Monday, December 12, 2011

Custers Last Stand

 The bronze busts of Custer and Sitting Bull are done at the foundry now they will be 
welded together and chased out so they can then be welded into the two fighting buffalo.

 Got to feeling a bit ambitious and started a buffalo. 
So now I have a draft horse and a buffalo started in the shop.

After several days of working on this buffalo and visiting with my coffee partner Jenny Lynn I decided to go ahead and do the two fighting bulls. Kavan and Michael Van Beak and I have talked about this summer.  Sitting bull will be in the buffalo on the left and Custer in the one on the right.  I will name this piece something like, "Custer's Last Stand".  I have started sculpting it out in clay as pictured here below. 

This is my booth at the 2013 Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City.
 General Custer is on the left and Sitting Bull on the Right.

Detail of Warrior bronze casting to be added to THE LAST STAND.

Custer and Sitting bull will be looking at each other. The bronze busts will be inside a buffalo
 like the picture below shows sitting bull in a previous sculpture sent to New Hampshire.

Sculpting on General Custer's bust at the 2013 Black Hills Stock Show.

Sculpting on Sitting Bull's bust.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hugh Glass

I start with a small clay maquette to figure out how the design will come together.
Here is one of the first sketches of Hugh Glass being attacked by a Grizzly Bear.
I like the look of this and may go back to it.  Sculpting in front of Lisa and Kavan really
changesthings because if it looks goofy they will call it.
I changed the design and think I like it better below.  

The piece starts to change as I add a tree behind the Grizzly. 

I like how the tree helps frame out the scene. 
I am hoping to build this as a life-size scrap iron monument sometime in the near future.

It keeps changing and morphing into a better piece.  I hate to admit it but Kavan keeps
 pushing me to make the piece better or have more action and I need that push.  

Here is a drawing I did that really captures the spirit of Hugh Glass about to be mauled by a Grizzly and then kill the bear to live another day.  Now do I keep the coon hat or no hat?

Rapid City Regional Airport / Sandhill Crane

This seven foot tall Sandhill Crane has been purchased
by the Rapid City Regional Airport Sept, 14 2011.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Building a Friesian

First week
Second week

Mom stopped to visit me and I snapped this shot of her with the Friesian in progress.

To see more of John's work go to

This is the same piece after I painted it.  Friesians are black and it was important to the 
client that the color of the sculpture was as close to the color of Frisians as possible.
Here is a video showing the welding process.