The man behind the Capitals’ best-known cheer is simply known as The Horn Guy. Before every opening face-off, after a goal, or any time the Caps need a kick in the pants, Sam Wolk unleashes three blasts from the upper level of Verizon Center. The crowd responds with a hearty “Let’s! Go! Caps!” chant. You heard it on TV. You’ve probably participated in it. Sam is famous.
He has starred in a Caps commercial, he helps lead the Caps Road Crew, and– thanks to his regional hockey fame– has taken megapixels of photos with eager fans. But away from the rink, Wolk is a simple man who just so happens to be bursting with creativity. The Lead Coordinator for Direct Mail at FedEx Office and Print Services, Sam is also a talented, self-taught illustrator.
If you’ve spent a second near Sam at a game, you’ve certainly noticed his horns. Each is an elegant painted piece of art that Wolk invests hours upon hours painting before every season.
Wolk gave RMNB an inside look at process of painting his new noise device for 2014-15.
Sam began painting on Sunday, September 14th and concluded six days later.
Here’s photos of the old paint scheme, or what’s left of it. The gold up top is the actual color of the plastic horn beneath.
From Sam: This is my sketch of the new design. Basically I just brainstormed and went with the first idea that came to me. Going through the old horns I have in storage, Ian commented that he was fond of the gradient I had on one of them, so I thought it would be cool to incorporate that into the new look.
Protecting the area in which I was working.
The spray paint can collection for phase one.
Several layers of base white.
Taping up the horn to get ready for the addition of red spray.
Rockin’ the red all over the horn. And the wall. And the floor. Hooray for free Express newspapers!
Evening up the red-to-white gradient, trying to get it even all the way around.
A close up the the splatter where the two colors meet.
The paper and tape removed from the upper portions.
The next day I taped/papered up the entire horn except for the area where the blue spray would go.
Rockin’ the blue. Grateful that it’s only a small area.
YAY! All the spraying is done. I can finally breathe easy. Literally. That stuff is pungent.
Time to break out the brushes.
Adding the easy spot colors with brushes.
The rings on either end of the handle and the blocks of color and red ring at the business end of the horn.
My fancy compass lets me start on the star stencil. First I draw a circle.
Then I use a protractor to mark the five points of the star.
Once the points are marked I can get the star drawn.
Then I use a razor to cut out the star. I use this stencil to mark inner and outer points on the horn.
I begin carefully painting the stars on each side.
The completed blue and red stars.
I add a weagle head to the top of the blue bar on one side.
I add the Capitol dome on the red bar on the other side.
All done! Here’s the horn in all its glory after having several coats of clear UV spray added.
Ready to make some noise!
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