This project was inspired by Cthulhu mythos and took many months of research and building. The goal of the project started as building a Cthulhu Idol. The stars must have been in alignment because it quickly became an all-encompassing mixed media plot hook based around the idol itself.
The first steps involved creating the idol. I envisioned a roughly hewn creature carved with primitive tools out of a solid piece of stone. The base was glued together and Apoxie Sculpt used to fill in the cracks between the wood. Armature wire and foil were built up onto the base and the idol was shaped out of SuperSculpy. You’ll notice the design has been refined quite a lot between this picture and the final cast.
Once I was happy with the sculpt a silicon brush on mould was created with Smooth On’s Brush On silicons. This was keyed and wrapped in a plaster bandage mothermould.
Once the mould was created I ran some tests with resin casting and eventually settled on coldcast bronze. This involves mixing the resin with a lot of bronze powder, as well as dusting the mould with the same powder just before casting. More on this in a moment….
It was at this point that this idol started to take a life of it’s own. I realized this can’t just be handed over as a gift, since there is no mystery in that, so it would obviously need a box. Perhaps a museum box which hints at a long-lost relic or lost parcel from the earlier century. The story created itself:
In the early 1900s an explorer by the name of Colonel Percy Fawcett was well known for seeking strange places. During the Colonel’s last voyage to America he packaged this idol into a box and addressed it to Doctor Schneider at the University of Vermont. A Western Union telegram was sent first, followed by the box. Unfortunately Col. Fawcett never returned from his trip while searching for the Lost City of Z, and so this box sat unopened in a safety deposit box at the Bank of America.
With the forged letter came forged labels.
The crate itself was created from scratch out of random used planks of wood. Here are early fitting photos, then photos after breakdown, weathering, and labels. In the final creation the box was stuffed with wood wool just as they would have done at the time.
The whole thing was coming together nicely. Early casts of the idol in coldcast bronze were having difficulties but eventually I pulled one to the quality I intended. Buffing with steel wool and doing some detailed artificial patina work in the crevices brought the idol to life. For authenticity the resin slush cast was backfilled which added around 2 lbs to the total weight. I also purchased a replica newspaper from 1923 off ebay which was included in the “released” safe deposit box items.
One modern (but also forged) FedEx shipping label and a free Air Mail sticker from the post office later, this entire project was packed up and hand delivered on a porch with a friendly note from the neighbours – “Fedex left this for you.”
Few things are so inspiring than bringing some wonder, mystery, and magic, to someone else. Who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail? Especially from long lost relatives.