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Other Art

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Masterpieces of Printing


Could this be improved? I doubt it. I am also doubtful that this level of work will ever be accomplished again. There are many talented artists and printers out there that do fantastic work within the constraints that they have. Some of the processes in this piece, however, would practically need to be reinvented.

Display Exhibit #6, Cleveland


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Helmar Rug Arrives!


Months ago I wrote that I had partnered with a traditional, hand-woven maker of rugs for a test project. I was anxious to see how the traditional method of tying small knots to make a design would work out on our theme of vintage baseball. There ended up being a few unexpected twists but I am very happy with the finished piece. At left the rug is nearly finished.

And here is the finished piece! I don’t know whether to put it on my floor or on my wall. But I do love it. It has that old world tapestry feel to it. If anyone else is interested in a one-of-one design let me know. They are not inexpensive but will last forever.

Here’s a beautiful exhibit of tapestries from the Renaissance. I would love to design something that large. Charles

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Exhibit Display #5, Cleveland


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A Project to Think About…


No, this doesn’t really exist…yet. Helmar digital mock-up.

These digital mock-ups were intended for my Baseball History & Art magazine but just didn’t fit. I’ve thought through the process and I am sure that we could make a physical product pretty close to these images. It would be quite a project, though, and I’m not sure that anyone would be interested. Better known players would help. Charles

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Ty Cobb Badge…


“Stolen Base” by Helmar.

It’s my birthday so I think a Ty Cobb, my favorite player, is appropriate today. Charles

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Exhibit Display #4, Cleveland


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Honus Wagner Badge


Honus Wagner Sporting Goods by Helmar

I did this for the Honus Wagner Sporting Goods Company. Charles

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Mike “King” Kelly Art


Helmar Mike “King” Kelly

Something else I have been playing around with. Here’s King Kelly, well-known as the “10 Thousand Dollar Man”. Let me know if you would like to see a series like this, please. Charles

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Exhibit Display #3, Cleveland


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Exhibit Display #2, Cleveland


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1910 World Series


1910: Philadelphia vs. Chicago. Helmar, not published.

The Athletics took the series four games to one. Charles


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Three Boston Catchers


George Armstrong Custer


George Armstrong Custer by Helmar

This will be another art card in our series of Western subjects. Charles

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Lincoln in the Field


Helmar colorized photo: Abraham Lincoln

Real Photo Postcards


Vintage contact print equipment with unopened packages of raw postcards.

In a recent post we looked at the late Jim Rowe of Chicago and how his real photo postcards really invigorated autograph collectors back in the latter 1960’s through perhaps the mid 1980’s. Today we’ll take a quick look at the basic process that was used to make real photo postcards back in the 1910 era. Most of the equipment pictured here can be reliably dated to 1918 or prior.

Real photo postcards were not difficult to make once the maker got the hang of it. The equipment needed was minimal: a photo negative, a contact print frame, blank postcards that have been chemically treated, a few readily available solutions and a couple rinse pans. It was a perfect small business and could be done at home. The 1918 package of blank postcards on the right even brag that the postcards “can be developed by gaslight”.

With the advent of blank postcards becoming available in 1903, the actual process became straightforward. A photo negative and blank postcard were sandwiched within a contact frame and locked down (there were no opportunities for enlargement; the print would always be the same size as the negative). A light source was briefly engaged, transferring the ghost image to the postcard. A little experience was needed to gauge the length of the exposure. The postcard, with the inherent ghost image, was then quickly rinsed through a series of four baths and voila! Your postcard was ready for sale. Charles.


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Back in history…


I first became entranced with Indian Mughal-style art about thirty years ago. It is easy to go a little crazy with these; at one time I had several hundred pieces. These days I have perhaps a dozen or so that I haven’t been able to give up and perhaps another dozen that I wonder why I ever bought in the first place.

It’s a long story but these stylized gouache paintings brought me back to baseball. At some point I realized that this method was perfectly suited to recreating the look of many early cards. Charles.

Something Different


I have a number of 19th century images of Native Americans and Western personalities that we’ve colorized but not published yet. Originally the idea was to do small cabinets but I’m thinking of doing this instead. 6″ x 9″ and the finished piece would be a two-color linocut with the colorized photo printed on specialized paper.

Oklahoma land rush; linocut with colorized photo.

Sam Crawford with Cinci and Detroit, 2 versions


020a crawforda 020d crawforda

Old Manuscript Paper Painting #1: The Ossuary


Mostly I write about sports, of course, but once in a while it is nice to slip in something different. Below is a painting that I did a couple years ago on old manuscript paper. I like to paint on material like that, I don’t think many others do.

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