This is a photo of our family in Seward around 1955, but I can’t place the house. It loooks like ours on Second Avenue but we wouldn’t have had the couch on that wall. It looks though like the wall is across the bedroom door so it may have been moved for this photo, to show dad and one of his “Eskimo Madonna’s.”, a favorite topic which he could have reproduced by the dozens and sold withhout difficulty. The bust on his knee is of Leah Apayak, one of the TB patients at the TB Sanitorium just north of Seward. He made a bust the same size of Harry Kigoruk and entered both in the Fur Rendevous Art Show for which he earned the First Place Award in that category, one of three. He also earned first place in one of the other two divisions.
He and mom did volunteer work each week at the Sanitorium which is obviously how they met. Leah liked to come into town and would spend an afternoon at our house which was a convenient time to model. He did the bust of Harry from photos, from memory and by taking the model with him to the San to visit Harry. His TB was too severe for him to be allowed off the campus.
After making the bust of plasticene, he prepared a latex mold which he reinforced heavily with many layers of latex and strips of fabric so that the mold would hold it shape when filled with Plaster of Paris. Larger casts reuire an external splint of a plaster of paris cast, but this was small enough to get away from that. He sold a dozen of these plaster cast for a fair price which supplemented his budget for art supplies which he needed, given the rate at which he was churning out paintings. I used to get 20 cents for bronzing one of them.
He was fascinated with the notion that large sauropods could rear up on their hindlegs so he made a model of a Cathetosaurus and a T. Rex in combat to show how it may have looked. Actually, I don’t find the musclature of the rear legs convincing. To heft that enormous bulk upward would require immense muscles and the model seems too small. Whatever the case, the spine shows it was possible which is great for sci fi and fantasy writers who have sauropods rearing back like this.
This is a prong horned antelope which he sculpted, molded and then sold reproductions. He also did a cougar and various dinosaurs in the same era.
Around 1970, he made 4 foot long, 3 foot high models of fiberglass that had depresions of strands of ivy interspersed with decorative acorns. He prepared them in hydrocal for landscaping around his house.
GALLERY OF SCULPTING:
Here’s a gallery of these images and several others relevant to sculpting