By: Denna BeenaContributing Writer
Let's start shall we?
1. At what age did you find your passion for monsters and monster making? Was there someone who inspired you?
Rob: My interest in Halloween started at a very early age. If I had to choose one moment that really sparked it off for me it occurred when I was growing up in Ohio. I had saved my Ben Cooper Yoda mask and costume from the year before; you know the kind with the hard plastic mask that cuts into your eyes, flimsy string and the plastic printed apron of a costume. I decided to dress up our mailbox to look like Yoda and and was amazed at the reaction I got out of people who thought it was a real person. It was such an easy trick with an impactful result. I had pulled off little displays before this in the mid 70's but I would say the Yoda was a turning point.
Breathe in this mask I can't.
2. I have heard that all of the creations are part of your personal collection, is that really true? Where in the heck do put all that stuff between events?Rob: MuckleBones really started out as a passion for high end Halloween collector masks. These are the kind that are hand made, poured 3-4 times thicker than traditional Halloween masks, and custom painted by professional mask makers on piece at a time. Most retail Halloween masks are made as production runs and quality far out weighs quality. Many of my first pieces were coming from Wax Museum suppliers who were finding extra revenue in selling Latex castings to eager collectors. Building the bodies was just the next level to my collection which later turned into public exhibitions of the figures. As far as storage, I keep a walk through Wax Museum gallery staged in my home not only for my own enjoyment but also as a marketing tool for future clients. You have to really experience these pieces in person and having them set up in a wax museum format really helps my clients see what the end result will really be. The ancillary props get warehoused for future events.
3) What are your favorite pieces? What are you looking forward to creating?
Rob: I am a big fan of the Universal Classics. I like all the old black and whites and as far as modern horrors, I have a fondness for Witches. I'm currently working on a Life Size Pumpkinhead statue which has been a blast to bring to life mainly due to the fact that he is pretty large. If you are into Sci Fi, I am eagerly awaiting some castings of a Metaluna Mutant that will be turned into full size statue. Very excited to get working on this.
4) How long does it take to make one of your creatures from concept to completion? And how can I get one in my house?
Rob: As far as duration of fabrication...it really varies. If I have all the pieces in front of me and little distraction, I can build a figure in a day. Others could take me days, weeks or in the case of the Creature from The Black Lagoon statue I finished, it could take a few years. The Creature took me so long because I had no clue what I was doing; the casting was all fiberglass and when it arrived to me, it was a horrible mess, and I had no experience with fiberglass. It was a huge learning curve but a very rewarding project in the end. As far as getting your hands on a figure, everything I do is custom so I just need to know what you are looking for (specifics are a must) and I can come up with a price to bring it to life. The niche I fill is that gap between store bought Halloween decor/props and High End collector pieces. Not many people have 5k-6k to drop on monster stuff so i find ways to build things that help keep costs down to where the average (but serious) collector can afford.
(Dear thedailycity readers...my birthday is in November...I'm just saying.....)
5) What is your master plan for your creatures? Might we see a Mucklebones Museum like a Madame Tussauds? Will it include The It's Alive Project? Where did that concept come from because I love it!
Rob: I would love to see MuckleBones find a permanent home where the public could enjoy it year round. I am constantly adding new pieces and building new props so the exhibit would be ever evolving.
The Its Alive Project is a separate undertaking and is our way of taking our passion for monsters and putting it to use to help needy kids. For the most current and update information regarding the second coming of this exciting project; please visit our facebook page called The Its Alive Project.
We do Halloween projects all year long. A lot of our clients are private parties, collectors or just people who want a cool piece to place in their business or home. To see up to date work please visit the Mucklebones LLC facebook page.
No, thank you Rob! I am a huge fan! Personally, I can't wait to see "the Disney's Haunted Mansion Tribute" that is a part of Spooky Empire's October event!! Rob you amaze me! Thank you for sharing, Happy Haunting to you.
A few more photos of some of Rob's work.