How to make a Rammy

When we began planning our 2nd Annual Music Issue, we thought about how it could best represent the spirit of San Antonio music. We knew it would contain our reader-selected music awards, and rather than simply calling them the Current Music Awards, we wanted them to honor someone who single-handedly captured the irreverent, earthy, unpretentious, high-spirited, funky Tex-Mex-punk-rock-beer-blast qualities that have been found in the best SA music over the years.

The honoree was an obvious choice: Ram Ayala. Though the late Taco Land owner didn’t play an instrument and never wrote a song (to our knowledge, anyway), he did more than anyone to create a scene that welcomed this city’s various rebels, outcasts, and mavericks. No music critique could ever match the concision of Ayala’s “Von Ormy no good”; no call to arms could be clearer than “Don’t be a pussy”; and no invitation to celebrate was harder to resist than “Kiss the baby.” For those reasons, and many more, we’ve named our music awards the Rammys.

— Gilbert Garcia


Step 1: Get your workspace together. I cleared off the kitchen table (and covered it with a cheap plastic sheet) and gathered my materials and tools: Sculpey modeling clay, picture-frame wire (for creating armatures) and — most important of all — a photo of Ram for reference.


Step 2: Get your hands dirty. Start with a ball of clay and knead it around so it’s soft and pliable. Human heads are roughly egg-shaped (some more so than others), so start with a basic eggy shape and then add clay as needed to create features. Once the head was mostly in proportion, I added the neck and base.


Step 3: Details. Ram wouldn’t be Ram without his signature Ray-Bans (or signature mustache). It might not be the most anatomically accurate likeness, but the main elements — and hopefully a bit of his personality — are in place.


Step 4: Wake and bake. A 275-degree oven and more than four hours is what it took to turn clay Ram ...


Step 5: Almost there. ... into baked-clay Ram! After he cooled overnight, he was ready to go gold.


Step 6: Spray it, don’t say it. Gold leafing was the original plan for achieving that Oscar-statue look, but easy-to-use metallic gold spray paint did the job beautifully. Turn to page 30 to see the finished Rammy, and find out who the winners are!

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