An Art Walk Through Our Home: My Home Is My Castle


Maul, mace? Yes, “maul” can be a noun. This sculpture by Tom Luczycki is part medieval tool, part Flintstones’ household object (though post-Flintstones would be more accurate since it’s made of metal). It’s probably fashioned from scrap metal, the prongs welded to the bottom. It’s like something you’d see in a cartoon or a movie featuring Visigoths, a Hollywood version of Visigoths, that is.

But it’s waaaaaay too heavy to be a prop. At the same time, I don’t think it’s meant to split wood, as the definition of a maul claims, but to split open someone’s head. Or, pretend to. Or, to suggest, I could split your head open if I wanted to. My husband reminds me, Luczycki gave the sculpture to my husband because of my husband’s late hours at the office, adding he thought, “the prongs would do a real number on someone’s side, embedded between the ribs.” He gave a demonstration, holding the handle and swinging it slowly toward my husband’s ribs.

It’s always helpful to have instructions like this come with your sculpture, don’t you think?

It’s a boyhood toy, hollow, but with adult features that really could do some serious damage, unlike a plastic toy. Circular bumps help with the grip at the top but would not be pleasant if you were to rub those up and down someone’s flesh, for instance. “Thud” is what I imagine it would sound like to actually crash its sledge tips into something, castle wall, say. It says, “I will protect you.” Also, “You might want to get a tetanus shot.” It also says, “maul” is a noun and a verb, and it’s ready to serve up both forms of the word.

Maul on table

I feel like I need a moat to go with it.

I like a placement where the maul is steadying itself against a bookcase. An eye-catching “display” doesn’t seem right for this sculpture and its suburban setting. Its lovely brownish patina blends in with the bookcase’s wood, its “feet” resting on the soft carpet. When not in use, I think it needs to be something stumbled upon, casually threatening. And above the bookcase is a painting by Luczycki’s wife—I’m glad we found a spot to have both artists’ works near each other.

Maul in dining room

Luczycki was a graduate student in art at Tulsa University where my husband was teaching art history. He was getting his second masters. Luczycki and his wife, another graduate student in art, were witnesses at our wedding and took photos. And didn’t have any problem going to Sonic after the ceremony. Besides being the Head of Exhibits at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Luczycki’s blogs discuss his love of spear and boomerang throwing. Makes sense.