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

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Anyone for Skittles?

Some years ago Irwin and I visited with Kendra Daniels, a collector and dealer in children's illustration art, at her home. We viewed the amazing collections she and her husband Allan had assembled; and among the collections, I saw my first figurative skittle set. 

Skittles is a form of ninepin bowling, for table top or floor. The sets Kendra collected were made in Europe in the 19th century, and consisted of whimsical collections of paper mache figures in wheeled wagons that relate to the characters. An antique example is shown on the right - in this case, a dog with puppies - from the LiveAuctioneers website.

As the summer drew to a close, I began to look about for a new Oz project and decided to give skittles a try. Most of my projects develop from ideas I've had for a very long time!

I decided that Quox, the dragon from Tik-Tok of Oz, would be a natural as a wagon, since he had seating for passengers attached to his back. For the skittles, I chose the Nome King together with an additional troupe of Nomes. The set needed a kingpin, and Ruggedo seemed like a natural choice! 

Quox wears his pearl necklace and gold locket and, as in the book, there are eggs inside the locket to be used for knocking down the Nomes. Wheels are concealed under the dragon's legs, for rolling across the table or floor, and with the use of mini LEDs his tail lights up and his eyes flash.

On the left, Quox can be seen at the start of his paint job. The Nomes are lined up and finished. All the pieces are molded from paper mache like the antique versions. Below, a video shows the set in action!


Anonymous said...

This is incredible!

Jane Albright said...

This is an absolute delight, Bill! Amazing work. Thank you for sharing it.

Scott C said...

Amazing! “It is not in good taste to sneer at a dragon.” --Kaliko

J. L. Bell said...

Amazing! Next you'll tell us that you rigged up Quox's nostrils to smell of brimstone.