(Marvin the Martian)
Ok I admit it, that's not a picture of me (it's part of my Marvin the Martian collection) but that's the best your going to get, like most photographers I know, I love to take the pictures but hate to be on them, anyway what I look like isn't important - but if you really want to know what I look like then think of Johnny Depp and you will get a good idea what I DON'T look like
I'm - cough,cough splutter - years old. I collect various Wizards & Dragons but Enchantica is my main passion and now Verbum Magus is right up there with it, I have pieces by Hap Henriksen, Julie Bell, Michael Whelan, Pena, Carol Lynn Penny any a few others. I love the Works of J.R.R Tolkien and other authors like Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series (Death and the librarian rule ...... OooooK!), David Eddings 'Belgariad' & 'Malloreon' series and many more. In the Graphic novel/comic world I can't recommend 'The SandMan' by Neil Gaiman or 'The Preacher' by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon highly enough but be warned 'the Preacher' is very graphic and is most definitely not for youngsters, also I love the original 'Crow' comic series by James O'Barr (seeing a dark streak in me yet?).
My first introduction to dragon figures was on a trip to Scotland and in a shop in Fort William they had some Genesis Creations dragonets by Carol Lynn Penny, these attracted me because they were bright and humorous and made in Scotland, then in the next shop window I saw the male dragon by Windstone in peacock colours and with it being on a high shelf it was looking down at me looking all mean and moody and I fell in love with it, little did I know that a year later I would have a collection of both ranges!
The same year I saw my first piece of Enchantica, the 1st edition Autumn Dragon 'Snarlgard' and to this day he is still among my top 10 favourite Enchantica pieces, I'm one of those people who looks at the whole piece and I like to see as much detail on the base as on the actual figure and I personally think that the 1st edition Snarlgard has the best looking and most detailed base in the whole range.
The first Dragon I got however was the superb, "Let Sleeping Dragons Lie" by Hap Henriksen and even though I've been offered big money for it, I will never EVER sell it!
I've been collecting Enchantica since early 1992 when my Sister bought me 'Vrorst on the Throne' for my Birthday that was soon followed by a couple of smaller pieces the 'Swamp Demon' & 'Rattajack Up and Under' and I then read the first novel 'The Wrath of the Ice Sorcerer' and this made me want more & more piece's because when you read about a character and then see a sculpture of it, you get to love them even more, I then saw a picture of the 1st edition Spring Dragon 'Gorgoyle' in the collectors club leaflet and I was told that it had finished its limited run, so that started my first ever hunt for a piece, luckily I managed to get hold of it at the original price before it started going for silly money but then it all got a bit silly because In the space of one year I found that I had every piece that was available at the time and I found myself just waiting for the new releases.
I have the complete range (up until the last year of RD) and I love them dearly but when Royal Doulton took control of Holland Studio Craft, all the family atmosphere vanished over a period of time, the prices went up and the paint quality went down due to cutting the time the painters had to complete a piece, The sculptures stayed the same high quality but the way RD treated the collectors and retailers has pushed many people away, then Andrew Bill left which was the biggest downer for me as Andrew created Enchantica by writing the 4 novels and sculpting all those pieces, but the range goes on and I will remain a collector till the end. Since Andrew Bill started his new venture with his old partner Phil Holland I felt my interest renewed in a fantasy range, the family atmosphere had returned.
I was lucky to be one of a small group of Enchantica collectors who got to see Andrew Bills new Verbum Magus range at an early stage, on the 3rd of February 2001, we were asked to go as a small focus group to talk with Andrew himself along with Phil & Dea Holland about our likes and dislikes in the fantasy world and to have some input into the way the pieces were sold, packaged and the way the collectors should be treated among many other things, one thing that struck us all was the friendly & fun atmosphere that we had lost from Enchantica was alive and kicking here and the willingness of everyone to listen to our honest opinions whether they were positive or negative and now the range has been released (May 2001) we can all see that our thoughts have been listened to. I must admit that the highlight of the day was to meet up with Andrew again and see his new pieces (we saw 'Incantation' & 'Deliverance' fully painted and we got to see 'Thief' & 'Secrets' in the wax master stage).
At this time I was supplying a lot of information and 90% of the photos for Ang and the late Trev for their Enchantica site (http://hometown.aol.com/Mmmminx/masterindex.html) but I felt it was very restrictive and I wanted to include much more information so I branched out on my own and created the monster that has become this site! it started out to be limited to just Enchantica and Verbum Magus with just a page listing "other ranges" I then extended it to have the entire Holland Studio Craft fantasy ranges like Fables & Jenny Oliver Faerie's and then it expanded to include the works outside of HSC of those sculptors who had other ranges like Dragon Bones. But in time the site has grown immensely since then and even though Enchantica is the biggest section, it is getting matched by Dragonsite & other sections now and I have been able over time to add other ranges like Genesis Creations, Hap Henriksens Wizards, Dragons & Jesters, The start of a long Pocket Dragon project and with plans to add more ranges like the long overdue Windstone Editions section.
All this has led me to meet some great people, both collectors and sculptors, I never thought at the time of creating the website that I would get to visit the sculptors like Andrew Bill, Rob Simpson & John J. Woodward on a regular basis and be privileged to see some of there creations before they are released, it has also led me to the honour of doing the official website for Andrew Bill too (www.andrewbill.com) it also led to something I could never have dreamed of when Rob Simpson sculpted a piece exclusive to this site! and there are plans for more TSL exclusive pieces.
Besides my love of Dragons I have to say that films and animation play a big part of my life, I love all things to do with the Movies whether they are small foreign language independents or big Hollywood blockbusters, My fave actors are Winona Ryder, Audrey Hepburn, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Johnny Depp, Kevin Spacey, Alec Guiness, Tim Roth, James Stuart, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Bacon (the list goes on), as to my fave films, I have so many as I like anything from Comedy to Thriller to Slasher to True Story to Sloppy Romance (yes there I said it). I love directors like Tim Burton who's work includes Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas* , Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride & Ed Wood (notice Winona & Mr Depp appear in quite a few of these) as he has a dark weird sense of humour. As to animation I love most of the Warner's shorts like Daffy Duck etc... (and Marvin the Martian as you can tell from the picture above) in fact I like all styles of animation but I do have a preference for stop motion stuff which takes me back to my love of films and the animation work of Ray Harryhausen in films like Jason and the Argonauts. If I had to choose between my Dragon collection and my Home Cinema stuff then I feel that my Dragons would have to go but lets hope it never comes to that eh! other wise this site will cease to be.
*I have a fairly big collection of Nightmare Before Christmas stuff too! ranging from Christmas trees, candlesticks, pens, bobbleheads, paperweights, porcelain figures, plastic figures, mirrors, lamps, chopsticks, wall masks, lighters and loads of other stuff including a huge full sized bust of Jack (below).
Of course photography is a major hobby of mine and my love of nature and Gothic / Medieval architecture is so strong that I created a website for my photography (www.decadence.me.uk) but it hasn't been updated for a long time and I have 100's of better photos that I still have to add.
For any one interested, I use two very old Sony DSC-S50 Digital cameras for all of the site photos, I planned to move onto using my Nikon D100 & D200 Semi pro digital cameras for all updates but the Sony was good enough for my needs so I still use it and I use my Nikons for my other websites instead, I then use Adobe Photoshop CS and Paintshop Pro 9 for resizing/cropping all the pictures and for any minor defects that need to be touched up like removing unwanted background detail, other than that the picture remain untouched.
Music wise I have to admit to preferring songs of a dark nature like 'Fields of the Nephilim', 'The Sisters of Mercy', 'The Mission', 'Siouxsie & the Banshees' (yes I have a strong 'Goth' side to me), 'Garbage', early 'Manic Street Preachers' (not the newer soft rubbish) & 'The Wonderstuff' (poppy music but the lyrics are dark) plus things like German industrial rock 'Rammstein' too but I do listen to other stuff and I'm always willing to try something new but all Boy Bands should be shot before they are even manufactured!
Another interest is wildlife and my favourite animals have to be Wolves (which I have a collection of Country Artists Wolf figures) and Orangutan but I do like most wildlife like other primates and most of the African wildlife like Elephant's, Rhino's, Giraffe & Zebra and I love all big cats... except for the Lion for some odd reason.
My latest interest is Pirates... something I never thought would interest me but after taking photos of a group of re-enactors who go by the name of the Sea Thieves, I some how became their official photographer and I'm working on completely revamping their website too.
There I've babbled on long enough about me so stop reading this and go look around the rest of the site
added to site 2001- Updated & moved to here March 4th 2007