifications for ease of production.
So far the new, smaller figures average about 4 inches tall, are almost
as detailed as the larger originals, are unmistakably similar in appearance
to the originals, and, to me, have a charm of their own. I plan to
make gang molds with no parting lines to clean, so I'll be able to cast
a whole team at one time, and expect these molds to last for perhaps 40
or 50 castings before they start to tear and burn; so far I have
found new homes for ten of the new sets, minus the board, which anyone
with a modicum of skill can make for himself.
I had learned to like making chess-sets,
and my Jetan and Jetan-Sarang games were some of my favorite and most satisfying
sculptural efforts. Better yet, George had accepted a large set for
the ERB museum and this gave me a huge feeling of satisfaction, knowing
that I had contributed something significant to the body of ERB, that many
others could enjoy seeing. One day it dawned on me that I could make
a "FIDE"-Chess-type expansion, similar to the way I had expanded Jetan.
I called it Imperial Chess, because it
had two Kings, two Queens, an Emperor and Empress, and Princes and Princesses
and Catapults and more Knights, and I made it for a 12 x 12 Board, with
three rows of players, and except for a few not-too-important differences
in player moves, it was Jetan-Sarang's twin game. It worked just
as well, and after some fiddling and inspiration, even better.
In a flash of inspiration, I realized I
could shorten the game to maybe an hour, as opposed to three, by instituting
an element called the CHARGE, wherein, if one has no fewer than six of
his men within one move of direct attack position, one may call a CHARGE,
and move one man from each of his twelve rows, setting up a bunch of fights
and casualties at once, and causing great panic and excitement until it's
all resolved and one-by-one play is resumed. A little more on this
I made a big fancy set of playing pieces
for Imperial Chess -- as big and detailed and nice as the Barsoomian pieces
-- a direct spin-off from them, and one night, tossing and turning, invented
Chess for Three players, on a triangular board. I'd noted that if
three guys want to play Chess, one must wait. How cool it would be
for all three to be able to play together, and I'd been wrestling with
the problem of how Rooks and Bishops could move for days, and suddenly,
like a teleportation to Barsoom, it came to me. I made a board, some
sets of small playing-pieces, and played it a bunch with some friends.
It's a HOOT, as chessgames go, but enough of that--the point is, both these
games are ERB's red-headed grandchildren. He started it with Jetan,
a major chess variant, and a viable game all by itself.
Years went by. James Killian Spratt,
Master Sculptor, finally wised up and went online with his own website.
Feeling that my games had considerable merit, I dropped a note to an online
chess variant site, www.chessvariants.com,
aptly named. One look through their MASSIVE collection of chessgames,
their obviously open-minded and inventive activities, including the ability
to play many, many chess variations online, and the sophistication of their
programming and functions told me very quickly that I'd found the right
place. So I dropped them a note, mentioning my games.
I had almost forgotten about it, but one
bright day I received an email from one of the Chessvariants Editors, Mr.
Tony Quintanilla, who almost instantly linked me up every which way
from Sunday to the correct spots in their huge-but-beautifully-organized
Within a few weeks Imperial Chess had been
programmed for online play by a system called Game Courier, which is a
most excellent, fun method to play by email. Tony is an Engineer
at the biggest water treatment facility on earth, in Chicago, and his fellow
Editor, Fergus Duniho, who colored the little pictorial icons I drew for
the Imperial game, is the inventor of Game Courier.
At first I was a shade intimidated.
These guys KNOW Chess--they're the EDITORS of the biggest chessvariant
website on EARTH; they play six or eight games at once--I'll be MINCEMEAT!
But they didn't program this game for nothing, and I KNOW it's a good game;
Tony showed me very quickly just how good it could be made.
His first response to a CHARGE by me was
not to chew his nails and try to minimize damage -- he COUNTERCHARGED --
something none of my buddies had ever done -- and then commenced the friskiest
chessgame I've ever been in.
As we played we discussed what was happening
via the handy private comment-mechanism, in which one may make irreverent
comments and rude suggestions to one's opponent, and tweaked the rules
into a great game. Imperial Chess has now had expert polishing, and
Jetan-Sarang, also being currently programmed for online play, is in line
for the same treatment.
I had pretty well resolved the rules of
Jetan-Sarang, until Tony and I determined that it, like Imperial Chess,
benefits greatly from three new rules, and they are:
THE CHARGE: When one has no fewer
than six of his pieces within one move of direct threat position, one may
call a CHARGE, wherein one moves one man from each of his twelve rows one
move (the move the piece normally takes). This adds an element of danger
and caprice to play that results in multiple casualties at once, and one
really gets the feeling of playing General. Strategy takes on a "gestalt"
feel and specific tactics are delayed until the endgame, which usually
arrives after fifty moves or so.
THE ESCORT: Any female piece
located in front of, behind, or beside a horseman (or Thoatman, or Flier)
may be moved with him, as long as she is clear to land in the same relative
position to him at the end of his move.
With this kind of skilled assistance, Jetan-Sarang
is now a helluva chessgame, and I'll be having new rules sheets made up
to accompany the new sets, including these new rules, which shall remain
optional. Some people like it the long, slow way.
EARLY DEPLOYMENT: A player is
entitled to move all twelve pieces of any unbroken rank (twelve men in
a line) one space forward, whether the rank is in its initial configuration
(of men) or not. This speeds up getting the men out across the large
board and eliminates the tedium of one-by-one deployment, if you just want
to get out and start slugging.
As of this writing, I have onhand
enough of the original Jetan and Jetan-Sarang pieces to make up one or
two more sets of Jetan -- 40 pieces plus some extra Princesses -- and one
or two more sets of Jetan-Sarang, which is 96 pieces, and includes the
Jeddak, Jeddara, all the other Princesses and females, the Tha, the Tavia,
the Pantha, the Thark, Jedwar (Banth), the Teedwar, the Calot, the Assassin,
and Male and Female Slaves.
The molds are getting temperamental with
much use, and without a major rework their days are numbered; some of them
remain easy to use and some are truly a headache, so I'll continue to use
them until they're just too cranky, then I'll quit.
I am making good progress on thirty new
original models for Jetan-Sarang; the pieces are on average 4 inches tall,
rather well detailed, and will be much easier to produce, although they'll
still be a significant amount of work. I expect to have the Jetan
set of the new ones ready to cast in about ten days, and the full Jetan-Sarang
set producible a couple of weeks thereafter. SO, I suppose you're
interested in HOW MUCH?
ORIGINAL 6" FIGURES
l. Cleaned unpainted casting in pecan/resin--$5
-- figures vary between 3 1/4 and 6 1/2 inches tall
2. Cleaned unpainted casting in marble/resin--$6,
same patterns, heavier castings, nicer unpainted, but can be painted if
3. Complete Jetan Set, cleaned and
unpainted in pecan/resin--$200 (with some extra Princesses)
4. Complete Jetan Set, cleaned and
unpainted in marble/resin--$220 (with some extra Princesses)
5. Complete Jetan Set, painted and
felted, w/board and extra Princesses--$1000
6. Complete Jetan/Sarang, finished
w/velveted box, museum-piece--$5000
NEW 4" FIGURES
l. Cleaned unpainted casting single
2. 40-pc set w/extra Princesses--$40
3. 96-pc set Jetan-Sarang--$96
4. Boards not currently available,
but I'll see what I can do about getting some printed up if demand warrants
SHIPPING--Please add $12 for shipping,
and a physical address for UPS or FEDEX
1. "Cleaned" means that the bases
have been leveled/sanded flat for vertical posture and stability, and the
parting line flash has been fairly well removed. Some pieces may
contain a few small bubbles which can be filled with bondo or modeler's
putty if you desire to paint them, which I recommend.
2. Pieces can be painted with any
good oil-based enamel/model-builder's paint, or simply spray-bombed in
orange and black for a quick, easy finish.
3. Prices for hand-finished sets
(by me) may seem high, but believe me, it's a lot of tedious work;
It's one thing to finish a few pieces, or a set for yourself, but it's
something else again to go into production, which was never my intent.
4. I made these pieces originally
because I wanted a set, there weren't any, and I was able. Danton
Burroughs advised me that it would be okay to make a few sets for the "fans,"
but not to go overboard with it, therefore I'm not going to. I do
know that anyone who wants a set most likely IS a fan, or a rare chess-set
collector, but I don't expect to make any fortune with these items.
The molding rubber I use costs me $150 per gallon, the time to sculpt the
originals is a day or two apiece, the time to make the molds is some hours
each, the time to cast and finish varies, and the time it takes to learn
how to do all this -- well, I've been at it for over 50 years. You
might call the entire project a "busman's holiday," done for the love of
it, and I gave this my best efforts.
5. Prices and availability are subject
to change without notice.
OTHER ERB STUFF:
l. I still do the little THUVIA &
BANTH piece for $50 (it's a booger to hand-clean) in marble/resin, and
$500 in bronze
2. Sometime in the very near future
I intend to execute five pairs of ERB bookends, of a size to fit 5 x 8
books--a pair for Tarzan, Mars, Venus, Pellucidar, and the Moon, and maybe
a few more, we'll see.
3. I also intend to do ERB's portrait,