Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Travels With Eric - Personalized Illustration

Travels With Eric, illustration by Paul Zdepski

Travels With Eric
Digital Illustration, 10" x 17"
This is a birthday present to an Medical Doctor who's a fly fisherman, born in Portland Maine, went to Tufts University, did his Medical Internship in San Francisco CA, taught at Harvard, loves Lake Winnisquam NH, has 6 kids and 3 grandkids, met his wife in Trenton NJ, lives in a small town in Virginia, loves gardening, has two dogs, one black, one white, loves traveling to Europe...
Won a bunch of swimming trophies, a past president of Trout Unlimited VA, loves bonefishing in Abaco, Bahamas...
oh, and he's very proud to be born Jewish (Star of David around Stork's neck)... I think I crammed it all in there.
Trying to keep the retro feel.

Another Satisfied Customer!!!

"Paul !!
The print was a huge hit. It made me look like a hero, and it was all you. This was an "all weekend" party and my brother in law said yesterday "my favorite part was the gift from you"
My nieces husband that doesn't really react much about anything went on and on about how great it was.
Thank you so much.
You are very talented and that was appreciated by my entire family in helping us present the most perfect gift.
Thanks again.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Monday, May 11, 2015


My buddy Michael (a Swede) has picked up an old prospector's term and made it his own. I catch him on the gamer site, Twitch, which streams live play from people all around the world. Michael is what I'd call a humble gamer. There is no pretense or trash talk about how great he is, or how awful someone else has played. He's just there to experience it all.

I am struck by the way he will open a game he has never played... no clue about what the "official play guide" says. He just starts going whole-hog. When he gets stuck or killed "TARNATIONS!" in a Swedish accent reverberates. His gaming channel is stocked with videos of him crashing and burning, but all the time laughing about it all. No attitude, just honest gaming fun. LanokirX is his name, and Tarnations! is his game.

American Heritage Dictionary TARNATION:
tar·na·tion (tär-nā′shən) New England & Southern US
The act of damning or the condition of being damned.
Used to express anger or annoyance.

As a disclosure, I play a couple of games, but not as a gamer. I'm just an old dude that loved them from the Colecovision days. I think twitch has opened my eyes to where the gaming culture and art form has grown.

As a point, I try not to spend too much time online, but having LanokirX steaming in the lower left-hand corner of my screen as I'm working on a project is like listening to a radio show. The guy cracks me up.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Carving the Bluesman

Bluesman in Cherry

Here is my next Automata - In honor of BB King, my Dad and all the older dudes banging away at their instruments. I'll post the action of the Strummer when I finish it.

Carving Station

Here's where I do it all - Outside, on two large Trashcans. I don't want the dust in my studio, so I let it fly around the neighborhood. My neighbors must hate me...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shark Bait - Automata

Shark Bait - Automata

Carved White Pine mounted on hard maple base - Steel Wire Mechanism 18" long x 11" high and 4.5" at the shark's fins.

I bought a book called Making Simple Automata by Robert Race a couple of weeks ago. It took forever to be delivered, since it came from the UK. The book is light on step by step, but has a few interesting designs. I'm trying to find new options for mechanisms, and the bent wire cam shaft looked promising. I don't have the tools or dexterity to make super clean 90 degree bends in the wire. Likewise, the wire has a memory of the spool it came on, so the straight runs look wiggly too.

I think I will find a way to reproduce the mechanism in wood or shaping flat steel or brass to create the gearing.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby Elvis

Carved on Sunday morning, Sept 5th from a small piece of maple. My son and I were raising dust working on our projects in the driveway. We've found that Dremel products can't handle the amount of stress we put on our tools. We broke two (update: THREE) Flexible Shaft extensions in the last three weeks. The steel that Dremel uses for their drive shaft can't handle the torque. They twist apart after a few hours of use. Time to save our pennies for a Foredom carving station. My son is working in Basswood, and I'm working in Figured Maple.

Baby Elvis is going to be Automata Number 2. I want to get his jaw shaped and moving before investing time in carving the body and making the gears function for strumming the guitar and singing.

DAY 2 - New guitar, body and arms...

It should be a fun project.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Catrina in the Altar

I've been on a carving kick for the upcoming "Day of the Dead" Workshop I'm giving on the 13th of September. I wanted to have something new and awesome for the lecture - Spur on creative juices in the crowd. I hope it does the trick. Here's the progress so far.

NOTE: The Tall Catrina is too big for placement within the mouth of the Skull Altar, so she's been sold to a friend in Brooklyn. Little Sister has had her tenon cut, and has been fitted into the Altar piece. I'll post more pics as I progress.

Skull Altar Carving Skull Altar Carving Catrina Carving Catrina Carving Catrina Carving Catrina Carving Catrina Carving Skull Altar Skull Altar