The Story of the Windstone Dragons by Melody Peña
Windstone Editions figurines have been beloved by fantasy art collectors around the world for more than 35 years. Melody Peña, a master sculptor, excels at bringing fantasy to life through her ornate designs of the mythical creatures.
Peña founded Windstone Editions in 1985 in Northern California. Over the years, her popularity in sculpting and fantasy designs enabled the company to grow to more than 50 employees. The company has since relocated to the town of Corvallis, Oregon, about an hour and a half from Portland. The company prides itself on being a family-owned business that uses "no offshore production" in the making of its sculptures.
Although Melody Peña creates a variety of fantasy sculptures—from griffins to gargoyles, and from wizards to unicorns—her Windstone Dragon collection is one of the most popular to date.
How Are the Dragon Figurines Made?
All Windstone Editions figurines are made in the United States and crafted from the finest mineral stone available. The materials used for each product are specially formulated to the company's specifications.
The original idea for each dragon figurine comes from Melody Peña herself. Peña forms a rough version of the figurine using modeling clay.
She molds the clay from sketches, but she has also been known to mold straight from memory or internal visions of what she wants the dragon to look like. Each dragon is a unique M. Peña design.
2. Working Molds and Plasters
Once the concept has been molded in the clay, they begin the process of making working molds and plasters of the dragon figurine out of soft plaster. Then they are re-sculpted by master artisans to add the detail work based on Peña's original concept clay mold.
3. Master Mold
The master craftsman and artisans at Windstone Editions then create a second mold of the dragon figure out of hard gypsum. The second mold is an exact replica of the finished product, including all the minute details and finishings.
It is then recast in epoxy to create the master mold that will be used in the production of the dragon figurine.
4. Finishing and Painting
Using the master mold, additional casts of the dragon figurine are made. The casting is hand-finished and painted by hand to bring the dragon to life. Peña herself decides if the figurines will be part of a limited edition collection or if they will be mass-produced.
Even if it is not a limited edition collection, she will often retire certain collections after a certain length of time. When a collection is retired, the value of the figurines increases greatly as they become more rare.
How Much Is a Windstone Edition Dragon Collection Worth?
The value of a dragon collection, like the value of most collections, is based on a variety of factors. In many collections, the oldest pieces are typically the ones that are most sought after and usually command higher prices. Here are some other factors to consider:
With any collection or even pieces of a collection, the ones that are kept in mint condition will garner top dollar. When purchasing the figurines new, you do not have to worry about the condition as much as if you buy used ones from eBay, Amazon, or another auction site.
- When choosing used pieces to buy, make sure to look for figurines that are not chipped, cracked, or do not show signs of repair (like gluing or crack filling).
- Also, inspect the painting on figurines. Stay away from figurines where the paint has faded or looks like it is mismatched from a poor attempt at touchup.
The Windstone Editions figurines come in a variety of mythical creatures. The dragon figurines have proven to be the most popular and the most valuable, though others also tend to sell well.
- Dragons: The majority of the dragon figurines are valued at around $200 to $300 each. However, the unique limited edition and some of the retired dragon figurines are selling for as much as $2500.
- Unicorns: Another one of the more valuable figurine collections is the unicorn collection. The unicorn figurines are valued between $100 to $200 each and go for as much as $600 to $800 for the rarer ones.
It is typically the retired collections that are the rarest because they are no longer in production. With the Windstone products, the retired collections command the highest prices because they are much harder to find.
Sometimes Melody Peña will also do a limited edition collection, and those are also quite valuable as there are not that many made.
Novel Treasure (author) from US on December 31, 2012:
My husband absolutely loves her collection. Him and his uncles each bought a collection, his is white and his uncles have the blue and the green dragon collection.
collectorsguide on December 31, 2012:
The Windstone collection is one of my favorite figurine collections. I've been to see Melody Pena at several festivals in the Oregon area. Her attention to detail is simply amazing.