Dec 03

Best College Sports Statue Announced

We just learned that the NCAA held a contest to choose the best college sports sculpture on campus from universities across America, and we were thrilled to learn that the Four Horsemen, a life-sized bronze by sculptor Jerry Mckenna, was voted the best sports statue in the nation. Stevens Art Foundry has cast much of Mckenna’s work including this winner. Congrats to Jerry.

Read more about the contest here.

Incidentally, the first nomination in the contest, the bronze of Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian, was also created by Jerry McKenna and cast by Stevens Art Foundry

The Four Horsemen by Jerry Mckena

The Four Horsemen by Jerry Mckena

Nov 30

Robert E. Lee

Life-sized bronze of Robert E. Lee

Life-sized bronze of Robert E. Lee

This is a picture of a life-sized bronze of Confederate General Robert E Lee after it was installed in the front offices of the Robert E Lee High School in San Antonio. The life-size bronze was cast and placed by Stevens Art Foundry.

Nov 30

Kents Hill School Mascot

Kents Hill School Mascot

Kents Hill School Mascot

Stevens Art Foundry recently completed a bronze mascot for the Kents Hill School, and the bronze Husky was placed in front of the school’s Alfond Athletics Center. Football is slowly becoming a dirty word in some circles, but at Kents Hill, where the game has been played since 1893, football is as pure as it can be. On November 8, the Kents Hill Huskies played in-state foe Hebron Academy for the 121st time, making it one of the longest-running rivalries in the country – at any level of the sport. Kents Hill hasn’t won a game this season, but the losses haven’t sapped the joy from the 26 players on the roster. This isn’t some sort of feeder program for the SEC or Big Ten. They don’t dream of the NFL here. Football is a pastime that fits around a rigorous academic program, but the sport’s impact has been immeasurable for over 120 years.

Stevens Art Foundry was honored to be chosen to design, sculpt, and cast the mascot for such a revered institution. You can read more about the Kents Hill School, and thier unique brand of football in a recent article in Sports Illustrated by celebrated sports writer Peter King by clicking here.

Kents Hill School Mascot

Kents Hill School Mascot


Aug 11

Benjamin Smithson Texas Ranger

Image5Benjamin Franklin Smithson was a Texas pioneer and the first settler of Smithson’s Valley, in Comal County, Texas. He was born in Jefferson County, Ala., March 19, 1825. His father, William Smithson, a native of Virginia, and soldier in the War of 1812-14, came to Texas in 1837 from Alabama with his wife and nine children. William Smithson died in 1844. Benjamin Franklin Smithson moved to Comal County in 1851 and made his homestead, which gives the Smithson Valley its name today.  Ben Smithson was one of the first Texas Rangers and was present at some of the most important events in Texas History.

For example, according to the book “Indian wars and pioneers of Texas,” by John Henry Brown, in 1842 Smithson was a member of Capt. Belting’s Company of Texas rangers when Belting’s Rangers fought in the battle of Salado very close to the Dawson Massacre. Smithson went on to fight in many other skirmishes with both the Mexican Army and Indians. During the Mexican War Ben Smithson was a member of Bell’s Regiment stationed on the Texas frontier. After Texas statehood, Smithson  became the first postmaster of Smithson’s Valley and helped build the first schoolhouse between New Braunfels and Bulverde. Image1

Image2 This 1/2 life-size bronze by Erik Christianson memorializes Benjamin Smithson’s career as a Texas Ranger and his participation in the fight for Independence from Mexico.




Feb 20

Timeless Hands

Stevens Art Foundry is pleased to announce the launch of a new affiliated website Timeless hands is an idea we’ve had for a long time and we’re happy it’s now a reality. Essentially, we now offer a service where betrothed couples can have their hands molded and cast in 100% bronze. It’s a fantastic way to memorialize the couples wedding, and the hands make a great unique gift.

They are also a great anniversary gift, and we’ve even cast a few for Quinceanera gifts. Read more about this exciting new idea here.

Mar 26

Visit our new Rob Logan Page

Please visit our newest addition to our featured sculptors page – Rob Logan. Stevens art foundry has a long relationship with Rob Logan. Logan has exceptional talent and his ability to capture the essence of Texas wildlife, and especially his fish is uncanny.

Read more about this gifted sculptor here.

Aug 10

Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok by Erik Christianson

Stevens Art Foundry just completed Erik Christianson’s latest bronze, a life sized rendition of Wild Bill Hickok. Although Christianson’s sculpture is magnificent in its own right, the multicolor patina on this bronze provided just the right amount of zing to make the sculpture pop. Although patinas with multiple colors aren’t unusual, it takes a lot of skill to apply them so the sculptor’s original vision isn’t overwhelmed by the additional colors. The patina on this sculpture is ideal. Erik’s work always includes incredible detail, which can be difficult to render in a finished bronze – especially fine details. Fortunately, our metal-men were able to reproduce all of the details in Erik’s original design.

Erik has been interested in Wild Bill for a long time. James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876) is one the most iconic folk heroes of Old West. He was a gunfighter, scout, and a lawman. Ironically, Wild Bill headed west as a fugitive from justice, and after a brief stint as a stagecoach driver, he became a sheriff in Kansas and Nebraska. Between his law-enforcement duties and gambling, Hickok was involved in several notable shootouts.

His career ended in Deadwood, SD, and there are reports he had a premonition that Deadwood would be the last place he’d hang his spurs. The premonition turned out to be true.

On August 2, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon in Deadwood. Although Hickok usually sat with his back to a wall, on this occasion the only seat available in the game he joined put his back to a door. Twice he asked another player, Charles Rich, to change seats with him, and on both occasions Rich refused.

An ex-buffalo hunter named Jack McCall (aka “Broken Nose Jack”) walked in unnoticed and positioned himself a few feet behind Hickok. Broken Nose Jack drew his pistol and shouted, “Damn you! Take that!” before firing at Hickok. McCall’s shot to the back of Hickok’s head killed him instantly.


At the time of his death, Hickok had killed 36 men and several more. Hickok was originally buried in the Ingelside Cemetery, Deadwood’s original graveyard. The cemetery filled quickly, and in 1879, on the third anniversary of his original burial, Hickok was moved to the new Mount Moriah cemetery.

Oddly, when Hickok’s body was exhumed it was noted that while perfectly preserved, Hickok had been imperfectly embalmed. Consequently, the calcium carbonate in the surrounding soil had replaced the flesh leading to petrifaction. In other words, Wild Bill had essentially become petrified like an ancient tree. One of the workers, Joseph McLintock, wrote a detailed description of the re-interment. McLintock wrote that he used his cane to tap the body, face, and head, noting the sound was similar to tapping a brick wall. Although Mclintock believed Wild Bill’s remains weighed more than 400 lb., William Austin, the cemetery caretaker, estimated the body weighed 500 lbs., which made it difficult to carry Wild Bill to his final resting place.

For more information about this gifted sculptor please visit our featured sculptor page.


Apr 22

Placing the Tejano Monument into Texas History

Governor Perry addresses the crowd at the unveiling of the Tejano Monument

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, the Tejano Monument’s 12-year journey, from conception to completion, ended with its placing on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds. A mariachi group greeted the enthusiastic crowd, which numbered over a thousand including a number of Texas dignitaries and Governor Rick Perry.

Gov. Perry’s speech highlighted the significance of the project noting, “This important monument reflects a larger truth about the origins of Texas, about the contributions of so many Hispanic citizens to the creation of the state we love and the lives we share.”

The idea for the $2 million project was conceived when McAllen physician Cayetano Barrera visited to the Capitol, and realized that none of the 18 monuments recognized Hispanic contributions to the history of Texas. In 2001 the Texas Legislature approved the project, but the monument’s long journey to fruition ultimately required the passage of three new state laws. State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, said at the unveiling the monument looked at home on the Capitol grounds, as if it had always been there. “Perhaps it should look that way, because we’ve always been here,” said Raymond, who was the master of ceremonies of the ceremony, adding, “we are a part of Texas history, and it is a part of us.”

Tejano Monument Unveiled

Four of the life-sized bronzes included in the Tejano Monument

The Tejano Monument is the first public artwork to recognize the achievements of Tejano settlers who populated the region for hundreds of years before Anglos arrived in the early 1800s. To illustrate the historical context of the Tejano contribution to Texas history, consider these often-overlooked events in the popular narrative of Texas history: Spanish explorer Álonso Alvarez de Pineda created the first map of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico in the early 1500s, and Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara declared the first Republic of Texas in 1813. Lara also fought alongside the more celebrated Anglos twenty years later at the fall of the Alamo.

The Tejano influence permeates every aspect of modern Texas. Tejanos pioneered ranching and farming in the region, and many of the iconic symbols associated with Texas – food, longhorns, even the cowboy – all began with the Tejano culture.  Andrés Tijerina, a history scholar and professor at Austin Community College, noted, “Everything Texans brag about today is Tejano,” he said.

Sculpted by Armando Hinojosa of Laredo, the monument’s life-size statues depict a vaquero (cowboy) on his mustang, two longhorns and a family of settlers. Hinojosa, said the monument is the most important work of his life, indicating he worked on the project from daybreak to sundown for much of the past 11 years to get the details just right — “from the vaquero’s spurs to the mustang’s bridle.”

Armando Hinojosa with two employees of Stevens Art Foundry

Sculptor Armando Hinojosa (far left) with two employees of Stevens Art Foundry

Stevens Art Foundry, who has worked with Hinojosa on several of his other notable projects, is both proud and humbled to have cast all of the pieces in the monument, which will endure to remind all Texans of the contributions made by the Tejanos to the history of the Lone Star State.

Feb 05

The Tejano Monument

Pouring the torso

Pouring the man's torso

The New Year at Stevens Art Foundry began with a scramble to complete the last few pieces of the Tejano Monument, which is scheduled to be unveiled in Austin on the prominent south lawn of the Capitol on March 29, 2012. The Tejano Monument commemorates the contributions and achievements of the early Spanish and Mexican pioneers of Texas. The unveiling culminates a ten-year, $2 million dollar journey through the Texas Legislature. Stevens Art Foundry is honored to have been chosen to cast the largest public monument placed at a state capitol in the United States.

Armando Hinojosa sculpted the monument, and the massive public artwork includes 12 life-sized figures including:

  • A Tejano couple holding an infant
  • A Spanish explorer
  • A vaquero sitting on a mustang
  • A longhorn bull and cow
  • A boy wrangling a stubborn goat
  • A girl tending sheep
Woman holding a baby

Original clay model of the woman holding a baby covered with silicon to form the mold

The 12 individual pieces will be placed on top of a 275-ton granite block from Marble Falls, which is where the granite used to construct the Capitol came from. The finished sculpture will occupy 525 square feet on the Capitol’s south lawn, a location that previously had a moratorium against any public artwork, is the largest statuary at any state capitol in the nation. All of the life-sized bronzes have been cast, finished, and patinated at Stevens Art foundry.

The monument celebrates the contributions of Tejanos in the evolution of Texas and Tejano role in the rich history and culture of the Lone Star State. Traditional Texas history emphasized the 1830s, which highlighted the Anglo involvement in the struggle for independence from Mexico, but a more complete history of Texas begins hundreds of years earlier when Spanish explorers arrived and pioneered the ranching and farming tradition that is now synonymous with the traditional Texas lifestyle.

The concept for the Tejano Monument was conceived in 2000 when a McAllen physician noticed that none of the 18 other statues and monuments around the Capitol recognized the contribution of Tejanos to Texas history. Hinojosa, the gifted sculptor known for several other important works, believes the monument will be a key part of his legacy because, “This is where I come from. It’s my Tejano heritage too.”

Consequently, Hinojosa wanted to make each individual piece of the monument a masterwork. In other words, the sculptor wanted each individual piece to be able to stand on its own merits. Moreover, the committee members insisted that Hinojosa pay close attention to historical detail in each figure. Hinojosa, a stickler for detail himself, points out that every aspect of each individual sculpture is true to the period it represents. The clothes, the hats, vest, and pistol – even the split-bottom pants worn by the haciendado (the owner or proprietor of a hacienda) – are true representations of the period the figure represents. To ensure the mustang and longhorns are accurate portrayals, Hinojosa bought his own mustang and longhorn to use as reference points.

For information about the Tejano Memorial, please visit the monument’s website, and for more information about the sculptor, please visit our featured sculptors page.


Dec 18

How to Create a Bronze Sculpture

Bronze sculpture of a Cape Buffalo by Paul Tadlock

Bronze sculpture of a Cape Buffalo by Paul Tadlock

Although creating a bronze sculpture seems like an arduous process, it really isn’t that difficult. Unfortunately, although there are a number of pages online that explain the bronze casting process, typically it is described with terminology that makes the method sound more complicated than it actually is. Even our own description of the bronze casting process includes terminology which may be unfamiliar to the uninitiated. In both cases an explanation of how the sculpture itself  is created is left out.

Thankfully, one of Stevens Art Foundry’s favorite sculptors, Paul Tadlock, explains how a bronze sculpture is created, from a preliminary sketch to the actual pouring of the bronze, in the short video below. Paul Tadlock is one of many gifted sculptors in the Texas Hill Country, and to view more of his work please visit our Paul Tadlock page.

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