Ten Thumbs Page 6

Feet of Clay

Over time I found that I could make my own three dimensional models.  I could keep them nearby and use them for easy reference turning them depending on which direction I was looking to see how to sculpt my snow. I never bother finishing the clay models because their chief utility is as a blueprint.

Here for example is the model I carved at the bottom of my hill of Bill Clinton staring up at Mt. Rushmore.

Note that the model is placed on an incline much like the hill. The angle of my hill has always been a challenge. The model of a tricerotops which I carved in 1988 was a plastic toy. It was meant to be placed on a level surface. Of course any animal walking down a hill would shift its body to deal with the incline so the dinosaur I carved was off kilter and didn't represent quite the right posture. I'm not much of a kinesiologist but I've tried to figure out how my forms would work on the incline of my hill.

Here are a few more of my clay models

The original idea was that the bears were wrestling. But after I was finished with the snow I told people they were dancing bears. This is one of the few sculptures of mine that was subject to vandalism. In this case someone broke it all apart and rolled the pieces down the street. This mean spiritedness inspired me to build another sculpture, which was picked up in the local paper.  When I was done I put one of the decapitated bear heads next to perpetrator to stare up at him as he was being spanked.

Governor Jesse Ventura proclaimed himself to be the "education governor." This was before he became despised by public school leaders for altering Minnesota's public school finances in such a way as to put more local burden on property poor districts (under the guise of increasing state ed spending) and eliminating inflationary increases in order to finance the change

You can see the old snow from some previous sculpture peaking out from under Jesse's well clefted chin.

This dinosaur was built in warm weather and was pretty well gone by the next day. You can see that his top spiny plates are already melted even right after I finished with him.

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