Brown River Queen cover art

Monday, July 16, 2012

And the beat goes on . . .

Some afternoons you write.

Some afternoons you take old barn lumber and make wearable skull masks, complete with display stand.

No wonder people worry about my mental state.

Normally, when I build things, I spend a lot of time making scale drawings and building it in my head to make sure all the pieces will fit before I make any cuts.I measure and mark all my lumber carefully, and check everything twice before the first sawdust flies. On this piece, I just went nuts with a jigsaw. No measurements, no straightedges, no squares. I just laughed maniacally and cut.

Surprisingly, the pieces fit together. You can't see them in these photos, but I even made my own square-head nails.

Total construction time: less than three hours, including the stand. Cost: zero dollars.

I'm not done with it yet. The wood needs some aging. And a bit if subtle finishing, to get the look I'm after.

What does one do with a life-sized but anatomically inaccurate rendition of a human skull, you ask?

Wearing it to work is out. Ditto for trips to Kroger or the bookstore.

So I'll probably put this up on eBay in a week or two as 'folk art.' If it doesn't sell there, my truck needs a dash ornament, and just by adding a stiff spring I can have the world's largest folk art skull bobblehead!

If nothing else, it served to let me build something, no matter how ridiculous, which I need to do from time to time.

Maybe now I can get back to writing!


  1. Yeah. I'm worried about your mental state...

  2. I believe my current mental state is defined as 'Arkansas, with hints of paranoid delusion, a dash of schizophrenia, and 2 tbs of nutmeg.'

  3. I'm pretty sure there are days when I'm living in that house. Guess that means I owe you rent.

  4. That's a really great mask, Frank! Love the skull theme anyway, I'm a liiiiitle bit of a metalhead & horror lover, so I seeing this sort of self-made art makes my heart beat faster. :)

  5. That looks like something Mama Hogg might make.

  6. Thanks for the comments! It does look like something Mama Hog would keep on her shelves, doesn't it?