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by Baroness Catherine Oakley

On Sunday evening, several self-described “minions” from Shadowclans arrived at the Middle Kingdom Royal encampment with a large wagon load of sculptural pieces. Telling curious onlookers to wait and see what it was, they began to assemble a huge base into which they inserted a waterproof liner painted to look like tile-work.

Next, large pedestal sections in the shape of rough rock slabs were put in place in the center, surmounted by a statue of Minerva, warlike goddess of wisdom, holding her shield flat in her left arm. To Minerva’s right: a turtle and a statue of Cymadoce with a sea serpent, resting on a huge seashell. Finally, to Minerva’s left, they placed another shell supporting a hippocampus and a statue of Neptune the Sea god, who blows on a conch shell. A few additional details, and the builders began to fill the base with water.

At last, just before dusk, to the delight and applause of the large crowd that had gathered, the assemblage was brought to life as a fountain with multiple jets of water flowing and splashing down over the rocky base.
The builders, who declined to be specifically identified, said that the fountain is the work of an artistic genius named Tomak. He is greatly inspired by the work of Bernini, and that influence is immediately evident in this amazing work of art. He based the sculptures on the story of the Aenead.

Tomak is also responsible for a succession of castle gates and walls fronting the Shadowclans encampments over the years. His latest work is a cathedral which the builders said can be seen at the Shadowclans camp. Another small sculpture is displayed near the fountain.

Entitled “Fountain of Minerva, Neptune and Cymadoce,“ the fountain’s sculptural group is made of synthetic alabaster, a tinted epoxy material that is built up in layers. The figures were first carved individually of clay, then a rubber mold was made over the clay and a hard fiberglass shell over that. The mold was then broken into sections and ten or more layers of resin were brushed in. There are three clear layers on the outside, giving the sculptures their translucency. Other layers of tinted and bead epoxy were added. The veining was done freehand between layers. The whole process of making each piece took four to six weeks, because each layer must dry thoroughly. Once the sections were done, they were fitted together and an almost invisible seam of epoxy was used to cement them together.

Passers-by are requested not to toss coins into the fountain; however, donations to waterbearing will be gratefully accepted.

Photo by Smerellda the Helpful.