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Michael Binkley Visits Kalispell Art Casting, Montana, USA

In February, 2012, I paid a visit to the Kalispell Art Casting foundry in Montana, USA to see the progress of an impressive sculpture being cast.  My Longview, Alberta sculptor friends Rich Roenisch and Bob Spaith were creating a huge bronze sculpture. The art work, “By the Banks of the Bow” was nearing completion, after four years in the making. I have been fortunate to have visited Rich’s studio in Longview on various occasions in that time to see his progress on the clay and styrofoam maquettes for his half of the sculpture.

2012 was the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, touted as “the greatest outdoor show on earth.” To mark this auspicious occasion, the Stampede had commissioned a sculpture of 15 horses and two riders, symbolically crossing the Bow River which flows past Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

This was a very unique situation, as two sculptors were creating one sculpture, each doing one side of the art work. The figures are 1.5 lifesize, so even in the partially completed state, each piece had power and presence.

The left photo shows Rich taking a break from grinding the welding joints on part of his sculpture, and talking with my father, Ross. On the right are three of Bob’s horses ready to be patinated.

It was interesting to see the various stages of the production of a large bronze, and the staff at the Kalispell foundry are not only talented artisans, but were very kind and accommodating to me as a visitor.

Check back again soon for a post on the completed sculpture.

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