What's all this, then?

Each Halloween season, when the Greenwood Reaper inhabits my yard, people ask me “How did you make it?” and “What is it made from?”.

Since I’m making a bigger and better reaper I figured I’d make this blog to answer those questions. This is also a way for interested parties to ask questions and see the progress of the project.

The only regular time I spend building is on the week-ends, so it’s likely posts will appear early in the week.

The posts appear with the newest on top, so if you're new to the sight scroll to the bottom to read the beginning.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Story of the original Greenwood Reaper

A few years ago my wife showed me a Halloween decoration in one of those kitchy catalogs that invade our mailbox every year. What she showed me was a "6 foot tall Grim Reaper!".

I examined it carefully looking at the price and replied:
"Fifty bucks? Pshaw! I could make one twice that size for fifty bucks!"
She said "Oh yea?"

For the next few months I sketched and sketched.
I made models with my K'nex and sketched some more.
...And finally started making my version of that woefully inadequate Grim reaper I had seen in the catalog.

Using the human skeleton as an engineering guide, I welded together about fifty (total) feet of rebar and steel water pipe into a rough body shape.

Wrapped in the finest black painter's plastic that $4 could buy, the Greenwood Reaper made his first appearance.


Plaid Mad said...

I live down the street from you and we look forward to the grim reaper's appearance every year. My granddaughters have grown up with it and have gone from being "a little scared" to thinking it's "so cool". Thanks for building him. Nikki

Anonymous said...

I live down the street too and LOVE seeing the Grim Reaper every Fall. Didn't he have a friend a couple of years ago??

Greenwood Reaper said...

Yes, indeed. There have been other characters around the yard, but I’ve been so consumed with getting Slim finished that I haven’t had time to put any energy into them.

The first one was Mary Annette. She was as big as Slim but very, VERY difficult to raise. Mary donated her body to science. Her head now lives in a friend’s yard and her body parts are being slowly recycled into other projects (like Slim’s hips).

The second one was Rustle. A tall, not-free-standing scarecrow. He would be easy enough to assemble and raise, but I stupidly allowed his wooden parts to stay outside too long and they dry rotted (storage is a real problem for me). Maybe I’ll re-create the parts out of aluminum and fiberglass one day…

Steve said...

Thanks for making the drive to work down 3rd so devilishly pleasant as the weather turns grimmer. {Yeah, I used grim in the first sentence!]
My sculptor and contractor friends, my homeowner friends, and landscape designer friends must read this blog...and will.
Peace to you and Suzanne

The Cheshire Dragon said...

I finally got to see the reaper in person recently. Was driving a friend home and I saw the blue light from a distance and was trying to figure out what it was and then the reaper just showed up RIGHT there! Very nice effect! ^.^