Eclectic Menagerie in Houston

Time to get back into blogging. I seem to have dropped the ball with this blog not because there haven't been good things to share but because...... well, you know.

I'll start off with something just plain fun. David and I visited relatives in Houston a couple weeks ago (thanks Cole and Stephanie!) and they had noticed a field of sculptures out along highway 288. Knowing that we go to great lengths to view sculpture parks, they suggested this as a worthy Houston site for us to see. And what fun!

We hopped out of the car and trapsed through the grass avoiding fire ant mounds to thoroughly enjoy this display of folk art assembled on the Texas Pipe & Supply company land bordering the highway. We needed to know more about why there was a impressively huge fishing rod that had managed to hook an old pickup truck.

And a quick Google search provided answers. This park is the Eclectic Menagerie Park and Texas Pipe & Supply commissions Ron Lee to build these creations using the scrapes of pipe and equipment relics collecting on the grounds. He has a workshop there and has been expanding this collection since 2001.

And Mr. Lee likes to work big!


All of the pieces made us smile.

All have personality!


And none of them are kinetic! Read more about this entertaining roadisde wonder here and here. We also checked out the Texas Beer Can House.

Chris Blasius - New Clock Plans

We know that many of the followers of this blog also love a creative and interesting clock.  Chris Blasius of Germany has a new one that is fun to watch.


There is a lot of action (which is often unusual in a clock) so watch the video.

Chris designs with a wonderful sense of humor. Visit his website here to see other design and purchase plans for making his creations. Enjoy!


Introducing Nautilus and a Music Experiment

This week we are finally adding Nautilus to the website and making it available for sale.  

David finished Nautilus a while ago but we have learned in previous years to never introduce a sculpture in the middle of summer. No one notices! So we have held off until this week. Check out this new design and read about it here.

The process of introducing a new sculpture takes a lot more work after David has spent many months perfecting the design and construction. One of the time consuming parts is adding sound to the video. Most of David's pieces make little to no sound at all (although Nautilus does). Video without sound is lacking so David tries to add a music background. He has tried all different ways of adding royalty free music and this process continues to be a youtube challenge. In order to eliminate constant challenges to the ownership of the music David has most recently decided to use only the pieces supplied by youtube for inclusion.  

But the choices are still many and what genre best suits a piece? We have learned that the background music significantly affects a viewers emotional response to a piece.  So here is a little experiment......

David has added several different music scores to the Nautilus piece. We'd love to hear your reactions to it in the comments sections below.

Nautilus with actual sound:


Nautilus with Classical music


Nautilus with Pop music

Nautilus with Rock music


We would like to know which style of music you think best fits Nautilus but also share any observations you might have about how the music impacts the perception of the sculpture.

Visit the web page about Nautilus here for a description of the sculpture. If you are interested in ordering, visit the order page here. Some are available for shipping now. 



Summer Sculpture Week • 2014

Marji and I attempt to put aside one week per year during which we collaborate on an outdoor sculpture for our growing sculpture collection. Traditionally this is always an outdoor sculpture, in non-traditional materials and in large scale. We both drop all regular work and direct our attention to this project. 

The concept started in 2009 and we completed projects in 2009, 2010 and 2011. We missed 2012, and 2013 and were excited to be able to return to the tradition this year. We have been collecting ideas for awhile.

We now have gracing various locations in our woods, 13 more "trees" constucted of aluminum flashing and PVC pipe.

Marji has blogged extensively about the project, construction techniques and earlier designs over on her blog, Ashbee Design. Check it out.