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Double-Header: Gold leaf and Gymnasiums

I'm heading to California for a couple of weeks. Probably won't be blogging but I'm sure I'll have something to write on my return.

The reasons for my trip are two-fold:

  1. First to attend the annual event put on by fellow sign & glass artist Larry White. The zaniness of the activities only require honorable mention as it was originally themed on Johnny Depp's cult classic, Dead Man. Over the years Larry's place has increasingly taken on the aura of the movie. He has built props, crafted beautiful glass signs and themed the entire place based on the film. Recent years have seen other classic westerns taking the dominant theme but Dead Man provides an enduring backdrop.

    The atmosphere of adolescent humor and the museum quality of the facility aren't my primary reasons for attendance. I find a camaraderie among these fellow sign artists whose primary focus for the weekend is experimentation with gold leaf on glass. The discussions, new techniques and connections gained always leave me recharged for the months ahead - and it's always gratifying if I can share something of my knowledge with another attendee.

  2. Secondly, I plan to work with my long-time friend and colleague, Tom Seibert. I'll be painting an image of a lion on the floor of a high school basketball court - bursting from the center circle. Once I've completed that I'll work with Tom on some other mural work he has before I finish up and head back to my home base in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Tom does amazing work. His designs are always fluid and dynamic. His lettering is imaginative. (His work in calligraphy and hand lettering preceded his focus on murals.) And besides being a lot of fun to work with, he's a work-horse who stays with a project until he drops in order to get the job done. Of course, it also helps that we share similar tastes in well-balanced, hoppy beers.

His work can normally be seen at his website - www.muralsforschools.com - which unfortunately is currently being moved to a different server since Mac discontinued their website service. Until that time you can see some of his work on his facebook page. Hopefully he'll get his other site back online soon. (Here's a kick in the pants, Tom.)

See you when I return

Well, I've got a flight I need to catch. Thanks for checking in on my blog - I appreciate it. Stay tuned . . . I'll have some interesting things to report on the other side!


Reader Comments (6)

Great recap. It was a blast working with you again. Sorry about the back breaking floor work- you can now tell Joe and Ingrid you are a veteran of maple hardwood floor painting. Jake and I are going to head back to Newport Harbor today to finish up. I like how you described the community collaboration. Most schools have prison-like fences that prevent any interaction with folks wandering by. It's a cool place. The weather got a bit toasty which is unusual. Pops, Barry and Beth all said they enjoyed having you stay at their place. Thanks for all your hard work and muscling through the ailments.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Seibert

Thanks for the comment.
I'll be sure to talk to Joe & Ingrid - but I seem to recall working on a maple floor with you in the late 90's. You would think I'd learn my lesson. Really, it wasn't so bad.
Say hi to Dave at Newport Harbor when he comes by.

August 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterDan Seese

Nice work boys!

Isn't it great to design your own stuff. We get those once in a while, but mostly it's just doing the same old same old. Getting your own work on a floor somehow makes being on your knees not so bad. Well, that's what I tell myself anyway. We have had a few jobs where the students, faculty or community have been allowed to peek in. It's great to see how proud and thrilled they are to have their logo right there in front of them huge and on their floor.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe and Ingrid

Joe & Ingrid,
Good to hear from you.
I know what you mean about people being able to see the work in-progress. I always enjoy that interaction while doing a gold leaf job on a window. Sometimes it's hard for people to visualize the finished product but if they are patient, they can see it unfold.
I think it's interesting that your work covers both ends of the spectrum: You do some exquisite detailed pinstriping on motorcycles and vehicles, and then you roll up your sleeves to paint these supergraphics on walls & floors! Lets do something together again - it's always a kick.
For readers who don't know him, Joe Broxterman is a pinstriper who lives in Conifer, Colorado. When he can tear her away from her horses, he and his wife, Ingrid, can also be found painting murals and gymnasium floors and other hand painted graphics. Check out their work at www.speedwaygraphicsdenver.com

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterDan Seese

great post, Dad. your descriptions, along with the video and photos, give me much better insight into this Dead Man's event that i've heard snippets about for years (and just inspired me to add the Depp movie to my Netflix queue). they also remind me of our first cross-country trip as a family - a week-long trip to So Cal two dozen summers ago - and of what an enchanted place California, even for all its latter-day decline, still is: a decadent never-never land where otherwise respectable middle-aged men can build Old West playgrounds in their background or splash whimsical murals all over the walls and floors of the school - and nobody thinks it's THAT weird...

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjob seese

As if the goings on in your stomping ground of Manhattan were any less weird than in California!
Things here in Colorado continue to be gloriously vanilla.

August 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterDan Seese

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