Thursday, May 7, 2009

I am finding

that The Davis Graveyard tombstones are kinda famous. Throughout Hauntcon I was asked many, many times about the tombstones. Home haunters that knew we were at the show tracked us down to ask questions. Anyone that did not know us, but got to see our photo book, also asked.

I was proud and embarrassed at the same time. It is hard for me. I want to say to them, have you seen the amazing artistry of Pumpkinrot and the Mitchell Cemetery or fantastic work from Terror Syndicate and DC Cemetery?!?! Their props make my tombstones look a bit comical.

I am not them (though I often wish I was :)

Over time I have to admit that I have grown quite fond of the graveyard, I have designed practically every tombstone. There are now 62 of them. Yeah, that is a lot of tombstones.

It is the prop that I have been making the longest. They are a necessity. How can you have a graveyard without tombstones! I have a thing about coming up with the sayings and setting the text in my design program so that I get the perfect look for each saying. I have a bit of style that I keep to, but likely no one would notice or understand. But on a whole, some of them I am quite proud of :)

Today, they serve two purposes, they are a background for the props and they have some amusing sayings to give the visitors something to read. But I did not think that anyone ever noticed them.

Which brings me back about a month ago:

Leonard asked me a few times to do a seminar for Hauntcon on creating tombstones. I said I would be happy to help, I have taught classes at the house; sounds like fun. I need about 4 hours (depending on how fast the paint dries.)

He replies with "You have an hour."

"I don't see how that is possible. Sorry."

A while later....."Are you sure you cannot do a tombstone class?"

"In an hour?! No. What I can do is talk about shaping and we could carve out a simple epitaph, but there would be no time for painting. I could pull the tombstone chapter of my book out and print it for them so they could finish at home."

"It has to be finished when they leave the class."

I thought about it a while, thinking of any way I could do a tombstone in an hour. Smaller, less detailed......but the thought of that bothered me.

Why? Two things. I did not want to instruct a class that did not meet my standards. I have spent extensive time coming up with my tombstones. I don't want to compromise just to help a friend. Second, I could make smaller simpler tombstones, but again, husband reminds me that we don't want people coming to the class thinking they are going to make a tombstone like The Davis Graveyard, and end up with a 1- 1/2 foot, poorly painted tombstone.

My final answer was "no". I hated to do it because I knew how much he needed someone to instruct a class.

Honestly, I still feel a little bad about it. But I know that I made the right decision.

The person that paid for my decision is my new friend Brian (the DJ) who Leonard talked into doing three take and makes classes. Sorry Brian :(

I felt bad, so I bought him a drink :)


  1. It's a good thing to stand up for consistency of excellence, for quality. No need to apologize.
    Your tombstones are worth it!

  2. You are just too humble. In my eyes, your work is as good as Pumpkinrot, Mitchell Cemetery, Terror Syndicate, DC Cemetery and all the other hauntes who make so much great stuff!

    I think you took the right decision about the class.

    Again, I love your work and I wish to become a good haunter as you are in the years to come. You are an inspiration!

  3. Good for you! You would have hated yourself long after the fact because you couldn't have taught the class right to start with.

  4. I dislike one hour classes or panels as well. Even with a hair dryer its hard to get paint to dry...FAST...and that is a problem when layering color and distressing.

  5. Hi, I really like your blog and hope that this interests you and your readers.

    I am attempting to amass a large collection of portraits of Frankenstein's Monster in as many different styles and in as many different media as possible as an ongoing art project. The only stipulation is that the size is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches (standard artist trading card size) and that each card has name, date, location, title and anything else you care to add on the back.

    I welcome cards from both amateur and professional artists.

    I will be leaving blank cards with instructions and mailing address in galleries, colleges, art shops, on buses, handing them out in the street and wherever else I can think of.

    If you think you can spare the time to produce a little something, please send a portrait to:

    A Patchwork Of Flesh
    45 Silversea Drive
    Westcliff on Sea
    SS0 9XD
    United Kingdom

    Each card I receive will be uploaded at to produce an on-line gallery, I then hope to put on an exhibition of these cards in a gallery.

  6. I think you did the right thing about turning down the class. It's all about quality and that can't be rushed.

    PS: Your package will be shipped out this weekend. : )

  7. Well, I have been out of town for a week, but just catching up on blogs, and wanted to throw my support for your decision in the ring as well - there is no way that you could teach an HOUR long class that would not sacrifice the detail, workmanship and sheer awe factor of the work that you put out. I agree, its a shame that you couldnt do it, but moreso a shame that the ONLY choice was an HOUR length.

    You did the right thing, by leaps and bounds.

  8. Ah, thanks for all the support everyone. It was very hard considering how supportive Leonard had been to Jeff and I over the years.

    I am working on 2010 for a longer class time. We will see what happens. If you are in Orlando (or near there) - check us out. I think Leonard has talked us into a few classes and I think Jeff is going to do all day class thing with EFX TEC on Monday.

    What happened to it being just a little yard haunt :)



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