Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


This is Strasheela, the Scarecrow character in the Russian series of Oz books. I'm not a collector of foreign editions of the Oz series, but I couldn't resist this postcard.

Oz is known as Magic Land in Russia, and the series is popular - but the characters and stories might take an American by surprise!

Alexander Volkov published The Wizard of the Emerald City in 1939. This was a loose translation of L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with various changes, additions and omissions. In the 1960's, Volkov began publishing sequels to his book, creating an alternative Ozian universe. Magic Land has its own unique characters and stories, quite different from the original Baum series. Volkov wrote six Magic Land books, and other authors have continued his series.

I don't read Russian, and have no idea what the back of the postcard says. But it's always fun to see a different version of a familiar character!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oz Jewelry

This is a funny little piece I recently ran across. It's a charm bracelet, made as a premium for the 1964 cartoon television special Return to Oz. The figures are based on the cartoon characters and represent the Wizard, Dandy the Lion, Rusty the Tin Man, Dorothy, Toto, the Wicked Witch, and Socrates the Scarecrow. The figures are nicely modeled and detailed, and the bracelet is really rather heavy!

The same characters were used earlier, in a 1961 cartoon series Tales of the Wizard of Oz. The characters are drawn more crudely in these earlier animated shorts. Here's a clip from the cartoon series - not quite the Oz I'm familiar with, but very much of its own time!

The bracelet is small, but it works well for adding some bling to Tik-Tok!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Polychrome's Return

Our stained glass rendition of Polychrome returning to her rainbow is finished!

After passing through the stages of design, cutting, fitting, and painting, there are still several steps before a window is complete. We use a copper foil technique, which means each glass piece must be wrapped around the edge with copper foil, which is what holds everything in place after soldering. In the photo below, I'm foiling on the left and soldering on the right. After soldering, the window is cleaned and the lead lines are darkened. Finally, the window is ready to frame or install!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Polychrome's Progress

The Polychrome window is progressing nicely. Here's a shot showing the start of laying out the rainbow. There's quite a way to go yet!

Another picture of me working on painting the Rainbow's head. Glass paint is basically powdered minerals mixed with gum arabic and water. When fired in a kiln at the right temperature, the paint fuses into the glass surface.

Here's a kiln full of rainbow faces waiting to be fired. Glass always needs to be tested for firing first, as some glasses can turn opaque in the kiln. After going through the work of painting, you don't want to find a surprise like that! 

It's all moving along!