# 621,“The Original Franken’s-Stein,”
Basswood, 11”h x 7” x 10”, Feb., ’08,
#622,“Son of Franken’s-Stein,” (a.k.a., Franken’s Sense- Gift of a Wise Man”),
Butternut, 8+”h x 5.5” x 8.5”, Feb. 13, ’08.


The idea of a “Franken’s-Stein” came shortly after Al first began dropping hints of running for the US Senate, and the original was well underway in ’06. The product, yet far from finished, was shown, to his pleasure and bemusement, to the candidate, at a campaign stop in granite Falls in ’07. It was dropped minutes later and suffered some damage to the glasses while trying to accommodate an aide who wanted a photo of it.

My potter friend, Bill Gossman of New London and i were already discussing ways of making ceramic reproductions of a second, simpler rendition by that time, and work commenced on the second stein. The mold maker talked us out of Bill’s original intention of making porcelain knock-offs, saying it wouldn’t work, and left us instead with a mold which required hand-packing. That process resulted in a fair amount of distortion in the reproductions, causing some alignment and hinge problems with the lid. Those were corrected thanks to a suggestion from an Illinois blacksmith, some heavy plexi-glass from the estate of friend Lee Nelsen, and epoxy cement.

The original stein was actually completed a couple weeks after its offspring, and was purchased by the candidate himself at auction in April of ’08. Shortly thereafter a letter was recieved informing the artist of his immense pleasure at owning the piece. The check was issued later by his sweet Frannie, and came with notice that she’d appreciate no more of them. What wood they say on Satterday Night Live, ...“Tough Bananas!, artists can’t kiss kiss no Frannie fannie...?” Limited number of ceramic reproductions of the “Son” are available.

The #1 offspring found himself with a new pair of carved black walnut glasses and a california home in the summer of 2011.
Updated January 14, 2012