Arte e Artigianato, con un Po 'di Magia

(Art and Craft, with a little Magic)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Just a Carrot, but no Stick

This is a new, small, 1" scale (1/12) Diorama I put together recently. It depicts a young woman trying to coax a donkey to move along. The donkey is a modified commercial item, with many added details, including a real leather harness, a saddle frame, and a load of sticks, lemons, and potatoes.
         The woman is one of my original one-off sculptures, painted in acrylics. The base is a simple piece of foam, with a small stone wall, and dirt/grass cover. Both the donkey and the woman are mounted on brass rods, and are removable from the base for use elsewhere. 

This diorama is for sale. Contact me for details.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Rolling-Ball Sculpture #3 (RBS-3) Part ONE

     For the past few months, I have been sculpting, molding, and casting figures in 7/8"/ft. scale (1/13.7). I am now selling these to Garden Railroad Hobbyists on my website. Take a look... 

   But now, I have the urge, once again, to build a big, complex rolling-ball machine (sculpture?). I want to try to design something very different from others I have built. The first step is to design a mechanism to get the balls up to the top, after which Gravity will do all the work. I used a "spiral lifter last time, so this time I want to try an "arm-lifter". 

   After lots of Youtube Research, sketching, and measuring, I came up with the following. The video shows an early mock-up of the lifter, made from "Foamcore". It falls apart after 15 seconds, but does show that the design works. For a larger version of the video, go to 

Next, I'll move on to a better wood and metal "Proof-of-Concept" model. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Back in the Shop/Studio

Taking a little break after the big Skyship Project, I cobbled together a TOOL CADDY for my workbench. It holds my most-used tools, and can be carried to any work area. Made from  wood scraps, cut on table saw, glued together.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Skyship ERIS - Part 7 (March, 2019)

POST-PRODUCTION:  After Gary finished the beautiful photos in Post #6, I sent copies to my son Paul. He did some post-production magic in software, and came up with the beautiful renditions shown below.

Remember, There have now been 7 Posts in this series. Scroll all the way down to #1, and work your way back to the here.

SkyShip ERIS in her natural environment, searching for new adventures.

This is a design that might have been found in one of Leonardo DaVinci's Notebooks.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Skyship ERIS - Part 6 (March, 2019)

THE COMPLETED MODEL...  The Skyship ERIS model is now finished. I completed all the little details and touched-up all the little paint chips, and here she is. I thank my friend, Gary Lowell, at Chase The Sun Creative Media for taking the beautiful photos below. 

There have been 6 Posts in this series. One more is coming. Scroll down to #1 and work your way back to the top.

Now, I'll take a little break, and decide what my next big creative adventure will be. 
Thanks for looking... Carlo

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Skyship ERIS - Part 5 (February, 2019)

THE GNOME CREW:  The Skyship ERIS is owned and operated by a large, extended "nation" of Gnomi living in Northwestern Italy. In Italian; Gnomo/Gnoma, singular  Gnomi plural. They are divided into a group of autonomous clans, but come together for large celebrations and projects like building and using their fleet of skyships. To learn more about "Gli Gnomi" (Italian Gnomes), go to  Italian Gnome History and Culture

A typical Gnomo is about 2-3 feet tall, and has a stocky, heavy-boned stature. They are proportionately very strong and quick for their size. Each clan is led by the male and female elders, usually a married couple. A Shaman guides and advises on the spiritual aspects of gnome life.

On the skyship ERIS, a small, fast explorer vessel, there is a crew of 5; Il Capitano (leader), Il Guarda Fuori (lookout/navigator), and 3 other crew members, who tend to the engines and gas generator.

Il Capitano: Leader of the crew, and master of his skyship. He dresses according to his station, and stands at the controls, ready to guide his ship.


Most of the crew were too busy, but we caught Luciano on a break, singing and playing his concertina.

Otto is the "Guarda Fuori" (Lookout) and Navigator of the skyship. He can usually be found in his Crow's Nest with his maps and telescope, plotting the ship's next movements.
The Crow's Nest, seen from above. Notice the maps, a telegraph key,
and the radiophone, used for talking with the capitano, below on deck.
Finally, a larger view, showing the Crow's Nest atop the balloon, a rope ladder, and wires for connecting the radiophones.

Skyship ERIS - Part 4 (January-February, 2019)

THEORETICAL INTERLUDE:  Before I describe the workings of the Skyship, how about a little Fantasy Physical/Chemical/Engineering Theory. This vessel is driven and steered in the horizontal direction by the twin propellers located on outboard pods. These propellers are, in turn, powered by an engine at the rear of the ship. Of course, if we accept that we are in the "Steampunk" era, it should have a coal-fired steam boiler and engine. Only parts of the engine are visible; the rest is below deck.

The vertical movement of the ship is driven by the balloons, which are filled with an inert helium-like gas. This gas is produced by a secret electrochemical/mechanical method, developed by Italian Gnomes in hidden valleys of the Alps. They gathered all the existing information from Universities in Parma, Milan, and Bologna, andthen added their own special adaptations (and a bit of magic). Most of the gas production equipment is hidden below deck, but some of the hardware can be seen at the front of the ship; a large gas storage barrel, assorted controls, and a large tube leading to the control console, amidship, and on to the balloons. By adjusting the gas flow rate and direction, the ship can be raised and lowered quickly and precisely

The Control Console is the province of "Il Capitano". Here he oversees all the workings of the ship, utilizing the ship's wheel, gauges and switches, and several levers. Here, Il Capitano controls both the vertical and horizontal movement and direction of the skyship. He also communicates to the Crow's Nest via a two-way radiophone or telegraph.