A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I signed up for the second round of a craft swap. I had the pleasure of getting Sam’s topic: Abraham Lincoln in Space. Now I’m going to throw up a “T” here. Time out. Everybody stop what you are doing and take a look at that again. Abraham, Lincoln,…IN SPACE. First thought: “I hate you Sam.” Second thought was a visualization:
I ( in colonial garb ) approach Sam and slap him in the face with a white glove.
Me: Sir, I challenge you to a duel.
Sam: Challenge accepted. I choose Abraham Lincoln…in space.
Me: Son of a bitch Sam. You can’t choose Abraham Lincoln as a weapon and you’re suppose to say at dawn or something not––
Sam: (Sternly) Abraham Lincoln…(raises brow) in space.
Me: Ok lets do this.
Ok. Lets do this. But then…then I read Linzi’s material: Something once alive or still living…third thought: “It’s not your fault you came second, but now I hate you, Linzi.” Instant fourth thought, I could make the man on the moon’s face as Abraham Lincoln. What to craft the moon out of that is or once was alive…cheese. Too expensive, too ridiculous. For those of you that don’t know what a wheel of cheese costs, check it out. It’s ridiculous. And who want’s some cheesy Moon Mount Rushmore? No, I will somehow craft Abraham Lincoln’s head in a space helmet. That would be cool.
Train of thought: Space helmet…round….round…bowl…alive…bowl…fish bowl! Fish are alive! Fish bowl space helmet, with Abraham Lincoln’s head inside that the fish can swim in and out of…I am awesome.
For those of you that didn’t know fish are alive, they are. Unless they’re dead, but then they’re still something that was once alive. Skipping ahead for a second, I bought two fish in anticipation of Abe’s arrival. Booth & Bullet. Bullet ate Booth. Check that out, now I’ve got something that was once alive and something that is still alive. Take that Linzi. Two birds with one Bullet.
My initial idea of what was going to happen was something like this crude mockup.
My plan: Get a metal bust of Lincoln, have the metal workers downstairs help me cut it. Conclusion: Too expensive, and a reasonably priced Abe Lincoln bust is too small, and it will look lame dwarfed inside of a bowl. How about a plaster bust? I find an awesome plaster bust. Too expensive. But it gets me thinking. I have a revised idea.
That bowl isn't really spherical enough. Regardless, I want Lincoln's life size head in a bowl. No turning back now. I will do this. Let's find a bowl first.
First stop, Craigslist. I don’t know how, but in my opinion, I find the coolest fish bowl in the world. I head into the city to get it. Intrigued with why a boy my age is so excited about a fish bowl, she asks what I’m going to use it for. I hesitate, and then just open up. This woman loves the idea. Woman who doesn’t think Abraham Lincoln in space is weird = awesome. She then invites me to go into her basement. Now I know what you’re thinking, going to secluded areas with strangers is not rated g for Graeme. To that I say bite your tongue, and listen to this, jack. The last time I was in a similar situation because of Craigslist, I was looking at a house riddled with dusty trinkets (think the bow of a pirate ship), with a half blind, albino woman who lived with a cat that was “the mayor” (not his name.) She told me his name was Milo, and that he was the mayor. Fair enough. Immediately after telling me I could be batman if I lived with her, she invited me to get ice cream. Obviously, I went to get ice cream with her. Obviously, I did not end up living with her, but back to the woman selling me the fish bowl. Ice cream turned out to be delightful, so the record of older women asking me to do things and said things turning out delightful is 1 for 1. Let’s make it 2 for 2. On to the woman’s basement (get your minds out of the gutter.) The basement was a craft shop. She made stained glass windows, and her sister and brother in law were artisan rug makers. She was also a fish enthusiast and gave me all types of food and treatment materials. Shazam. I have a fish bowl and all these fishy extras for only 15 dollars.
My apologies, that was a tangent. I find a death mask of Abraham Lincoln, order it, it takes 20+ days to get here. I ask Linzi for more time, she’s like, “We have all of June to send it.” I’m like, “I forgive you for making me use something that was once or still alive.” Days go by, Bullet eats Booth, Abe arrives, people at work think I’m weird, I tell them to relax, it’s for Abraham Lincoln in space…enough said. I take the bowl home.
Train of thought: The opening is 5 inches…the human head weighs 8 pounds (thank you little kid with the funny voice from Jerry Maguire)…this thing weighs way more than 8 pounds…of course it does you idiot, it’s plaster…there is no way thats fitting through the opening…that’s what she said…people build ships in a bottle, you can build Abraham Lincoln in space in a fish bowl…in the words of an old lazy friend from high school art class…cut that shit.
I promise I’ll go quickly with this last bit.
Analogy: John Wilkes Booth with gun : Abraham Lincoln’s Head :: __?___ : Abraham Lincoln’s Head.
Answer: Graeme with a band saw. I order new honest Abe and try a new method.
Winning method: Japanese pull saw.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m very verbal when I’m crafting. Excitement, anger, frustration…I like to talk to myself. Our shop shares the wall with a dominatrix. Needless to say, she questioned me about what I was doing the night before when she heard me talking to myself. This included but was not limited to: cursing at someone named Abe, talking about cutting his ear off and being upset that I was sweating on his face (it was very humid that night.) Enough of this tangent, onto the final process which included:
- Japanese Pull Saw
- Elmer’s Glue
- Slim vice grips
- Clear contractor’s bags
- Armature wire
- Pencils, rulers, etc
- My patience
- Linzi’s patience
- Mrs. Bergmann’s patience
- Petite Hands (yes I have petite hands, at least that’s what Adrienne says, but they can work wonders inside a fish bowl)
After I got the thing assembled, I had to patch the seams, and then waterproof it. Everything was done tonight. I even had an awesome little monopoly top hat juxtaposed against his giant head. The key word there is “was.” I was removing the final clear bag ( I used them to protect the glass from the waterproofing solution) when Abe decided was a good time to get rowdy.
“WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU ABE. IF YOU HEAD-BUTT YOU’RE HELMET IN SPACE AND CRACK IT, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! YOU’RE DEAD PRESIDENT LINCOLN. YOU’RE DEAD!” If anyone is a Seinfeld fan you will find that last quote extra funny. All sorts of gems in that episode. Izzy Mandelbaum…good times…watch that.
There you have it. Two days before Mrs. Bergmann’s 27th birthday I destroy her craft. Not to mention the weekend I cut Abe’s head open, Mr. Bergmann fell off a ladder and…well you know how that turns out (if you don’t know, he split his head open. Don’t worry he’s ok.) Some people say Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a middle name, I’m going to go ahead and say it was probably Gary. Involuntary voodoo anyone?
Needless to say, I’ve ruined many things in my life, but this take the cake. I didn’t even get to take a picture of the final craft. And now Bullet is homeless. I was debating weather or not to post this. I wanted to make it again and have it be a surprise. I am going to make it again, I’m in the process of trying to find a bowl, death mask #3 is on the way, but I feel like I should post something. So without further ado, here is the aftermath of sending Abraham Lincoln into space.
I wanted to cry.
I actually almost started crying.
Crying thwarted by rage...profanity ensues.
Bullet rendered homeless.
Now at this point, my roommate and I have decided the safest way to get a giant globe of fractured dreams and eager lacerations out of the apartment is to just shove it into a garbage bin. I put on my safety equipment, do just that, and recover Abraham Lincoln’s death mask. I see your gun Mr. Booth, and raise a hammer. Sorry Mrs Bergmann :(
Sam I hope you’re happy…next time choose pistols at dawn.