For the fourth Carnival Discardia artwork I chose the knife thrower act, and wanted it to have something of a twist. Let’s first look at the core materials: a spice rack and a spinning wheel decoration.

Spice Rack
Spice Rack
Spinning Wheel Decoration
Spinning Wheel Decoration

I like the curves of the spice rack; it already felt like it ha a carnival feel. The top shelf would have to be removed in order to make way for the wheel.

As for the wheel itself, it was perfect. It even was functional, in that it could spin. I just had to remove the backing pole with a dowel that would go into the spice rack.



Above, you see the results. Getting the dowel to fit in snugly and fit through all three holes was a bit of a trick, but it somehow worked. The wheel would be attached much later, after the rest of the work was done.

The next step would involve focussing on the colors:


There is a very primary color base to this piece, with its reds, yellows and blues, as highlighted by the target itself. The backing of the target is some light balsa wood. I had to keep in mind that the target and knife throwing assistant would have to be fairly light, or spinning the wheel would be problematic.

Sometime before the door to the “basement”

was added, the LED lights had to be installed. I got a foot long strip that attached to the top of the rack with the wire going along the back.


With the lights taken care of, the basement could be worked on:


Initially there was going to be a standard shot of a knife thrower with assistant. But this didn’t grab my attention, so I began to develop a little storyline. The basement, or rather another location in the carnival, has a pile of empty bottles. Later I would add a figure lying on the floor, and you’d only be able to see it legs, the rest of it hidden behind the door. The door by the way is a jewelry box drawer turned upside down with a handle and lock that I created. Much to the chagrin of visitors to the Carnival Discardia opening this Fall, the door doesn’t open. However, the spinning wheel made up for that!

The Gene Simmons Assistant
The Gene Simmons Assistan
Knife Thrower Assistant With Hair up
Knife Thrower Assistant With Hair up

Next to work on the assistant. I’ll even show you the first attempt that I found unsatisfying. I crafted the figure from some furniture fixtures, doll hair, a wooden ball and toy silverware. The first try she looks more like a Metal God along the lines of Gene Simmons. By turning the shoulder pad thingies into her mask, and giving her an updo, she looks much more the role, even if completely on the deathly side.

There are no more progress shots at this point so will move right to the final photos. A few new details you will see are the knife thrower himself, lying at the bottom. His attire comes from a Bratz outfit greatly modified. The knives themselves are actually appetizer forks with the tines removed. The knife table is from a dollhouse.

Death and the Knife Thrower

“Death and the Knife Thrower” is a 15 x 20 x 5 inch shadow box construction that is lit using an LED light strip. It can either hang on the wall or is self-standing. Check out the entire series at my Carnival Discardia page.

Death and the Knife Thrower - Left Angle

Death and the Knife Thrower - Top Detail

Death and the Knife Thrower - Bottom Detail

Finally a quick video illustrating how the wheel turns:

Death and the Knife Thrower
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