If you think you're too old to believe in magic or dragons, a look at Real Musgrave's Pocket Dragons might just change your mind. These enchanting figurines, it seems, have cast a spell on collectors of all ages.
At the age of five, Real knew that he wanted to be an artist. His parents arranged private lessons for their talented, highly motivated son, but when it came to college, they insisted that he get a degree in a good field like engineering, so he'd have something to fall back on if things didn't work out. So he went to Texas Tech University, the only school in the world that offered an engineering degree in art. This unusual combination of art and science led the young artist to explore the magic of looking at simple, everyday events in a whimsical and extrordinary way.
In 1975, using their dog Flower as a model, Real produced a limited-edition print of a dragon peeking out of a tweed suit pocket and titled it Pocket Dragon. Although now more evolved, his dragons have carried the name ever since.
In 1978, his wife Muff became Real's business manager and full-time creative partner. Real quickly established a reputation for his fantasy art. However, his work became more widely known in 1989, when Lilliput Lane Land of Legends, located in Stoke-on-Trent, England began reproducing his Pocket Dragon sculptures. Pocket Dragons are still produced at the same Stoke-on-Trent company, headed by William Dodd, although the company's name has been changed to Collectible World Studios.
The little dragons begin to come to life in Real's Texas home, where he lovingly sculpts each original using a heat-set resin. They're then sent to Collectible World Studios, where they're cast in resin and painted to exact specifications. With resin, Real is able to harden each piece just the way he wants it before shipping it to England. What leaves his hands is exactly what collectors get.
(added note: Real retired in December 2006)
Story is based on an article written by Kathleen Ryan
for Collector Editions, April 1996
Photos by Diane M. Routt ©
Pocket Dragon artwork © Real Musgrave Pocket Dragons ©1989 Real Musgrave
licensed to Collectible World Studios Limited
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Photos by Diane M. Routt may not be used without written consent
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