Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

The accidental genius of Billy Arkell

figurative sculpture

Billy Arkell was an unwitting master of 1960s modern figurative sculpture. It’s not clear whether he was attempting to capture the essence the tumultuous time in which he worked, expressing some deep personal angst, or just avoiding more rigorous coursework by taking an 8th grade ceramics class.

This is the only known example of Arkell’s work. Apparently untitled, the piece is marked only with “Billy Arkell – Jan 1965″ awkwardly inscribed in blue ball point pen on the white unglazed ceramic interior. Photos don’t do it justice, but this is an evocative work. The deep set, down-turned eye sockets and contorted, agonizing mouth seem to cry out ” Why do I have this monstrosity of an over-sized and hooked nose?!! The stylized, symetrical ears jut out listening for kind words that never arrive.

I aquired this piece for 49 cents at Value Village. It was marked 99 cents, but fortunately for me it was half off yellow tag day.

10 Responses to “The accidental genius of Billy Arkell”

  1. jacob Says:

    I really like this, great find!
    Compliments on your blog by the way, I’ve been following it for some time now and it’s excellent, keep it up.

  2. vladimir kerchenko Says:

    nice. kinda looks like george w.

    are you gonna devise a give-away??

  3. Fort Worth Squatch Says:

    Oh yeah! I’d love that have that masterpiece! It’d go great on my mantle right between my wedding picture and my crashed up pinewood derby car.

  4. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    0r maybe this is is him……. now william arkell………


    The late Dr William Joscelyn Arkell of Oxford University, famous expert on and author of many publications on the Jurassic System. From a painting commissioned by Shell Oil Co. for an International Symposium on the Jurassic System. The photograph was kindly provided by Professor Michael House, the well-known Dorset Jurassic author (see his guide to the Dorset Coast )and once a research student of Dr Arkell.

  5. Ned Trifle Says:

    I like it (and your website incidentally!). To me he looks the spitting image of Charles, the prince of Wales. And probably sums up his state of mind as he waits (and waits and waits) for his mother to get of the throne.

  6. Steve Says:

    Vlad, Squatch –

    No, this one is to remain in my permanent collection.


  7. Joan Blackburn Says:

    This piece of art was given to me on the occasion of my Birthday I know that Billy worked very hard to get the Artwork finished just in time. I treasured it and that piece of art in addition to a scrapbook dissapeared when we moved to another area. To make a long story short I believe the sculpture is rightfully mine. I recognized it immediately. Billy is my Son.


  8. Steve Says:


    This is fantastic!

    Why don’t you leave an email address, or some other means of communication, and once I have authenticated you as the mother of the artist, I would be happy to give the piece to you.


  9. Joan Blackburn Says:

    Bill is my son, Born Miami Florida in 1955 on May 1st

  10. Lucy Says:

    Curious to know if the sculpture was returned to Ms. Blackburn. I recognize the names of Ms. Blackburn and her son Billy Arkell
    He would have been younger than an 8th grader at the time he created the sculpture if it is dated 1965. I remember him as being a very creative and polite young man. I am quiet sure he was capable of this project.