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Showing posts from February 15, 2017

10 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE!

1. The First Tree
   The first tree debuted at Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve, 1931. The tree, erected by construction workers eager to receive a day’s pay in the depths of the Depression, stood only 20 ft. tall — a quarter of the size of this year’s holiday specimen.





  Here's a look at some of the 79-year-old tradition’s most historic moments:


2. The $1.5 Million Star
    In 1931, tin cans and scrap paper were used to adorn the tree — appropriate decorations for Depression-era America. Then came garlands and glass. Colored lights and ornaments in the shape of dogs and sailboats made their appearance in 1934. A 4-ft. plastic star, a white spray-painted tree and 10-ft.-long aluminum icicles were staples of the 1950s. The 1990s took it up a notch with a gold-leaf star. But that was nothing compared to the 550-lb. Swarovski star unveiled in 2009. Created specifically for the tree and standing 10 ft. tall, the estimated $1.5 million star is made of 25,000 crystals and 1 million facet…

PAPER MACHE CLAY!!

I recently developed a new recipe for a sculptural material I call “paper mache clay.” This material is so easy to use and so easy to make that I now use it exclusively for all my paper mache sculptures. It might be a bit more accurate to call this material “home-made air-dried cellulose-reinforced polymer clay,” but that’s way too hard to say (or type!), so for now, let’s just call it paper mache clay. The first video below shows how to make the paper mache clay, and the second video answers some common questions that I’ve received from readers since I first developed this recipe. Below the videos you’ll find the recipe written out, and a few comments about how it’s used. (This recipe is the basis for my book “Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay.”)








I usually make mine fairly thin, so it can be spread over an armature like frosting – but you can also vary the consistency, and make it thicker, like this, when you want more control over the modeling process. A very thin layer,…

CARNIVAL IN COLOGNE!!!!

Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself.  But the organized carnival celebrated today only dates back 178 years.
   The Greeks and Romans celebrated cheerful spring festivals in honor of Dionysos and Saturn with wine, women and song.  The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice as a homage to the Gods and expulsion of the evil winter demons.  Later the Christians adopted the heathen customs.  The period of fasting (Lent) prior to Easter was heralded in by "Fastnacht" or "Karnival"...carne vale = Farewell to meat!









   In the Middle Ages, the celebration of Carnival, the masquerade, often took on drastic forms, very much to the displeasure of the city council and the church.  Bans and ordinances did little to help, the celebration was wild and spirited.
   The boisterous street carnival was extended in the 18th century to include the so called "Redouten", elegant masked and fancy dress balls in Venetian style, which wer…

SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL!!!

  The Sapporo Snow Festival is a famous festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan, over 7 days in February.  Currently, Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome are the main sites of the festival.  The 2011 Yuki-matsuri dates are February 7th to the 13th.
   The festival is one of Japan's largest and most distinctive winter events.  In 2007, about 2 million people visited Sapporo to see the hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures at the Odori Park and Suskino sites, in central Sapporo, and the Satoland site.  The festival is thought to be an opportunity for promoting international relations. The International Snow Sculpture Contest has been held at the Odori Park sit since 1974, and teams from various regions of the world participate.










   The subject of the statues varies and often features as event, famous building or person from the previous yer.  For example, in 2004, there were statues of Hideki Matsui, the famous baseball player who at that time played for the New York Yankees.  A…