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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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October 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 13, 2010
 

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14B Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Former business owner takes hobby to new level Norman Willingham's circus animal train showcases the grandiose level of detail inherent in all of his work, from the wheels to the cages to the intricate art designs on each cage. Photos by Patrick Shillito Patrick Shillito Staff Writer pshilJito@lassen news.tom Norman Willingham is a retired local business owner with a passion for sculpting, and his talent is truly extra- ordinary. A resident of Lassen County since 1946, Willingham is well known throughout the Norman Willingham shows of how he had to create a hinge for the top of this wagon, using flower ties for the cage bars and a paper clip for the door to hinge on. community as the owner of Willingham's Muffler Service for more than 30 years. He and his wife also owned the Hodge Podge Lodge at one point as well, before selling it and going into a life of retirement. Not one to sit idly on his hands, Willingham took it upon himself to learn how to work with Sculpey, a malleable, polymer-based clay that comes in a variety of colors that harden in an oven. In just over two months, Willingham has taken his attention to detail and put together a whole series of vehicles and wagons. His biggest sculpted accomplish- ment is the creation of a fully functional circus train. While Willingham didn't sculpt the animals inside each of the cages, every other detail has been painstakingly carved into each other piece, from extra bananas and meat for the gorilla and the tiger to a working steering mechanism that connects a steering wheel to the wagon wheels. "I just heat it up a little and knead it while I'm watching television or something," Willingham said. "The only thing that limits me is the extent of my imagination." "Willingham doesn't use a ruler or any sort of measurement device to level or scale his wagons, which have to be built to scale in order for the wheels to turn and the doors to shut. He uses a variety of other objects to fill out the rest of the details, from flower ties to jeweled studs. He said it took roughly a week for him to work on each individual piece of the train, since he doesn't work on them around the clock. He said from the time it takes to heat and knead the clay in his oven, remold it, attach it to other pieces and heat again, it can be a time consuming process. "A lot of that time is spent in the oven," Willingham said. "You can't make the whole thing and then bake it at once. You have to bake each and every piece, then put them together separately." Willingham said creating the intricate sculptures translates very well from his previous hobby of restoring classic cars. When asked if he would consider teaching his skills to someone just starting out, he said its best for people to discover and ex- periment with the sculptures themselves. "It's important for people to try and discover their own talent with this stuff," Willingham said. "There's so much you can do with it. You have to use your imagination." Paid political advertisement 'the We Dear Voters m This election gives us hope for bringing about fiscal sanity to state of California and to local communities in Plumas County. urge you to become involved in joining with other Republican volunteers in helping to elect responsible leaders who will exercise fiscal restraint. -Meg Whitman Governor  Abel Maldonaldo Lt. Governor  Damon Dunn Secretary of State -- Steve Cooley Attorney General Tony Strickland Controller Mimi Waiters Treasurer Mike Villines Insurance Commissioner  George Runner Board of Equalization, Dist. 2  Michelle Steel Board of Equalization, Dist. 3 California State INITIATIVES Vote NO on Prop 19 Vote YES on Prop 20 Vote NO on Prop 21 VoteYES on Prop 23 Vote NO on Prop 24 Vote NO on Prop 25 Vote YES on Prop 26 Vote NO on Prop 27 Congressional District #4 - Tom McClintock Assembly District #3 - Dan Logue Senate District #I - Ted Gaines -OR- Roger Niello Flex your political muscle on Election Day! VOTE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm Please join us/We're looking for volunteers at GOP Headquarters located at 501 Main St., Quincy (corner of Bradley Sreet and Main Street) Stop in for signs, bumper stickers ... or just to visit! Call us at 836-1547 (Gene & Marlene) Paid for by the Plumas County Republican Party P.O. Box 222 Graeagle, CA 96103 candidate or candidate committee