# # "Winner"

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog



“Winner” has its foundation in something my mom always used to say.

“There’s a real winner.”

This phrase would invariably be flung in the general direction, yet out of earshot, of some hapless doofus, loud-mouthed jerk, or scowling ne’er do well. “Winner” to my mother was a sarcasm, a sour taste, an ill-bestowed honor. How many times did some poor jackass proclaim “I’m a winner!” only for me to hear my mother mutter “you certainly are.”

I sometimes fear my mother thought her children were winners.

I know she felt we strove too little, dreamed too much, aimed too low. I was always very proud when my little art projects came together well only to have my mother look at them, wrinkle her nose, and ask, peevishly: “but what is it?”

She hated this kind of “found object art” and, like many, didn’t see it as art at all. To her, art took years of mastery and discipline. Art was making something beautiful out of nothing. Art was hard work, talent, and intellect, not just stacking one piece of crap on top of another and proclaiming it “art.”

I fear she would see this piece and say: “now, there’s a winner.” … and so it is.

The whole thing started when I saw the ceramic doll’s head on sale on the welcome-table at GoodWill. Beyond a big glue patch on the back and around the top where someone had affixed a blond wig at some point, it was very clean. I think my wife pointed it out and I said “yoink!”

I took it home and put it on a shelf. I do this with everything that I just *know* has potential … while not sure just what that potential is.

In this case I set the large, fragile head up on a solid shelf above the bottom three steps of our basement stairs. This way, I felt, it was out of harm’s way and I would see it every day and think on what I could make of it.

My wife helped things along by sweeping the stairs some weeks later and bapping the ceramic head off its perch with the broom handle. The head hit the step cheek first and just poppShe hated hate telling me and I wasn’t thrilled but, you know, it actually looked … cooler, somehow. She’d done me a favor!

the face

I stuck the remarkably still-in-one-piece face chunk in a pile of baby doll parts that I keep on top of a glass display case (natch?) and glued the remainder of the pieces back into place in the cranium. There were actually very few pieces, despite the height of the fall.

Winner bone headThe empty-faced cranium sat around for years, literally. At one point I started gluing bones into it, a pseudo reassembly of the face with creepy materials. I only got so far before 1) I realized it didn’t look that good and 2) remembered that I actually have a different and better plan for those bones.

winner conceptMove forward to the day I find the little, blank trophy at GoodWill – the golden cup on the stand of marble. Hey, for .99, what the hell? I can use this, right?

For some, serendipitous but now forgotten reason, I choose this same period of time to remove the bones from the faceless cranium and bring it into my office. On a whim, I unscrew the golden cup, place the head on the marble, and screw the cup back on. Huh. Not bad. I dub it “Winner” but also toy with “The Big Prize”, and “Champeen.”

My wife sees it and says “you should flock the inside of the head. Close up that hole and flock it red.”

Winner flockOh, hell yeah! Did I marry well or what?

I look up the flocking process and wait for an opportune moment to buy the flocking tools and supplies. I also fabricate a final, wooden tier for the trophy base so that the cup rises up out of the doll’s neck instead of lurking there, only half out of shadow.

When it comes to closing up the hole, I consider various materials, even the conceit of hair or a hat, and finally realize I want the light to be able to come down onto the trophy, so no closing of the hole.

Eventually, I pony up for the flock and flocking tools and try my hand at the process. It’s messy and I have no idea how many flocking fibers I ended up inhaling but, I have to say: the flocking process is remarkably easy and cool as hell. I’m doing more of this – maybe I’ll flock the cat!

Once the flock dries and I can clean off the excess, it’s time for a dab or two of liquid nails and … ta-daaaa: “Winner.”

For me, “Winner” represents someone who has sacrificed everything of themselves for some reward that society lauds; the proverbial golden cup. You’re the winner! … but of what?

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