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Don't believe your lion eyes


In re-reading Linda Sickler’s November story on the destroyed Cotton Exchange lion, it is amazing to me that it could be THIS difficult to replace a very simple winged lion.

As a professional sculptor of exactly these types of architectural pieces, I could have easily replicated this lion from a few photos for a lot less than the “estimate” of $60,000-$70,000 quoted.

I typically charge clients $35/hr for custom modelling, and few of my larger models in clay take more than 30 hours. I estimate the lion might take two full work weeks, 80 hours to sculpt, and several weeks to slowly dry before being fired. I estimate he was 36-40” tall, probably around 250#-300.

I can’t figure out where anyone comes up with a figure of $60,000 for this. Anderson needs to learn how to search Google better. My website has been up for ten years and architectural sculptures, gargoyles, lion sculptures, architectural salvage, etc. as search terms find it.

I’m one of very few who replicate Victorian architectural pieces at all. I sculpt pieces of architectural sculptures like this as a career and hobby — ALL from photos.

I’m having an exhibition of my work soon at a local fine art museum, I’ve been featured in a New York Times article, I have archives of photos on the web, I post to sculpture forums about this type of sculpture every day. Mystery to me how Anderson didn’t locate me to inquire of my suggestions and thoughts on this.

I would have said: Forget gluing Humpty together — he’s gone. Forget carved stone, metal or plastic resins, simply have a sculptor model a replacement 10 percent larger to account for shrinkage, use a high fire stoneware clay and give it a red underglaze.

Lo-fire red clay is soft, that is why I would use a stoneware clay — much stronger, harder and doesn’t absorb water. That this lion lasted 119 years in the weather is testimony of the durability of terra cotta.

Randall Dana

Captain Sandy’s colleague speaks


I did the Captain Sandy and the Weather Show at WSAV-TV for several months in the early 1960’s. I never realized how dear the show was to my fellow Savannahians until the passing of Joe Cox and the outpouring of so many wonderful tributes and memories expessed by Savannahians.

On behalf of myself, the other Caprain Sandys, Wilber the Pelican, Authur Mometer and, of course, that rascal, Calamity Clam, I wish to express our appreciation for welcoming us into your homes. Thanking especially the children.

For your readers who don’t remember or know of the show, they can Google “Captain Sandy and the Weather” and view a show from 1964. It’s not me. I left in early 1963 to return to “the theatah” in NYC.

From all of us and, yes, even Calamity Clam (who bit my finger a time or two, may everyone enjoy clear weather, calm seas and happy sailing.

Eddie Blessington