Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hybrid Metal Art

A mascot for Lemmon High School.

Thank you to Lisa and Stuart Schmidt for being so patient during the creation of this big piece.
It has been in the shop since last October and is finally done and ready to be installed in front of the
 Lemmon High School in Lemmon, SD sometime in early May of 2012.

Most of the iron used in this piece came from a combination
of Devin ODonnell, Schmidt's and the Petik's.
The mans face is cast bronze.
Here is a link to a video showing how this sculpture was made.


A horse within a horse.

I have quite a time trying to find really cool things to weld into my scrap iron sculptures that will set them apart form other found object art that I have seen.  So I started to weld my own limited edition bronzes into
these one of a kind assemblages.  This one has a bronze horse head in it.  This piece is now in Paige, Texas.

There are lots of fun moving parts on this one.

The eye is a focal point for Lopez's sculptures.  It is the window to the soul.

 Chief Red Iron has a cast bronze face and a scrap iron body. 

This video show how I create a Hybrid Metal Sculpture.

This is one of my first attempts at sculpting a face entirely out of scrap iron.
It was cool but the texture took people by surprise, so I started to sculpt
 the faces in clay and cast them into bronze. The body and clothes
are scrap iron or found objects as pictured below in Iron Man. 

This is the first version of Iron Man.  After some negative reactions by the public I cut
 out the scrap iron face and welded in a bronze face sculpted especially to fit the Iron Man.

Iron Man is in Faith, SD on highway 212.
The cowboy's face is cast bronze. Can you see the Casey Tibbs
bronze hidden under the cowboy's left arm.

The Ghost of Sitting Bull is the second face I did using only found objects. 
I found that when I do them bigger the face turns out better.
Can you spot the gun trigger in Sitting Bulls neck.

 By the time I did this one I came to the conclusion that I can get much
more emotion and detail out of the face if I sculpt them in clay instead of scrap iron.
The face, boots and hands are all cast bronze in this little saddle bronc rider titled Ram Tough.
Can you guess what the wool on the Ram is made from.

I am working on three pieces at the same time in Schmidt's shop just South of Lemmon.
The Wild West Buffalo, the mascot for Lemmon High and the Sand Hill Crane for Rapid City Reg. Air Port.

My Life on the Ranch
Horses have always been a big part of my life.

This is 008, a gelding sired by Cowboy's Frenchman a son of Frenchman's Guy.

As a youth I did a lot of riding, especially during branding season.

My Dad Lee Lopez on Baldy.

Branding calves near the Grand River.

My Grandparents
My great Grandmother Rebecca Lopez (left) lived near Trinidad Colorado.
 Grandfather Albert Lopez and my Grandmother Luvica Pelter Lopez raised they re family
(my father) in the Eagle Butte area.   What I would give to have all them here today.

My Grandfather Albert on the far left came up to South Dakota from Trinidad Colorado.
 Albert came to South Dakota in 1923 with the Diamond A Cattle Co. A pioneer cowboy
 and horseman, he formed one of South Dakota's first bands of AQHA approved mares.

My great Grandfather Elfido Lopez
(pictured second from far left) wrote this in 1937.
When I was 21 years old I married Miss Rebecca Richards at Higbee, Colorado. She was 18 years old and a sweeter woman never was and I think a lot more about this than she thinks I do.
We met when I was about 12 years old and she came to visit some friends close to my home. I lost my handkerchief and she found it and wrapped it up in a piece of paper with a little red ribbon very nice and wrote a little note saying she had found it and was returning it. I could not read at all so I just copied her same note and sent it back to her. I thought I was doing something pretty good and that was the beginning of our corresponding. So from then on I tried my best to learn how to write. I can’t spell much but I make people understand me alright.

We raised 8 children and there are seven living today. The oldest died when he was 20 years old. I always tried to teach my children right to be truthful and not steal. I will tell any man or woman to be careful who they let their children run with. I was a boy once and I know by experience that when I was with a good boy I was just as good as he was but when I was with a bad boy I was a little worse than he was. I never did anything so awful bad that I couldn’t tell about it but still I know that I did do some wrong.  Well I’ve had good times and bad times in this world but I would not trade my reputation for the First National Bank of Trinidad

My moms father Fred Morris on the far right, is pictured here with his father in law and two brothers in law.
The Rev. Dr. Frederick Myers Morris, who led St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue,
(New York City) into a period of renewal during his 18-year tenure as its 10th rector. He was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Hobart College in 1927 and Virginia Theological Seminary three years later. He was a missionary to the Arapaho Indians of Wyoming and a rector in Maryland and Massachusetts.
From 1948 until his arrival at St. Thomas in 1954, he was dean of St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis.

My Mom
My Mother Elizabeth Morris, came to South Dakota as a missionary from the east coast.
 She fell in love with the prairie and the people near the Missouri River.
She was very interested in art and passed that down to me and my siblings.

The Hunts

My Aunt Effie and Uncle Geno Hunt have been great believers in me and my work.

Aunt Effie died in a car accident in 2006 so I moved down to the ranch with Uncle Geno and built
this gate for the new cemetery.  This is when I made the transition from bronze into scrap iron.
I often wonder what Effie would have thought of this new work.  She never got to see any of it.

This is the first piece I did after the cemetery gate.  This horse went to Solvang, CA.