Sunday, December 4, 2011

The unveiling of the panther.

What a great ceremony for the unveiling. They did a good job installing it and we are so glad it is done. I'm also elated that the school says it is female. We did not actually "show" the gender. Having it female adds some specialness to this project, you see it was all women who worked on it. Here I am with two of my girls who helped me on the piece- Shirley, and Allison. I call them my Towanda girls. Lots of female energy in the piece!

I am smiling with these two men, but I must say there were many a hectic time when I was trying to receive what I needed to proceed to the next step that these guys did not make me smile, but in the end, we are all so very relieved that it is over, we can't help but smile.

I was wondering what the sculpture would look like at night. I was a bit concerned that it was being lit from below and it really should be lit from above. I had to fight to keep the eyes the way that I sculpted them and I did so for this reason. The sculpture has intensity.

We did it! I can't wait to hear what others think about the piece. Please feel free to send me your comments, or post to the blog. And go back to the beginning of this blog to check out the progress, from start to finish. Oh yes, If you pose with the sculpture send me your photographs and I'll be sure to post them on the blog.

I would like to thank photographer Bill Petty for sending me these photographs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Some take a first glance and an early photo opportunity. Then we make a panther fly. The panther is mounted on the pedestal. It is almost ready for the unveiling.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Packing a cat

We wake up very early to get the panther ready for the trip to her home. After loading up the panther into the uhaul we have a little bit of a problem getting the trailer out of the foundry. The wet ground from the previous rains make it difficult. But soon we are on our way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The coloring of a panther.

Once the sculpture is complete and approved by the artist, the foundry does one final sandblasting and then begins the patination. Patinas are created by putting chemicals on the hot bronze. Once the patination is on a coat of wax is put over the entire sculpture. The sculpture will have to be waxed on a regular basis to maintain its finish.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pieces of panther

Each of the many pieces of bronze must be welded together. The foundry man is a master craftsmen, he must match the texture. The artist monitors the entire process being sure everything is going together the way it should.

In the cavity where the wax once was, molten bronze is poured. Several pours will be necessary to get the many, many pieces of bronze needed for the panther.

Burning out the shells

Each of the shells is put into a very hot oven and the wax is burned out. Meanwhile bronze is melted in a crucible. In less than two weeks the panther must be together.

Dipping the waxes

Each wax is gated up. That means that they have pour cups and sprues added to each wax piece. The sprues help the gasses to escape when the metal is poured. When they are gated up, each piece is dipped several times in a slurry mixture. There is no hurrying this process. Time is taken to create a good ceramic shell. The ceramic mixture is both inside and outside of the wax pieces.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


In each of the molds pieces that we made a wax must be poured. There are over 30 mold pieces. Some of the waxes that are poured in these molds will be divided into smaller pieces. Some waxes need to be put together, and all are inspected and worked. Shirley has helped me in the studio and works diligently at the foundry, here she is having some fun with the panther head.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More pictures to come

Very long hours on this project and late nights. I'll post more as soon as I can.

Where is the panther?

Many patches of rubber are mixed and applied to the pieces. Slowly we are widdling away at the sculpture. Body parts adorn the shop, while plaster molds bake in the sun and wait to be delivered to the foundry.

The first coats of rubber.

The pieces, once cut and cleaned are covered in rubber. A mother mold of plaster will be put over these clay pieces. It is called a mother mold because it holds the rubber in place.

going to pieces

As part of the mold making process each piece must be cut and created into a mold. Some will be done in plaster others will have rubber and plaster. Soon the panther is shedding body parts all over the studio. Days are long and hard starting at 6:30 and going until 10:00 each day with crews switching out when possible. Many foundries create molds, our foundry is requesting we provide them with the mold to expedite the process. We will be feeding them the molds and they will be creating the waxes. There is a crew working in our studio and another at the foundry on the entire process.

Foundry process begins- mold making- cutting up.

I lost a day of work waiting for the approval on Friday, and some of my crew can't work on weekends, but I get started anyway. The first part of the foundry process is making the molds. Believe it or not, the sculpture must be cut up into many, many pieces. Seems a shame, I know, but it is just part of the process. I'm dangerous with a reciprocating saw.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Final approval

We receive final approval from Prairie View today at 3:00. We have had a crew waiting all day to get going on the bronze process. There is no rushing these next steps. I'll record them here so everyone can watch what happens.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


There are several changes that are done to the panther. Taxidermist Paul Miller gives me a hand, so that we can meet our deadline. It is a late night, but he is a trooper hanging in there until 2:30 in the morning.

Everyone comes to check out the Panther.

A group of people from Prairie View have come to see the Panther and approve it. I'm sorry I did not write down everyone's name. If someone can assist me in this, I would greatly appreciate it.
In this picture, artist Bridgette Mongeon, _____, ___________, Don Williams, Professor Talley, and Paul Miller the taxidermist.

Then we fool around giving our greatest panther prowl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh no!

My original deadline was the middle of november. There was a delay in approvals from the college and that put us behind almost 2 months. Then I hear today that the deadline has changed and is homecoming which is the 30th? Oh, my... I'm not sure this is humanly possible. We will do our best. We have finished all that we can and are waiting on the university for approvals. If they don't get it to us this weekend, I'm sorry, your panther will be missing in action during homecoming.

update- face off

Been working diligently on the face of the panther. Finished late last night. Here are the stages.

I absolutely love the profile.