Two nights ago, I went to visit Chris Low at his house for the first time! I also brought along Ace for him to see. It was an awesome visit. 😀
At approximately 8:30PM, my friend and I arrived at his house. Chris walked outside to greet us, and soon after, his youngest son Davy came out to greet us too! We brought Ace inside his house, but oops, I realized I was interrupting his dinner! Sorry Chris! His wife Sandra and the kids Danny and Ally continued to eat while we talked about lions.
I soon noticed one room with three lions sitting on a shelf. The first one was a pretty battered up Guan Gong lion that is Chris’ next project. It was originally from his club and had thin wooden dowels in the frame. That was the first time I’ve seen anything like it! But like he said, they weren’t flexible enough to be used in a lion head.
Wooden dowels as part of the lion frame
The second lion was the Lo An Kee lion restoration that was previously mentioned on my blog. Click here if you haven’t read about it. I never got a chance to take a picture of the lion after the eye-dotting ceremony, but here’s the horn with all the accessories!
Awakened and accessorized!
The third lion is a really special one – the first lion he built from scratch that was posted on Lion’s Cave with step-by-step instructions! I remember seeing it back in the early 2000’s when I was just starting to lion dance. It was one of the most amazing projects that I’ve seen at the time. Even now, that lion is extremely sturdy and practically looks unused even though Chris had used it numerous times back in the day. The frame was made with bamboo strips taken from window blinds. I also vaguely remember reading something about free USPS shipping bags that were used as a layer of paper mache. If I also remember correctly, thin strips of packaging tape were used as the binding medium. Cool stuff!
The lion that started it all.
Inside the lion. See the USPS logo?
Two more potential lion projects were taken into the living room for me to see. Meanwhile, Danny pulled out his lion and started dancing it around the house!
Danny lion dancing around the house.
Soon after, Ally decided to join too!
Ally joins Danny as she plays the tail!
Danny’s lion is actually featured on Of Course Lion Source as a Can Do Lion Builder project. If you haven’t seen it, click here.
Later on, Ally even took out her pet caterpillar to show me. Most people are scared of critters, but she loves them! I asked her when it will turn into a butterfly but she didn’t know yet. What she did know was that it ate a lot and slept a lot, hence its name, “piggy”. Hahaha
Anyway, back to lions!
It turns out that the Lo An Kee restoration that Chris completed last year also had a sibling. He got both lions together, but hasn’t started on the second one yet. Can’t wait to see it started!
Another Lo An Kee frame waiting to get restored.
The last lion is a blank that was supposed to be a Bak Wan replica. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite match the Bak Wan shape. It’s ok though, because the shape isn’t very typical either, which gives it a uniqueness of its own. Can’t wait to see this project started too!
The intended Bak Wan replica.
That was it for the lions, but we continued to converse and converse. It felt good to speak to such an experienced lion dancer! It was only ten years ago that I thought I would never meet this guy. Next thing you know, I’m standing inside his house!
A little sadness came to me when I had to leave. I was just about to start the engine and get going, but Ally came running outside with two Easter eggs to wish us a happy day-after-Easter! Thanks Ally!
A gift from Ally, filled with candies!
Oh yea, if you guys didn’t know, Chris is writing a book on how to build a lion head from scratch! I was able to flip through it and let me tell you, that thing is AMAZING! So many detailed pictures, diagrams, and instructions. He started on it over a year ago and is still working on it! Click here for more information.