Tristy Lee- DIY | Home Decor | Art | Project Inspiration
John Craig is my uncle in San Antonio, TX. A week ago, he texted me some pictures of his latest creation from his yard. John transformed an antique plow into a mosaic dragon. When he texted me a picture, John has finally put down roots in San Antonio TX, and has a fantastic house and yard. We enjoy meeting up with him to travel to the Antique Fair in Roundtop, TX, that they have two times a year. Every time we see him, he has some new projects in progress. The Craigs decorate their home with memories of his family’s travels and memories growing up and traveling with the Airforce. John has a deep appreciation for the Japanese culture thanks to spending two years in Japan and learning the language. One of the things I love the most about his home is the simplicity of the colors and design because it allows him to add diverse elements that do not look cluttered and show off his passions.
Artist Overview- John Craig
John has a deep appreciation for the Japanese culture thanks to spending two years in Japan and learning the language. One of the things I love the most about his home is the simplicity of the colors and design because it allows him to add diverse elements that do not look cluttered and show off his passions.
Anyone who knows John understands he is the class clown who is always making everyone laugh. I think this transformation from an antique plow is a perfect example of his artistic personality. I adore that he put the face on both sides to make it a two-faced dragon. I asked John to share with us the idea and how he worked through this project. I adore this dragon, and I think my dad has an antique plow on his property. If my begging works, you may see a Lilies and Jets version of this dragon soon. Here is John’s story:
Meet Nikao, the two-faced dragon. Nikao arose from the depts of the earth to be the defender and guardian of little children. You can make your own Nikao from an old plow. You can remove dirt and loose rust with water and a firm brush. Then you paint the plow using a can of blue Rustoleum spray paint. A tremendous amount of thought went into choosing the perfect color (it was the only can of paint in the garage). Then paint Nikao the dragons face using different colors of acrylic paint and mixes for custom colors. I start with the eyes after looking up examples on the internet. Once the eyes were complete, I just started blotting and streaking different colors of acrylic paint to create some character. I’m a terrible artist. The results do not resemble very much the pictures that I used for an example. However, I had fun. I made the forked tongue from a flat metal stake that is used with metal lawn edging. A hack saw was used to make the forked appearance. A vise and channel lock pliers were used to bend it to add shape. To attach the dragon tongue, drill a small hole in it and tie it in place using a 60lb fishing line.
- Antique Plow
- Firm Brush
- Spray Paint
- Acrylic Paints
- Metal Stake
- Lawn Edging
- Hack Saw
- Fishing Line
To protect the acrylic paint, I might consider using an outdoor urethane product. But on the other hand, tweaking the dragon’s appearance with new acrylic paint now and then might be fun.
DIY Outdoor Yard Art
More Lilies and Jets
There you have it John’s transformation from an antique plow to the two faced-dragon Nikao. I can’t wait to see it in person. I have been running ideas past Joan Atwood and Jet Lee for a version for our backyard. I am thinking of mosaic broken glass. Thank you, John, for sharing and inspiring us. Lily just loves these pictures and is currently obsessed with dragons. We love Nikao, the two-faced dragon.