Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chinese Dragon

The Chinese Dragon pictured here is easily the largest single foam carving that I'd ever had my hands in. It was created for the Fun Town Splash Town amusement park in Sacco Maine. I based the design on a China town bit of kitche, a small, resin dragon statuette with exceptionally good details. The back was perfectly arched so as to serve as a portal through which park goers would enter the attraction. Aptly named Dragon's Descent,  you're strapped into it's specialized seats and harness system and the 220' tall tower slowly begins carrying you aloft to one of the highest and most majestic panaramas in all of Maine, before brutally hurtling you downward at speeds greater than the gravitational pull of the earth could achieve without the colossal, maniacal mechanical assistance of this terrifying towers sadistically concocted inner workings. I cut off the statuette's head and turned it inward to face the guests whom would be passing under it's belly. Once the model had been modified, it was photographed and 1/12 scale drawings were made from those photos. The drawing were then projected onto 3/4" plywood. The shapes would be cut from the plywood and the plywood was scabbed together and joined by flanged steel pipes to serve as 2' wide hollow, structural core, upon which would be mounted a total of 36 2' x 2' x 8' EPS foam blocks for carving. The dragon was so large that it had to be designed in 4 sections that would be craned together on site. In fact, it required 2  40' flat bed trailers to safely transport its separated components to the park. The full sculpture would be 18.5' tall, 32' long and 12' wide. It's eyes and throat glowed crimson red with inner lamps as smoke would billow out of it's nostrils and mouth via Rosco smoke machines and an inventive PVC plumbing system. The dragon also had a sound box with a proximity switch inside of it, allowing the dragon to growl as guests approached. A lavish Chinese garden was planted as the attraction's setting to complete the visual spectacle.

This story wouldn't be complete without a word on Maine lobster. Everything that you've heard is true. It is orgasmic. We were tied to the installation for the better part of that week and enjoyed lobster rolls every day for lunch. There was simply nothing better. On our last day we went to a local lobster shack right on the water. The lobster was so fresh that we had speculated that it was being pulled in fresh from the shack's kitchen window. I had a lobster bisk, velvety red with roe, so thick and rich and chock full of lobster that my spoon  actually stood up in it. That course was followed by a "Lazy Man's" lobster, which consisted of 2lbs. of shelled lobster claws and tails in an earth ware bowl that had been broiled in a bath of butter and bread crumbs to beyond what mere mortals could describe as perfection. There is a heaven. My taste buds call it Sacco Maine.

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