Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Nth of Cool Pt. 2

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2011 by bernardcorman

My new client was an odd duck. He was from Staten Island and while he wasn’t exactly a wiseguy per se, he wasn’t totally kosher either. In any event he explained to me that he owned a 1954 Buick Skylark, a production car that took a number of styling cues from the the 1954 Buick concept car, the Wildcat II. He commissioned me to do a rendition of it for him.

I was excited by the prospect. This car wasn’t one of my personal favorites from that period but there were plenty of cool things going on with it to make it an interesting project.

1954 Buick Wildcat II

Unfortunately since it was a lesser vehicle from the GM pantheon of that time there weren’t many pictures of it available. (This was the early ‘90’s-before the Internet made finding reference material so easy).

I did some research and found out that the car was on display at the Buick headquarters in Flint Michigan. I decided to make the drive to see the car in person. I had cultivated a contact at Buick and got permission ahead of time to examine and photograph the car.

When I got to the Buick building lobby I was stunned to discover that there were about a dozen Buick dream cars on display, from the fifties up through the early ‘80’s. I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. First I set about measuring and photographing the Wildcat II. My contact in the company had told the security people what I was going to be doing so I had total access to the car. One thing I noticed as I was taking shots of the cockpit was a very cool logo between the seats. I reached in with a pencil and paper and made a rubbing.

After I was done with the Wildcat I started looking at some of the other cars on display. These were cars I had spent hours drooling over in my copy of the ‘Dream Cars’ book. And now here they were right before my very eyes! I took tons of pictures of the XP-300 from 1951 (sister car to the Lesabre) and also the 1956 Buick Centurion, another wild creation from the GM styling studios. These were two of my favorites and I hoped to sculpt them at some point.

1951 Buick XP-300 Dream Car

1956 Buick Centurion Dream Car

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Into the Belly of the Beast (Part 3)

Posted in Balderdash and Bronze Casting - One Man's Life in the Arts, Uncategorized on March 13, 2011 by bernardcorman

“Dis”claimer:  Ok kiddies we’ve come to a place and time in my memories that mean a lot to me. While I only spent about 4 years there, the Johnson Atelier had a big impact on me and my way of making my art. Indeed it brought me and my family to the lovely Garden State, a place we’ve called home for the past 20 years. I met a lot of people at the Atelier and learned a lot about my craft. There were thrills and spills aplenty. So fasten yer seatbelts cuz it’s gonna be a bumpy night..  Much to my editors chagrin this post sounds off about some of the people I didn’t actually care for while I was there.  After that it’s smooth sailing.

Johnson Atelier got started when a guy named Herk Van Tongren met Seward Johnson Jr. and talked him into opening a foundry. This was back in the late ’60s.  By all accounts Herk was a cool guy but by the time I got to the Atelier he had died a few years earlier.

When I got there the front offices were infested with an evil cabal of sycophants and suck-ups to Seward Johnson. The so-called president of the outfit was a weasely little guy named Jim Barton. He made child molesters and used car salesmen look good. Next up was a husband/wife team consisting of Jon Lash and Donna Warner. Lash was actually an interesting guy although his main job around the foundry seemed to be cashing his paycheck. Donna Warner ran the day to day operations of the place and was the kind of pushy, obnoxious female business person you occasionally encounter. She always spoke in a loud voice to make sure everyone understood she was the big boss. I didn’t care for her, I thought she was a bitch,  a stance that would prove detrimental to me later.

More to come soon. Stay tuned.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 by bernardcorman

While this blog has been dormant a long time there will be new posts soon so stay tuned.