SCULPTURE: THE CATOBLEPAS
The Catoblepas was a curiosity to me as a child. A creature with noxious breath and the ability to kill with a glare, what wasn't there to like? But unlike the Gorgon, which moved quickly and was intelligent, the Catoblepas was a sluggish creature that had trouble holding its head up, hence the name, from the Greek, to look downward, Romanized from Κατωβλεψ. A creature so dangerous, but at the same time, so inept and unlikely to be able to get you, was catnip to me. If one of the actual creatures lived in the swamps behind my grammar school, I certainly would have been back there poking its rear with a stick and then running away before it could turn around and kill me. In recent months I have fallen in love with some of the three dimensional creature head trophies I've bought and seen on Etsy, many of them, like this, made from a paper mache base. No one has made the Catoblepas though, and being one of the odder creatures with a long provenance in actual bestiaries, I thought I would try to make one. Its head, at least. It's my first foray into sculpture and it's entirely possible that it will not turn out to be something I am happy I shared. But fortune favors the bold. Dan Reeder's Paper Mache Dragons, and some of Reeder's online tutorials have been instrumental in this project.