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Just in time for Halloween … I got in a large order of dark gray 2x4s. Wasn’t originally sure what I wanted to do with them, but as they came in just a few days before Halloween, I got to thinking about how perfect they would be for a tombstone. And what better thing to bury than the tragedy that has been the year 2020. RIP 2020!

I started with working out how the letters would look. I wanted them to seem like they were “etched into the stone”, but also legible. If I’d just made the “etch” as all dark gray as well, the words wouldn’t stand out in the final model.

A progress pick with the basic boundaries of the width and the indentation of the front that I’d envisioned. I finished it off (top) with some cobwebs and spiders. 

Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design
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Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design
Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 109th birthday (Saturday, March 2, 2013) , I present this life-size LEGO sculpture of Green Eggs and Ham — admittedly one of my all time favorite books. 🙂

Read more about Theodor Seuss Geisel on Wikipedia at or check out the fun at Seussville.

[Note: this post was originally published March 1, 2009]

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A LEGO Basset Wedding Cake Topper?

“I like the Basset you built out of LEGO. Could you make one for a Wedding Cake Topper?” That was the question posed to me by a client recently.

The client had seen my previous LEGO basset sculpture, (a quarter of life-size), and was engaged to a man who is really into LEGO toys and has a Basset. She wanted to surprise him with a cake topper that combined some of his favorite things.

Since the previous sculpture I’d built was a little too big to fit on top of a (normal-sized) wedding cake, I pretty much went back to the drawing board on scale and shapes.  Fun challenge!

image of a LEGO Basset Cake Topper 1
image of a LEGO Basset Cake Topper 2
image of a LEGO Basset Cake Topper 3
image of a LEGO Basset Cake Topper 4

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LEGO Dog Sculptures: Basset Hounds
LEGO Dog Sculptures: Basset Hounds

These LEGO Basset Hounds were a recent commission I did for someone who really likes Basset Hounds and was looking for a unique gift for his wife (who also really likes Bassets). He was looking for something similar to the Basset out in front of the LEGO Store in Orlando, but not as costly to build. They are one-quarter the size of a real full-grown Basset.

I’ve seen the display at the LEGO store; I’ve also seen the miniature version Dan Steininger made of those dogs (since he had several on display at the LEGO R2-D2 Store Event in Lawrenceville a couple years ago). Dan had a miniature Basset there, and I had taken 1 or 2 not very good pictures.

After spending a great deal of time poring over those pictures and comparing to pictures of the larger model (I don’t have any Bassets I know personally that I can work from  ) I was able to build something similar.

I was a little short on plates up front, esp. in brown, since most of my work to date has been exclusively with bricks, so I built my prototype in blue with old brick. Once I was satisfied with a solid design, I ordered the remaining parts I needed to finish a brown Basset, then took pictures of the new one, with the original prototype. Well, the client loved both of them, so I had to scramble to put a new blue one together. 🙂 The images here are of the finalized bassets made of new brick, glued, and ready to ship.

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LEGO Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk
LEGO Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk

I’ve made LEGO Chocolate Chip Cookies before, but this task was a bit different: build life-size cookies and a corresponding glass of LEGO milk.

It was a pretty straightforward matter to draw a cookie shape on a piece of LEGO graph paper, and generally determine color and where chocolate chips could go. I also attempted to design the cookies  in such a way as to be simple and cost-effective for school-kids to build. Not that they ended up being as cost-effective as I’d have liked — and the build took longer than I thought when tested on family members. Hmm. So I ended up just showing them  to school kids. And they liked ’em.

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I displayed this LEGO sculpture at BrickWorld this past summer, and it was a big hit with guests—adults and kids alike.

Why a Puzzle?

One day it dawned on me that I’d never seen a jigsaw puzzle made out of LEGO bricks. At that point it became a simple matter of determining what image to use on top and then to design the puzzle pieces.

For the image I used an existing LEGO portrait I’d built of my son, Christopher.

Building Objectives

Some of the key points I wanted to achieve were:

  • since this was my first puzzle, it should be simple, only a few pieces, but enough to get a good variety of pieces
  • the thickness of the pieces should be relatively scale to a real jigsaw puzzle
  • the pieces should resemble the shapes of real jigsaw puzzle pieces
  • and the pieces should be sturdy enough to not need glue to hold them together.

Display at BrickWorld

When I was displaying the puzzle on Saturday, I first kept it mostly together with just one piece removed. The initial reaction I got from a lot of people (especially kids) was, “It’s broken!”

Later I discovered that if I started with the six pieces separated, I drew crowds of a dozen people at a time standing there saying, “ooh, a jigsaw puzzle made of LEGO!” And they were equally amazed that all six pieces fit together. 🙂

Joe Meno, editor of BrickJournal magazine, posted a short video on Facebook with me demonstrating how the puzzle pieces fit together.

The Reverse Side

I intentionally designed the reverse side to aid in building, so the colors alternate. It also gives you a good visual at how the pieces are separate, yet all fit together.

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Made From Scratch?

Well, yes. Not with flour, eggs, and real chocolate chips, but with real LEGO bricks, and no instructions. This piece of LEGO art was inspired by an office party. We celebrated National Dessert Day, October 14th, at my office by everyone bringing in a batch of cookies. In addition to my wife’s scrumptious M & M cookies, I brought in this sculpture. Continue reading “LEGO Sculpture: Chocolate Chip Cookie … Made from Scratch”