Sunday, November 21, 2010


I’ve read A Christmas Carol nearly every Christmas season since I was seventeen. The book has grown with me as I’ve grown. That, to me, is the test of a timeless tale, one whose relevance keeps apace with the view of the world in which we live. Late in 2007, I started work on what I’d hoped would be an eight figure series of busts based on Dickens’s Christmas classic. The last figure of the four I completed was the Ghost of Jacob Marley. I started by rereading all the passages relating to Marley and researched the various incarnations of him that have appeared over the years. By imagining who this man was, “in life”, I looked ahead to whom he had become. (The picture in the upper left hand corner is my first attempt at a Marley sculpt done in 1983)

Design: I wanted the various characters to be able to interact with each other while maintaining a base-front display. I pitched the pivot idea to DCD years ago for a series of mini busts. The figures were to pivot within an iconic rock structure with a Justice League logo carved into the front. At the last minute, the idea was scraped, as was the logo. What resulted was a series of figures stuck on a rock, which made no sense. The next opportunity to try the pivot was on a series of Hellboy busts I did for Dark Horse followed by a series of Elfquest busts with the pivot feature. What a designer considers the money shot isn’t always shared by the collector. The pivot allows the collector to position the figure the way they want. Not a world shaker, granted, but anything that gives the collector a little more influence over his/her purchase is a plus.

So, the figures of the Christmas Carol Collection would pivot. I also wanted to tie the figures to the book as literally as I could. I researched what the first edition of the book looked like and recreated art to reflect that design. The book evolved into a removable ornament with text from the book relating to that particular character. That, in turn, led to the creation of an alternate base front. Scrooge’s bed curtains play an important role in the story. The alternate base front uses the parted bed curtains to reveal a low relief sculpture directly related to that character and their place in the story. With Scrooge, its Marley’s head as the door knocker (shown). Tiny Time is his crutch and leg brace. The Ghost or Christmas Present is the boy and girl who represent Ignorance and Want. For Marley, I used a bell, as the bells ring throughout Scrooge’s house announcing Marley’s appearance, without moving. The pivot feature is easiest to accomplish using the casting-the-peg-in-place method, described in Pop Sculpture..

1 comment:

  1. wow, that sound interesting..can't wait to see what you come up with