Sunday, February 2, 2014

Musée Mechanique

The very large and creepy Laughing Sal has terrified San Francisco children for generations. This sketch doesn't convey how truly weird she is. While I was sketching her, people would come by and put money in the slot to see her rock back and forth, waving her club-like fingers as a recording played echoing maniacal laughter.
The sketching group went to the Musée Mechanique in Fisherman's Wharf, with its collection of (mostly) antique penny arcade games and mechanical marvels.

These were both "Jolly Jack" puppets, from different cases, but their lumpy handmade faces (paper mache?) had very different personalities. They both had boneless slumping bodies and bizarre smiles, though. The longer I looked at them, the creepier they got.

On the bus on the way home I started drawing the woman on the left but she got off before I could do much. Fortunately the woman on the right stayed put longer.


  1. Laurie,these are great sketches and Jolly Jack looks very creepy!
    It must have been an interesting sketchcrawl.

  2. You are so right about Laughing Sal and those other characters -- creepy! I always have wondered if the person who designed them meant them to be so, or if it was just a lack of skill - we'll never know!


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