I learned yesterday that a blogger I've enjoyed and have learned much from passed away the other day after suffering two heart attacks several weeks prior. John Jones, who was better known as Jonty on the Internet and wrote the blog Darkside Creations, had a number of ailments that afflicted him apparently most of his life, but several weeks ago while sitting watching TV suffered a heart attack. Initially passing it off as a panic attack, he suffered a more massive one a short time later. He was on the mend at home after undergoing an angioplasty, when he apparently died.
I only had some perfunctory contact with Jonty over the past year and we exchanged a few emails from time to time, but he was a very giving blogger. Along with Stolloween, Spooky Blue, Dan Reeder, and of course Pumpkinrot, Jonty was one of the influential paper mache artists that I tried to steal plenty of ideas and techniques from. You may even recall my post on the "Jonty Joint." I'll miss his his Troll Screamer creations.
I've also been working on my various props, the gravedigger head and my cemetery pillars. Both are coming along and Madog's head is almost ready for painting now that I've sanded it smooth, attached the ears, and applied a very thin third layer of Monster Mud. Once it dries completely, I'll give it a light sanding to knock down any marks. I just need to make the eyes and we'll be good to paint.
I filled the neck with Great Stuff to hold the PVC pipe in place
I then sanded the head smooth
The ears were attached an a final coat of MM was applied
For the pillars, I've got the framework built and will be ready to attach the rigid foam insulation sides. I had bought 1x3's to do my basement work, but ultimately decided 2x4's and x6's will be necessary to hide pipes and ductwork. It won't be so simple as throwing up some furring strips and insulation panels, I'll actually need to build bump outs, so rather than returning the wood to Lowe's I used it for the pillars.
I was actually surprised by how many it required; I ended up using 12 of them to complete the frame. A few 2x4's left over from previous projects were screwed to the base to give a solid footing to stand on (and hopefully resist blowing over).
A back frame was built similar to the front with a brace attached to keep it from racking.
The front and back were attached with cross pieces and another brace was attached to one side to keep it from racking in that direction.
The 2x4's were mitered and attached to the bottom of the frame. Any gaps there might be will be filled in at the end with Monster Mud.
The two pillars waiting for some skin.
I'm still deciding on certain details for the pillars that I'll need to make a final decision on before I skin them. For example, the lamps will be mounted on the wood panels, so I'll need to drill holes for the wiring, but I may want to include foggers in the future so I might block out a space on the frame to mount a gargoyle head, for example, that will spew the fog. I'll probably want to block out an area for an access panel too to make it easier to reach inside without having to pick up and move the pillar.
Also, I'm thinking of a different cemetery fence for the yard and may want to attach it to the sides of the pillars. So many plans, so little time! Less than 200 days to Halloween!