Let me just first emphatically proclaim that I'm not a dragon fanatic. However I have always been obsessed with the idea of dragons! Hey, they’re Biblical! So one of my earliest memories involving the scaly beast called Dragon was when I read “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C. S. Lewis. In his story dragons were wicked, and greedy and hoarded treasure for the sheer spite of it. But there was one child who needed to learn a lesson about greed and selfishness, and so was turned into a dragon. He discovered that dragons are very lonely because they frighten everyone away. He didn't like loneliness, and he discovered there are more important things going on around him than his own business.
This book is a compilation of pictures of dragons that I have sculpted over a period of about twenty years. After you've read the book you'll agree to my opening statement: I love dragons, but I'm not a fanatic. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I've also included some of my wizards and faerie village scenes. After all, you can't have one without the other.
...using polymer clay, (Sculpey), as your medium.
Before I get to the dragons I have to explain how I got there. When I was living in Southern California after I got out of the Air Force, I was visited by an angel who suggested that I build a castle out of toothpicks. So I began. I laid out a blueprint on graph paper and started gluing toothpicks together to form the outside walls of the castle. It rapidly took shape. I used my own imagination when drawing the original blueprint for my castle, but after the actual construction was nearly complete, I learned the eerie truth. I decided to find out more about castles to see if the product of my imagination was anywhere close to the reality. I learned that the castle I had been building out of toothpicks on a much smaller scale was very nearly identical in structural shape to a famous castle in Wales, called Harlech.
I thought that was very interesting since I had always been very interested in ancient Britain history and mythology.
I was shocked to learn that my sculpture was so close in shape to an actual man-made structure. But wait, there's more; My boss, as a gift, looked up my family name and discovered that the name 'Foulks' was originally from Wales. Racial memory? My sister recently learned that we are from royal stock on our mother's side and our ancestors actually had a castle in England.
So you may ask what's the connection between this castle built of toothpicks and my current obsession with dragons? Here's the connection; at the time I was engaged in the construction of my castle in southern California, my older brother was living in norther California. He invited our parents and myself to visit him and his wife for a few days. So I drove up to Tracy, California. I brought my castle with me. Thom was very impressed and he asked if I had ever used Sculpey. I'd never heard of it, so he gave me some of his, told me a little about how to use it. I packed it away, forgot about it, and didn't take it out until about four years later after I moved to Wyoming.
I didn't start with dragons though. They were still far from my thoughts when my stepdaughter Sarah inspired me to make small teddy bear figurines. They became a hit at work and one year I sold fifty of them to be used as gifts to needy children. They were quite popular with the ladies at work who would wear them pinned to their Wal-Mart name badges.
One lady co-worker asked me if I would make a dragon for her, and that sparked the beginning of my dragon sculpting career. 80 percent of the dragons depicted in this book were commissioned by this same lady who became my greatest fan.
So the answer to the question, 'How to make a dragon?' Well, I would think it's obvious.
That is the title to a favorite novella by Stephen King. I'm using it here to explain a little about my dragons' eyes. Most of them are translucent precious gemstones. They add character and intelligence, and there-by life to the dragon you're putting them in.
So, yeah, dragons can't all be bad. Just like humans can't all be bad. Smaug, though... He was a BAD dragon. For those who don't know, Smaug was a very old, very greedy dragon, but in my opinion he was also very stupid. He fell for an age old trick. He let some tiny hobbit get him mad so he would come out of his hole and get shot.
The dragon in the movie, Dragonslayer was also a 'bad' dragon in that it demanded human girl virgins as sacrifices.
'Vermithrax' was her name, though God only knows why. the beast below is my closest comparison to the dreaded dragon.
No matter how hard I try to make one of those wicked looking dragons, they all turn out rather noble and even 'Good'.
This fella seems a bit unhappy about his straits. It's a well known fact that some dragons, though they do have wings, nevertheless, can't fly.
On the other side of that coin, some dragons, like Falcor, in "The Neverending Story", don't even need wings to fly
This old fellow dearly loves his treasure
There is some uncertainty about whether or not the Foo Dog is a dragon. I am going to use the 'Falcor' precedent to make my case. He looks like a dog, but he calls himself a 'Luck Dragon'.
The Foo Dogs below are also known as Chinese Guardian Lions. The pair represent female and male, or yin and yang. According to legend, when placed outside the home on either side of the entry, they guard the home and everyone inside from malicious intent.
On the next page you'll find the Foo Dog I made to replace one who got broke.
Here are some dragon totems I made for luck.
If you were one of the lucky recipients of one of these Luck Dragons, please let me know how its working.
Relationships between dragons and wizards can vary greatly. A powerful wizard can be a match for a powerful dragon. they both have magical abilities. They aren't natural enemies of one another. They can be allies or rivals. They can even be friends.
The following sequence portrays a caring old wizard searching his magical tome for a spell which would cure his ailing young dragon friend.
Some dragons ARE wizards. Because dragons are at the very least as intelligent as man, it stands to reason that they have the capacity to learn the art of wizardry. That said, plus the fact that they are by their very nature magical creatures, makes them very formidable indeed.
This unknown blue dragon is attempting to carry off and dispose of an evil wizard named Teron.
For the record; Teron escapes his intended punishment. Only temporarily though. He eventually gets what he deserves.
My intent was to create a dragon who looked like it was actually in flight. In my mind I did not achieve the desired effect. I can justify it though because I also believe that dragons come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. So does Hollywood by the way.
At this point I feel an excerpt from the 'Never-ending novel of mine', (meaning I never finished it.) is in order. First just a short intro.
Mirok is one of the grizzled mercenaries leading a band of mercenaries who are being paid to hunt and kill dragons. They have met their match in the dragon they are currently engaged with. They are encouraged when the King's army arrive with a wizard adept at using magic to dampen the might of the dragon. The mercenaries are able to mortally wound it. The dragon weakly flees the battle on the wing.
The wizard suspects there is something very special about the dragon and leaves the group of men to follow it. Mirok follows the wizard, curious what the old man is up to. They come upon the dragon who has come to rest on the ground, not quite dead, but close.
(To Mirok the death of the White Dragon signified the loss of one of the greatest beings ever to have lived. Sadness was too little a word to describe what he felt. Although it had not been he who had led the posse to destroy the dragon, he still felt responsible for its death. This was because he had had a change of heart and had wanted to stop it, but it had been too late. The sorcerer Glim had made him see things from the dragon's point of view. He had made him come to understand the dragon better. Remorseful and empty was what he fet now. Now, as he gazed at the motionless leviathan in the chill of the morning sun and watched the steam rising from its body, he hoped with all his heart that Glim's statement was false. Glim had said that the White Dragon was the last of its kind. "There are none other left in the world." he'd said. Mirok had asked him how he knew that and Glim had answered, "I know. Believe me, I know."
Glim stood next to him, and Mirok could not help thinking idly that the sorcerer seemed a little, or maybe a lot, taller than he had two days ago when first they had met and performed the sorcery that put an end to the dragon. He was ashamed to be thinking idle thoughts but could not help them from coming to his mind.
"It's still not too late." Glim said, and looked at Mirok with hope shimmering in his eyes.
Mirok turned away, "You've said that before, and I thought you were talking about this, but I've since realised I was wrong. So what isn't it too late for?"
"It's not dead yet." Glim answered.
Mirok was surprised, but then he thought such a gigantic beast as this may take awhile to breathe its last. With new hope welling up from deep inside him he asked, "Are you able to heal him with your sorcery?"
"I could certainly try." Glim answered, "but if I succeeded, what do you think the dragon would do to us both?"
Mirok hadn't thought of that. But then he asked himself, 'Will your remorse pass? Are you willing to lose your life so that it may live instead of risking your life in order to kill it like you've already done?'
"Mayhap it would thank us." Glim said. "But even if it did, what then? It would be alive and so would we, and then someone else would hunt it down and eventually succeed in killing it again. And besides all that, I don't really think I could succeed in giving it health again. I would need to resort to techniques I have never used for moral reasons, not to mention the fact that certain forces, when called upon, don't often, if ever deal fair and squarely.
"How do you know so much about dragons and their anatomy?" Mirok asked the old wizard.
"The answer to that would require a lot of time to explain," Glim began, "And time begins to run short. The sun nears the apex and the hottest part of the day is nearly upon us. I will say this young Mirok; I have more to atone for than you."
"I'm not surprised." Mirok said. "No doubt this isn't the first dragon you had a hand in slaying..."
Glim cut him off. "This isn't just any dragon either" he exclaimed, standing up to his full height. He didn't seem to be worried about the time now. "Yes, I've killed many dragons, stolen their young and dissected them. I know about dragons, but there is one thing I do not know about dragons and that is what makes them Magical. I now believe I'll never know the answer to that. This dragon is special. Remember I told you that it is the last? What I meant by that is that if this dragon dies, all the rest will die as well, and that is what I know in my heart."
"There is beauty in these creatures which I never saw until I looked on this one." Mirok said softly.)
Who's the most famous wizard of them all? my guess is Gandalf, especially since I can't even think of any others right at the moment. Gandalf went through many incarnations, but most of us know only two of them. The Gray, and the White. He surpassed Saruman in wizardry and took his place as the White.
As time progressed, so did my sculpting skills and thus Mithrandir was reborn as....
You might notice a resemblance to Ian McKellen, the actor who portrayed Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies. This was purely intentional ;)
I know not what became of the Legendary Wizard Fulkas. He achieved a short period of infamy when his selfie pic made the WWW rounds. This is actually the only existing pic of the Elf Wizard, and it has been touched up in Photoshop, so the world will never know the true appearance of the elusive wizard.
It is widely surmised that faeries must logically exist because dragons do. However, it is virtually impossible to get a good, clear photo of both together because of the sheer difference in size.
Before I forget, I need to explain that I also went through a brief period of making little gnomish characters in-between making teddy bears and dragons. some of these gnomes were full bodied and some were just their faces which I turned into refrigerator magnets.
I would sculpt during lunch and breaks at work and I had quite the audience. One enthusiastic spectator talked me into sculpting figurines for a whole faerie village. I had a problem though. I found out it's near impossible (for me) to put a lot of detail into tiny creatures such as faeries. So that idea never fully panned out. I did come up with some interesting little gnomes.
So if you didn't see any dragons lurking in the shadows of the tranquil faerie village above, I'm not surprised. He's faerie hard to see. He's in the open gate of the wood fence. He's a faerie dragon.
Here is one of my favorite dragon sculptures.
All dressed up with a cool flaming paint job and...Voila!
I had five large marbles about one and a quarter inches in diameter. Each was a different color with swirls in the middle. I decided they should become dragon eggs.
At one time I tried creating cute and cuddly young dragons and so these three were hatched. Alas, they weren't very popular. Luckily these were adopted by my favorite fan and so they, at least, will be loved.
Actually these kinds of dragons are very common and widespread to this very day. Drinking establishments worldwide are named after some kind of dragon or other and so adopt said dragon as their mascot.
Some of these pictures may or may not have appeared in previous pages. I care not. They appear here now because I associate them with dragons of the upper class.
If you have dragons in your attic you may be experiencing a dragon infestation. If this is the case, I suggest prayer because there is no earthly organization such as police, or S.W.A.T., or National Guard which can help you.
In fact, the term 'Dragons in the Attic' does not literally mean that you have dragons in your attic. you may not even have an attic, and yet you may still be experiencing this phenomenon. Mostly though, I just like that title. The following pictures don't really fit anywhere else, so I'm keeping them 'in the attic' so to speak.
After a lapse of a few or more years of dragon sculpting, I felt the urge once more and seemingly like magic these two appeared, one right after the other. I'm getting faster and more adept at dragon making.
I said before that my first experience with a fictional dragon was when I read the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not quite true. I also read Alice in Wonderland when I was quite young and I always remembered the feared Jabberwocky. At the time though, I was not aware that the Jabberwocky was a dragon. As it happens I did sculpt a 'monster' based on pictures and drawings of the original Jabberwocky in the Lewis Carrol book.
This modern version is a lot scarier than the original!
Here's a great scene from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a book from the Chronicles of Narnia.
Although the movie came about forty years after I read the story, it depicted very well how I remembered it. The picture is a screenshot of Eustace as the dragon on the beach, trying to communicate with his companions who don't recognize him. Obviously!
I think Dragonslayer was the very first live action movie featuring a dragon menace. of course the dragon was not live. Neither was it cartoon animated nor CG. It was called Go Motion, a variation of stop motion animation filming.
Falcor has my vote for the cuddliest dragon. You don't have to look close to see that he has no wings, but it's true, I've seen him fly!
This magnificent drake needs no introduction. Never-the-less, here is Drago, the last of the dragons, who were hunted to near extinction by one man.
Dragonheart was a very special movie to me because it was my idea! I had been in the slow process of writing a novel in which an honorable warrior slays a dragon, but a wise old wizard removes the heart of the dragon and put's it into the warrior, who then grows to giantish size and becomes mute and nearly immortal. The wizard tells him that he must resurrect the dragon in order to break the spell on him. That doesn't happen until two hundred years later.
Last but not least of my favorite movie dragons is Toothless, the black Night Fury who befriends Hiccup and helps save the Vikings from a dreaded gargantuan dragon.
Thanks go to Marty for her monetary support and for her enthusiastic love of Dragons which always inspired me to make more.
Thanks also to many of my associates who goaded me into sculpting some such fantastic beasts for them. Myra even asked me to make a toe for her to make up for her husband's lost one. LOL, I did. Becky wanted a gnome picking his nose. He's featured in this book.
I've never been completely satisfied with any of my finished sculptures. I think there is always something I could have done differently to make it better, and in all cases I'm completely right. But just remember this; Beauty, if not perfection lies in the eyes and heart of the beholder. I've learned that perfection is just a perception, and everyone and everything is flawed in one way or another.
Thanks for browsing,
P.S. I'm not done making dragons.