Long time readers are probably getting a little tired of the seemingly unending stream of Steam Locomotives and other railroad related paraphernalia that have appeared here on my blog. But the truth is that aside from the Empire State Express that I did make for myself, nearly all of the other pieces have ended up in someone else’s house or place of business. This piece is no exception.
The same day that I got the commission for the three 20th Anniversary awards (see here) a woman that I have worked with for many years -- I’ll call her “R” -- approached me to asked if I could make a train plaque to honor her husband who died a couple of years ago. Apparently he had worked for CSX for quite a number of years making a Railroad-related carving very appropriate. So how could I say no?
I tried to pump her for ideas but she left all of the decisions to me. I took the general outline of the Empire State Express -- after all, I still had all the drawings and I just love the “look” of that locomotive. I replaced the real smoke stack with one that would have been more at home on a wood-burning locomotive and added the billowing, heart-shaped clouds of smoke. I guess that is kind of corny and perhaps overly sentimental but I thought it added some additional meaning to the piece -- to say nothing of a nice, convenient way to hang it on the wall:--). I shortened up the cab somewhat (it looked too big) and added “the suggestion” of an Engineer.
I delivered the plaque early last week and asked “R” for a photo holding the plaque (part of my “charge” for the carving). I received this photo this afternoon so here it is. I think she liked it!