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Pastel Hellhound. Pastle and ink on toned tan paper.

Cerberus: the mythological hell hound guarding the gates to the underworld. Usually he appears with three heads. Hercules had to get past the hell hound on one of his heroic missions.

Our pastel version revisits one of our old Sculpey figures. Sculpey is a synthetic modeling clay you can bake in a regular oven instead of a standard kiln. Hippie chicks like to make beads out of it. We made some motherfucking demons. They had bits of scrap metal in them, usually from old electronics, nails, and wire. Sometimes just things we’d find on the ground. The metal not only acted as a skeleton for the Sculpey but also gave them features like spines, spikes, and claws.

We stopped using Sculpey as a medium because, well, it just doesnt seem wise to bake your food in an oven that smells like cooked plastic. Maybe if we had two ovens! Our small collection of Sculpey figures is long gone, but they had good lives. Here’s little Cerberus on display at a group exhibit at the Dreamland Theater gallery in Ypsilanti, MI, 2002. He wasn’t very big, maybe half a foot tall, the size of a hefty action figure. A scan of a print of a scan of a print of a crappy photo, it still makes a decent reference for drawing.

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