The Hellfire Room

When Billy Baldwin's sports bar, Billy's Long Bar gained such popularity that he could no longer hold the crowds, he did the sensible thing and bought the Pizza Hut next door. He then completely gutted and remodeled the Pizza Hut and connected the two, calling the new room Hellfire. The Hellfire Room was only open at night, with a totally different ambiance, and a decidedly upscale look, as opposed to the more casual sports bar on the other side. The door separating the two venues boasted glass on which I carved a restoration-era vision of the mouth of Hell. Inside the room were three large, arched panels depicting the struggle between good and evil, based on works of the nineteenth century artist, Gustave Dore.

View of glass panels, Hellfire Room (Click to view larger)

Carved panels adorn the bar

At a glance, this view shows the adjoining Hellfire room from Billy Baldwin's sports bar.

Detailed view of Hellfire angel carving (Click to view larger)

Detailed View

The Hellfire theme abounds in each of the carvings. Over the years, I've become known for my detailed, hand-cut templates. It may be 'old school' to some, but it's only in using this method that I'm able to achieve the intricate lines, detail and depth throughout my carvings.

Carving depicts battling angels, accented by thematic recessed lighting (Click to view larger)

Battling angels

The Hellfire installation also included thematic lighting to bring each of the carvings to life and further accentuating the turmoil and chaos depicted in these battle scenes.

Carved depiction of Dore's 'The War in Heaven'

The War in Heaven

The detail in each of the carvings was carefully planned and executed. For inspiration, I turned to Gustave Dore's work and tried to recreate the exquisite precision of his illustration, "The War in Heaven" (below).

Gutave Dore's illustration, 'The War in Heaven' (Click to view larger)

The original inspiration

This is a segment of Gustave Dore's "The War in Heaven" which illustrates Michael's defeat of Lucifer and the rebel army. Note how many of the figures were eliminated to preserve the flavor of the work thereby making it easier for viewers to understand.

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