Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Trip to Wisconsin

Had a great week at Valley Ridge.  A great couple of workshops and much much more.

Part One:
Workshops
Started off with a grand Urn Your Keep class.  The basic idea is that everyone to build a resting spot...as I always say: there is plenty of time to be a stick in the mud when you're dead.
Below is Jackie's very nice resting spot...
what it lacks in spaciousness it makes up for in charm.
Next up is Jenny's:
Perfect for the Post Mortem-er Client on the go.
The next workshop was mask-making:
It all started with a bare face and a bit of plaster...Gary goes under:
Finished?  Well Jessica and Pam are looking pretty stylish:
As is Judy:
And Michael and Kelley:
Of course Gary had to be a bit different...he planted a rusty bolt and look what grew.

Part Two
Hollywood Midwest
I decided to do a little promo for my upcoming Online Art Laboratories (more on that later).  So I convinced my buddies Kathy Engen and Gary Niebuhr to help out.  In between class, during lunch breaks and after cocktails we did a bit of filming.  Pretty fun and it turned surprisingly well...considering it was pretty much ad-libbed and almost all done in one take.
So without further ado, here is:
O.C.D.D.  Case study 232: Gary
and of course no big time production is worth its salt without a showing some of the out takes:
Great times.

Part Three
A Very Strange Place

Once classes were over Kathy and I wandered down the road to the House on the Rocks.  Basically it was a Frank Lloyd Wright parody that turned into a strange warehouse of anything and everything...and then some.
The first portion is the actual home which is weird and covered with carpeting (on everything).  It reminds me of a home that I Dream of Jeanie might have been shot in.
see what I mean
From that point on it gets stranger and stranger...take for instance the urinals:
I did in fact use these...it is in the public restroom but I made sure I was the only one around when I did.
From this point the joint is a collection of strange things:
I am a bit envious of the Frog Girl sign...in case you didn't know she's "Alive".
The place has a jillion automated music rooms.  Machines play the various instruments:
Keith Lo Bue came here a few years ago with his sound equipment to record the various rooms.  
This is the Mikado room:
Ironically the music I used in the Gary video is from a recording that Keith did of this device.
I found a nice collection of puppets:
Onward
Down the corridor...
To an amazing merry-go-round:
that no-one rides
From here I came across the thing I really really wanted to see...the Baranger Collection:
I wrote about this company a few months back.  They made automated displays for jewelry stores, back in the 30s and 40s
the House on the Rocks has the largest collection of them in the world...there are hundreds of them.  Here are but a few:
 
I videoed a few of them.  They are included in a little movie I compiled of the various automated goodies I saw:
Pretty cool huh?  And yes that is the music that Lo Bue recorded from the Mikado machine.

Well, that was my week...very pleasant indeed.
M

9 comments:

Parabolic Muse said...

WHAT a funtastic post! And I haven't watched the videos yet, because I had to come here right away and say hoorah! for Jenny's baby feet!!

Okay, off to see the vids and then comment more. LOTS of comments from ME! I know that's what the doctor ordered.

p.s. read your CPS article about the calavas today while I was waiting for a mammo, and I'm telling you, I am just ITCHIN to work on one of those! You do good stuff, which betters humanity, and offers a lovely alternative to plain oak cabinetry in the formal dining room. A calava for every cabinet opener!

Parabolic Muse said...

Dear Michael;
I've watched everything, now. And I despair of having a comment to do these movies justice. So fun!

I can't wait until you come back to Zinnia. I mean, I'm no Paul, but if I sit in the back of the room and whimper...?

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Great post and this is the FIRST new Blogger template I like---super cool!
BTW, your CPS article was the saving grace of the issue.....I will cut it out and no doubt pitch the rest....thought it was supposed to be about Halloween? They need to visit New Orleans and learn what Halloween is....

Bravo!
Anne

Judy Wise said...

I LOOOVVVVVEEEEE the videos. I think you have a future in films. And Kathy's laugh .... thank you so much for 10 minutes of pure joy. xo

Angie Platten said...

Oh Michael! I'm sitting here with a migraine and these videos were the best medicine. Thanks for the laughs! What fun you guys have together!

marcella said...

Great Post. Loved the video and music

heather noye said...

Cool pictures! I've wanted to go to the House On The Rock ever since I read American Gods, years ago. Now I want to go more than ever.

hellgatecowgirl said...

how sad,
a merry-go-round that
no one
rides...

Cre8Tiva said...

loved every moment of this adventure MdM...felt like i was right there with you!!!