Inspired by a terracotta spandrel panel
from the Senator Hotel

Atlantic City,
~ I present ~
Senator Hotel Griffin Spandrel panel Nr SH
Modelled by Randall

Randall is an art scholarship recipient of Iowa Central Community College.

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The finished clay model

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A cast in the Old Limestone Grey finish

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For those who may like a neutral color on this, a "cleaner" more contemporary relief without "age" or patina, the panel is shown above with a flat taupe finish.

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Same panel is shown below with the blue background to highlight the bas relief portion, this is the blue and taupe finish and vividly makes the design stand out from the background. As always, photos and monitors vary, these colors are approximate only.

  1. General information
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SIZE: Nominal 17-1/4 high by 26" wide
WEIGHT:29#.
HISTORY of the design

The original terra cotta sculpture used for a visual reference idea originally came from the Senator hotel, Atlantic City, NJ which was demolished in 1999 by implosion. Before the hotel was demolished much of the terra cotta ornament on the facade was salvaged by a commercial salvage outfit. The sculpture was a profile of a Griffin with a sun design and border moldings was one of the pieces salvaged. It appeared to be one of the last pieces the store had left for sale at a whopping $3,200 price tag.

I decided it was a really nice design concept that was worth creating in a new model concentraiting on the Griffin motif and in low relief like the ancient Roman and Greek stone carvings. The sun, rays and borders were unnecessary and cluttering. The original salvaged piece was priced at $3200- a price tag that is well beyond the means of your average "Joe," and probably most people reading this page for something to hang on the wall wouldn't you say?

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The photos show the beginning stage, the first step towards creating this design in clay.

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A detail shot of the Griffin's head during the modelling process.

It is curiously a coincidence working on this Griffin and thinking back to the book I recently purchased about fossils. The ancient Greeks and others found dinosaur and protoceratops fossil bones and fragments, huge skeletons and concluded they were all a race of giant humanoids, warriors, "heros" or gods, but the Griffin differed in that regard because of certain anatomy about the head which was extremely fragile and always found very damaged in fossils- this was assumed by the ancients to have been remains of WINGS, thus the legend of the Griffin and his stylized, and later- heavily Victorianized depictions appeared in artwork of all kinds.

These days of course we know Griffins never existed as depicted, but the ancients actually believed they did, and even wrote descriptions of ferocious winged creatures in many journals, books and other literature whose bones were found in various locations.
The mythical Griffin is shown in the book; "The Fossil Hunters" a fascinating book if I do say so and I highly recommend buying a copy.

The book author concluded that it was almost certain that the Protoceratops fossil remains are what the ancients were finding, and that the whole myth and lore of griffins started with finding these fossils and incorrrectly identifying portions of them as "wings", a little artistic license and imagination came up with the form we see today in the old art. The author pointed out how all the other Greek entities like Zeus, Apollo, Medusa etc were obviously fictional or lore while the griffin had always been described as a real but misunderstood animal, one that still lived at that time but in far off lands like Mongolia because no one had seen a live one- but they had "proof" they existed and were once inhabiting Greece because they had the bones!

The book has a good old photo of a protoceratops fossil, and it is easy to see how the whole romantic fictional story of the Griffin came about after seeing this, the beak and face are absolutely recognizable as a "Griffin";

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FINISHES AVAILABLE
I offer several different finishes. They vary from piece to piece, and actual colors displayed on your monitor will vary as well. The samples below display the more popular interior only finishes, as well as the hand-pressed kiln fired red terracotta which can be displayed either outdoors or indoors. Note that the terracotta is ONLY available in brick red.

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PRICES

Prices include shipping and are shown on each sculpture on the CART PAGES.

SHIPPING

The majority of my larger sculptures are shipped in custom built CDX plywood crates, smaller sculptures may ship double boxed instead of a crate. You will need a #2 square drive bit or large phillips driver to open the crate.

I use FEDEX ground service for all shipments in the lower 48 states. I do not ship outside the USA.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

My standard cast-stone is for INTERIOR OR UNDER A COVERED PORCH ONLY! Out in the garden they might last 4 or 5 years, maybe longer before showing weather damage.

If you are looking for something for the garden or to build into a wall, I offer a growing number of hand-pressed, kiln fired red terracotta works. for many reasons, concrete is no longer available.

All of my interior sculptures have a heavy wire embedded on the back to hang them on the wall.

DESIGNS by RANDALL

The clay models shown in my various work in progress photos are not molded off of existing antique pieces.
These hand sculpted models are created from scratch by Randall in water based clay, and typically take an average of 20-30 hours to set up, layout and sculpt each master model.
When the clay models are finished, they are permanently captured with silicone mold compounds which can pick up even a fingerprint and faithfully transfer it to a cast made in it. From the molds, interior cast-stone as well as a growing number of kiln fired terracotta sculptures are made available for clients to purchase.

Existing savaged pieces are limited to what happens to be for sale at high prices, often damaged, rarely found in pairs and being typically large in scale (meant to be seen from the street from 5 floors below) they are difficult to display in today's smaller homes and apartments. Instead of making molds of these pieces, Randall creates new original models based on authentic 19th century and early 20th century Victorian, Art Deco and Louis Sullivan style architectural sculptures. While I do have a small number of older designs directly molded from antique pieces, these are being phased out over time as I create my own original models.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE:

Designs in the Collection are copyright, this includes reproductions of antique pieces upon which I made certain modifications, alterations or changes- the changes are copyright. I reserve the right to decline sales to anyone.

Original clay models by Randall (and casts made from them) all carry my impressed model numbers, paw-print logo, date of creation, signature casting number date are inscribed by hand on the back of every cast.

QUESTIONS-COMMENTS ?

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DISPLAYING

QUESTION: Aren't these too heavy for my plasterboard wall Randall?

By no means! keep in mind- your walls weigh thousands of pounds and support the roof. HOWEVER- do not use plastic or self adhesive picture hangars of any kind, or try to simply put a screw into the thin sheetrock-these will not hold, and are not designed to.

Install your mounting hooks or other hangars into the solid wood STUD inside the wall, these are spaced 16" apart. You should use an anchor rated to hold at least twice the shipping weight of the sculpture.

To show what a sheetrock wall can hold, here is a photo of two shelves I installed on my bedroom wall for original sculptures that I couldn't mount any other way, the brackets are screwed into the wall studs with 3" screws. The weight for the stone and terra-cotta shown-the top shelf; 175# and 125# for the lower shelf- 300# total.

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