"When it comes to all the changes that have happened in Eau Claire in this last year, I'm really proud of all the folks that have worked so hard and taken risks and followed through to get Eau Claire where it is today."

Meet the Creator of the Commissioned Lantern for the Lismore Lantern Parade, Pam Rindo

Last year, the biggest lantern to parade the streets of Eau Claire, Wis. made its debut during the Lismore Lantern Parade at the Light Up Eau Claire New Year’s Eve Celebration. Lumière Claire, as it was named, had a big personality and far-stretching wings. She left the parade attendees in awe.  This year, creator Pam Rindo, an artist based out of historic Banbury Place, will create yet another larger-than-life lantern, this time even more mystical than its rising phoenix predecessor.

The Dragon of the North will take to the streets of downtown Eau Claire during this year’s Light Up Eau Claire New Year’s Eve Celebration. We took a moment to sit down with Rindo to talk about Dragon of the North, Lumière Claire and the city she calls home.

What range of emotions did you feel when you were creating Lumière Claire? 

I was very excited to take on a big project. About halfway through it I did hit a point of “oh my gosh, what did I get myself into” but for the most part it felt like it was the right thing to be doing at the right time in my life. I felt really happy to have the opportunity and it gave me a chance to be creative on a much bigger scale than I ever had.

Why did you decide to take on the project again?

I wanted to try some things that I thought about doing with Lumière Claire, where it just wasn't the right project to do them with. The way I work is I think about four or five different ways I can do each part of a project and when I get to that part of the project, I decide what’s going to work best with where it’s come so far.

So we understand you’ve added a creative partner to the mix this year, what made you decide to do a more collaborative project?

Right now I’m working with a young man, Colin Kenow.  I happened to meet Colin in line at JoAnn’s. He was carrying some kind of costume-looking fabric. Here it ends up he’s a mechanical engineer at Realityworks and he’s making an animatronic cow. By the time he left JoAnn’s, he was giving me his card, saying he’s been looking for a new project.  He’s doing the neck mechanism and the wing mechanism for Dragon of the North. I have a plan of what I’ll be doing with the tail, but if he has a better idea, we’ll go with it.

How have you seen Eau Claire change in the last year?

When it comes to all the changes that have happened in Eau Claire in this last year, I'm really proud of all the folks that have worked so hard and taken risks and followed through to get Eau Claire where it is today.

Are people welcome to stop by your studio to check out the progress when your door is open?

Absolutely. I like seeing people and their reactions!

Lumière Claire, the commissioned lantern from last year’s parade, is currently on display at 222 Water St.