Were Dun Johnny
Origination Date: December, 2016
Dimensions: 17 1/2” x 11 1/2” x 8 1/2”
Limited Edition Commission of 2
A good friend and collector of several of my sculptures asked me to create a sculpture of his daughter’s successful Half-Arabian reining horse. When I asked the horse owner how she wanted the horse to look, she was very clear. “Baby” had to be shown in a full sliding stop with her saddle blanket, show saddle and bridle, but without her on top! Actually, no horse would do that without a rider, but that’s what she wanted. I worked a long time on this piece, but it turned out really well (first version). We had about 5 hours just on the patina of the horse and tack and then I added an additional 2 hours on the saddle blanket to have it look the way it had to be. The result was unique and Doug ordered a second sculpture for himself (second version).
The Making of the Bronze Sculpture “Were Dun Johnny”
- Decide what your sculpture should be.
- Create an armature, either by creating a wire skeleton, which you mount directly, or “hang it up” on a device mounted on the wooden board.
- Start adding oil-based clay and complete your sculpture. Once you are happy with it create the base on which it stands, identify it and decide how many copies you like to have made. This is engraved into the base of the original.
- The original is then taken to a specialist to create the mould of it. The clay sculpture may have to be divided into several parts, dependent upon its complexity.
- From the mould(s) wax copies are generated, they need to be inspected for potential air bubbles or deficiencies and if needed corrected.
- The waxes are then taken to a foundry, where they are cast using the “lost wax” technique (for the exact technique see Wikipedia.com). If a sculpture consists of several parts, they are then welded together and the welding scars ground down by specialist in the foundry.
- Most artists have the foundry, where patina specialists are available, finish the sculpture according to their specifications. I prefer to create the patina myself with the help of André Schwab, a Swiss native, who studied the art of creating patinas for his own sculptures. We do this work at Loren Phippen’s* place in Scottsdale.
* Loren is the son of the late George Phippen, who was one of the founders of the “Cowboy Artists of America.”