Sword in the Stone

Sword in the StoneI was asked to produce props for a series of theme parties some years back. One of the party themes was “Knights of the Round Table”, and this sword was the main prop. The organizers wanted to have a box of prizes be given away to the one who could pull the sword from the stone, and so the idea was set.

I found a stone (approx. 100 lbs), and cut a slot through it. I then inserted the large sword, and clamped it underneath so without knowing the secret, the sword could not be removed.

As the “Knights of the Round Table” event progressed, almost every guy there tried to remove the sword while eyeing the treasure chest full of goodies. One-by-one they failed, and as the crowd’s enthusiasm rose and fell with each attempt, I noticed a little boy in full knight attire — be it a plastic Halloween costume — clinging to his mother’s gown. In my mind, it was time for a champion.

When only the flames of the torches supplied the light, I slipped over, tipped the boulder and removed the clamp. I then located the young man and struck up a conversation. I gently tried to persuade him to attempt the feat, but not until his mother suggested he’d try did he finally let go of her gown.

As he walked over to it he glanced back–still unsure–but his mother gave an approving nod. He grabbed the sword with both hands, straining, and with most of the adults watching, he lifted the sword out of the stone, pausing only to re-grip and complete the feat. The sword was about 6″ taller than the young man, however, the prizes were his and for the rest of the evening he was known as Sir Lancelot.

Backyard Patio Featured in Register Guard

Backyard Patio
Inspired by “Indiana Jones,” this playful patio is steeped in adventure and reminiscent of a forgotten civilization.

In July of 2013, the patio I created in my backyard was featured in The Register-Guard Home & Garden Special Publication edition.

I’m often asked what inspires me to imagine, design and complete a particular project. The answer is that it changes day-to-day.

I completed this patio and cover in 2012 as a project inspired by many things. Trips to Disneyland and Chichen Itza in Mexico were probably the driving forces for the imaginative component of this project. Thought had to be given as to structural integrity, and of course, it had to look as if it was old – ideally ancient.

Living in a relatively small home, my wife and I always wanted something that would enable us to spend a little more time in the backyard. The 8′ x 10′ original concrete patio was demoed and I started building. With the help of my two sons (when I could corral them), I excavated and poured four large footings for the patio cover post basses and retaining curb. The patio cover construction and lower rock work were conducted first to allow for working under cover when the rain started. By the following summer, we were enjoying it, no longer concerned with the weather.

Here is an excerpt from the Register Guard article:

The unique backyard arbor, which started taking shape in 2008, is like a stage or movie set, evoking a special outdoor feeling of magic and beauty and a dash of romanticism.

While he’s created a wonderful dreamscape façade, he makes a point to stress the key to such a project is structural integrity and carefully choosing the right materials that work well together. The patio, finished last year, fits right in with other esoteric highlights of Kellis’ artistry around the house, which includes numerous indicators of the serious but whimsical creativity going on here.

Raves of friends and visitors inspire him to undertake more similar works in the future. But who knows? Kellis dances to his own drum beat.

Click here to view the full Register Guard article.

Home and Yard Decor

Complete the package. Why should your home be the only area adorned with art? Express yourself inside and out. Let art and your style flow out to your yard. View Steel Head Design’s Home Decor and Yard Art for more inspiring pieces:

Home Decor:

Yard Art: