Autumn's Cold Brings The Pagan Dead Who Seek The Warmth Of The Samhain Fire

Last night I finally got around to picking up some turnips to make myself some traditional Samhnag, carved turnip lanterns for Samhain. I will say that carving a turnip wasn't as hard as I feared after getting started but I can imagine the Irish were ecstatic to find pumpkins in America, as turnips are solid and much harder to hollow and much smaller (mine are of course on the smaller side because they're ...shop rite turnips). I think they come out looking really neat though, because the purple shows through in a really neat way when they're illuminated.
I had read that the pungent smell of turnip as you carve was supposed to mimic the smell of putrefaction and death. It definitely stunk up the whole house but smelled more like radish to me. Hopefully with these hung in the tree out back I will be safe from the creeping spirits of the dead as the veil between the worlds is lifted!

I also did a little experiment with painting on bone this week. I have some whale bones (salvaged by myself from a rotting whale in maine!) that I've been wanting to try painting on and my upcoming Sea Monster themed show seemed like the perfect time so I wanted to experiment on some random bones I had lying around first. I can't remember where I got these deer mandibles but they were in sort of scuzzy shape (a faint bit of fur still visible in places!) so I did a lot of sanding to prepare one and coated it in a gloss spray enamel to try to even out the painting surface. It's astounding how the slightest texture or bump can mess up a tiny detailed line. I sprayed gloss enamel between color layers too because I remember reading that the key to Russian lacquer work was doing this, so that the colors appeared to be floating above each other. Not sure that's exactly what I accomplished but I think the enamel gave the colors a pretty cool clarity. I'm probably going to give this one as a gift and have some ideas for the other:

In other news I finally got around to posting a mix on my friend Jeff's mix blog. It's a pared down best of of a much much longer running collection of witch themed songs Mike and I have been working on for a long time. This is the first time I've ever attempted to share music on the internet (last time I made a mix tape it was actually a tape, REALLY!) so hopefully I did it right. Click the title to download. Happy Halloween!:

all of them witches
the trial-exorcist
come to the sabbat-black widow
white witch of rose hall- coven
queen of bees- witchcraft
the witch-the rattles
season of the witch-donovan
baba yaga- the pagans
you must be a witch-the lollipop shop
wicked old witch- john fogarty
the witch- the sonics
witchfinder general- witchfinder general
angel witch- angel witch
burn witch burn- morticia
burning witches- warlock
bewitched- candelmass
witchcult today- electric wizard
tres brujas- the sword
death by bewitchment- exorcist
don't burn the witch- venom
witch ghetto- darkthrone
a witch is born- gehenna
the witches reel- Vincent Price


Splat Bat said...

you forgot to mention how i ate some of the turnip leftovers!

Justin Catania said...

that whale jaw bone is rad