Honor the Earth
Protect the Soil
Here is a story
of the creation
of a bronze
sculpted by Lynette
Credits and Thanks
Inspired by Vic Ormsby, who deeply understood the
dynamic connection between the food we eat and the soil
beneath our feet.
The purpose of the sculpture is to honor the earth and all
those who understand the delicate and fragile nature of
the earth's ecosystem and work to protect it.
This project is made possible by the generosity of
the McKnight Foundation through a grant from the
Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.
To have public art which reminds citizens of the need to
be good stewards of the land so that it is viable for
sustaining future generations.
To educate the public about the urgent need for
protecting the basic elements to life on Earth; soil, water
and the air we breath.
To enhance our community with art which is available for
all people to enjoy every day.
Materializing a sculpture - the
Grab onto one of the ideas that inspires you and make the decision to act.
Make an armature.
Create the clay original on the armature.
Make a mold of the original.
Pour a wax copy in the mold.
Make a refractory mold of the wax.
Burn out - melt the wax out of the mold.
Pour molten bronze into the hot empty mold.
Chip the mold off the cooled bronze and sandblast clean.
Fix casting flaws and weld pieces together.
Retexture and sandblast for final surface.
I will show you some of these steps in the making of
“Honor the Earth”
Wire armature is constructed
1/4th inch aluminum wire is formed into a stick-man
and put it into the position of the figure.
Developing profiles in oil base
• The first step in the application of the
clay is to create a thin pancake like
profile of the figure on the wire
armature. This flattening of the forms
helps us to see the shapes and
• As the sculpture turns there is a new
profile for every degree of the turn.
These shapes copy what we see of
the model. If we continue to sculpt
from the profiles, we eventually get a
very good likeness to our model
• Since every degree of tilt will also give
new profiles, the number of profiles is
infinite. To simplify, the next profile will
be made at a right angle to the first,
watching the model for the shape and
Developing the forms and building volumes
which is 90 degrees
is sculpted from the
strait on view from
the front and back.
Begin filling in the
the pancakes, using
the model as the
The model for the sculpture
Many of you will recognize Steve
Kukowski. He generously gave his
time modeling for this project.
Modeling is a very
difficult job. Muscles
tire quickly from
holding limbs in
Frequent breaks are
Finishing details and lettering the
The lettering read, Protect the Soil,
Honor the Earth, our source of life.
In early January of
2010 I took the clay
sculpture to the foundry
and they made a mold
on it and poured a wax
copy in the mold
A wax copy was made and
painted with a bronze colored
This wax copy was
shown at the Frozen
River Film Festival in
2010 in memory of
Vic. The festival
theme for that year
the first phase of
the project in 2010
McKnight Grant through
Southeast Minnesota Arts
Phase 2 of the Sculpture
The bronze colored paint on the
wax display made it unusable for
foundry and casting purposes so
that was recycled into the wax pot
and a new copy was made. There
were 7 parts to the mold and at
least one wax copy was made of
Since the base had a problematic warp in the
I decided to resculpt it. I realized that if I made it a
little deeper I could depict soil strata on the sides
of the base to clarify the intention of the sculpture.
To further represent Vic, I added garlic,
which was one of his passions. I also
included many other things to symbolize life
in the soil.
Below is the mold for the new base during the
wax pouring process. The wax is the green.
The yellow is the rubber part of the mold,
which will capture the details. The white is the
plaster part of the mold, which holds the
rubber in shape.
Parts were not fitting together
In the 4 years that the
molds have been sitting,
there has been a lot of
distortion. There were
some places which needed
up to an inch of tweaking
to get them together.
In addition to warping, I
could see major
corrections in the
sculpture itself that
needed to be made.
Trying to fix the face
Beyond hope. Back to the
I thought the face was too
cartoony because the eyes
were too big, but would I
wreck it if I tried to change
Looking for the perfect smile
Of the hundreds of faces that I looked
at on Google search this guy hit the
Talking with my son who was visiting for
Christmas, I realized why I thought that smile
was such a winner and Luke graciously
consented to let me photograph him so that I
could get the other dimensions.
Two wax heads are better than
Wax is a really tough medium to
sculpt because it has to be
heated before it will begin to
move at all.
In the picture below, it was getting
close, with only 14 areas to fix. I
needed to get this to the foundry on
Christmas eve day.
Less than 24
hours before it
went to the
After many sleepless nights,
the last sculpting details were
worked out and we loaded it
up for the foundry trip.
Nothing like a deadline.
It will take the foundry at least
a month, and I needed it by
January 24th for the Frozen
River Film Festival.
Progress pictures from the foundry
Do you recognize the handsome guy?
More details to come. I will
pick up the sculpture next
week and bring you up to
date on the patina process.
Please visit our
Sunday, January 26
Frozen River Film