Mark Sherbet’s gargoyles aren’t evil or menacing. He thinks of them as benevolent monsters, like the ones in his favorite childhood storybook, “Where the Wild Things Are.”
“Those monsters aren’t scary,” the neighborhood resident says. “In fact, they’re endearing.”
Sherbet started Gable Gargoyle Co. about two years ago. On a trip to Europe, he discovered gargoyles everywhere. And when he came home, he noticed them on old buildings here, too. But when he looked for a gargoyle to put on his own roof, there was none to be had. So he decided to build one.
Making the statues themselves took some experimenting, but he figured it out pretty quickly. He uses silicone molds and a very fine cement mixture. The trick was figuring out how to get the thing up on any roof so that it would stay there in any weather. And the solution turned out to be simple.
He built, basically, a small table for the gargoyle to sit upon. In architecture, it’s called a plinth, and it can straddle just about any gable. Gable Gargoyle offers three styles of gargoyle, plus two angels. A sculptor is working on a fourth gargoyle design.
And Sherbet also takes commissions. He recently completed a Buddha statue for a client in Lake Highlands.
The Catholic Church started using gargoyles in its architecture 1,000 years ago or so to symbolize scaring off evil spirits. They had an architectural purpose, too: They were spouts that carried water from the rooftops.
“Gargoyle” comes from the French word gargouille, meaning throat. Technically, what Sherbet makes are grotesques, but most people don’t know what that means, so gargoyle is the more common, if incorrect, term.
“Some people say they’re scary or evil,” Sherbet says. “They’re not any more evil than those guys in “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Sherbet takes orders from the continental United States and Canada at gablegargoyles.com. His designs also are available at Walton’s Garden Center, 8652 Garland Road, and Nicholson Hardie, 5725 W. Lovers Lane.
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