Back in 2016 I got the idea that it would be nice to create a public art project for PAG’s donation to the town of Pontotoc. Things happened, and I left the guild. There were too many demands and I was left with little time to create and that made me miserable. That brings us to the present…
Meet the Pontotoc Project
The concept is a owl outstretched in flight a split second before landing on a crescent moon which makes the C in Pontotoc.
Why an owl on the moon? The Chickasaw Indians are native to our land, and they named our town, Pontotoc, which translates to the land of hanging grapes. The Chickasaw Indians also believed owls had a connection with the afterlife. They told legends about owls, always addressing them with respect and sometimes fear. Considering the interest the Chickasaw Indians had with the Great Horned owl, and it’s native to our southeastern woodlands, it only seems fitting to acknowledge the owl’s role in our town’s history. The moon in its crescent phase throws homage to the farmers who used it as a guide for planting. Considering Pontotoc has a 24 million dollar crop growing industry, its hard not to acknowledge their contribution to our town’s growth and economy.
It is important that the sculpture appears to function correctly and is a real work of art. A piece that causes pause, and complements the town. That has always been my goal.
The Creative Process
Sculpting anything starts with research on the subject. Usually weeks of research, followed by sketching the concept an then making multiple changes as you progress. Once a concept is visualized its time to start creating.
I use thick gauge wire, aluminum foil and plastic to create an armature to serve as a base or stand for the clay. The armature serves as the skeleton for the clay, so each section of it must be of correct proportion. After the armature is built its time to layer on the clay. I use Apoxie sculpt, which is a two part epoxie clay that air dries to hard resin within a few hours. The apoxie sculpt is easy to carve and holds detail very well, but is rock hard within 24 hours. Once the sculpture is finished and dried, its time to layer on the concrete clay. This additional layer of clay creates a barrier which protects the underling sculpture from the harmful UV rays and weather. Once that is applied and cured, its time to paint! In this project I am going with bronze coloring and patina. This paint combination shows off detail and complements the natural surroundings. Plus its a lot less expensive than casting your own bronze scupture. Once painted, it has to be sealed, to protect the color and give it a long lasting luster. At that point, the sculpture is completed and ready for permanent placement. This can consist of a poured slab or metal pillars sunk into the ground and the sculpture bolted on or welded.
Currently I am looking for funding so I can complete this public art project. A backer (or backers) that can help with the costs of getting it placed into the ground and being enjoyed by the community. Considering the town has nothing like it, this project will be a stand out and hopefully inspire additional works to be created. If you would be interesting in making a mark in Pontotoc history and helping with this project please visit our go fund me page
Well I gotta get back to researching the anatomy of flight, and carving away at the clay . Updated photos will be posted here, and hopefully I can paste a sponsor’s name at the top of the page soon…
If you have any questions or would like to know how to become a sponsor or assistant, please email me at Danisjumpers@aol.com or email@example.com.