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Floats & Balloons with Macy’s parade Studio

Macy’s Thanksgiving day Parade studio represents a pivotal point in my art career.  It was the first time that I had been exposed to a studio that could fabricate just about anything. What ever material, what ever the genre, all of it gigantic, all  of it robust enough to withstand 100 dancers dancing as the float ran down its route. One of the great motto's there was “Every thing must withstand cannon fire!” That and “consider all metal to be hot”. Architectural element telescoped in and out or, craned together. Everything folded up into tidy little packages small enough to get through the Lincoln tunnel. Every float was essentially theater in the round and every helium inflatable as big as a building. I was hired as a carpenter in  my first season back in 1987. By the first month of the following year the studio’s chief sculptor left when she found out she was going to be a mom. Her assistant left for a different gig and I got moved into the sculpture studio. It was trial by fire but, I turned out to be an over achiever. 12 years would follow in which I learned almost everything I could: welding, all manners of metal work, armature construction both static and jointed for animation, electro-mechanical animation, Fiberglass, mold making, model making, foam carving, mechanical drawing, making presentation drawings, concept sketches, ridiculously complicated wood work, balloon and float design, 2 very specialized fields unto themselves. I was also the right hand assistant to the legendary parade designer, Manfred Bass. He was in the habit of pushing me very, very hard but, in so doing, he opened my eyes and over those years, taught me how to build  anything that was demanded of me.