Surprise! John Lopez, known for his amazing, creative and inspiring recycled sculptures will be on #EquineArtHour to answer your questions! Learn more about him and his equine art here, then hop onto #EquineArtHour this Sunday!
Location: Lemmon, South Dakota USA
John Lopez grew up and now lives in South Dakota, USA. His bronze and recycled metal sculptures are internationally known and can be found across the country. He gentles colts and perfects their bloodlines… and started to celebrate them in clay, bronze, and in 2006, started his world wide known metal sculptures. Join him on his journey across time, exploring the history of the horses behind his sculptures, capturing every moment in the rusty metal of their past…
“At some point you have to go big or go home” John said. he took dimensions from his Uncle Geno’s stallion named Frenchman’s Mr. Tough, then started to search though a scrap pile, “visually searching for the graceful curves of a flowing mane and tail” as he would later say. He grabbed his tools and started to shape slices of sheet metal to start creating his horse. He welded on everything from hand tools, five western-themed bronze castings,and truck shocks to form the different parts of the horse’s legs. He also included the small model that he used to make sure the horse’s poportions were correct, welding it to the horse’s chest.
As the piece came together, every once in a while Geno would recognize one of his former tools. People like to joke with me that they have to keep the good wrenches away from me, but I never use anything they could still use. Honest. I really don’t.
John’s “Friesian” sculpture is located at Historic Runnymede Farms (North Hampton, New Hampshire, USA). The farm was once home to 1968 Kentucky Derby winner “Dancer’s Image”. Now, they breed and train top showing Friesians. This sculpture was made out of many different metal pieces, from parts of John Deere Tractors, the U-shaped, metal hames sections were the reins are threaded for harnesses, tractor seats, and more. A man in South Dakota had a huge collection of Tractors and the other objects mentioned above. Unfortunately, a prairie fire swept across and destroyed his buildings that had his collections in. “The burned parts, which were tempered by the fire, were not collectible anymore and had lost their value to antique collectors. So, buried under sheets of charred tin, they were free for the taking.” John said.
My friend Kenny Tomac and I dug through the ruins to find so many plow discs that the Friesian ended up with eight, giving it a more unified feel than the other horses in the Grand River Series. I used the hames for the muscles in the neck and hind leg, a pitchfork in the neck, steel scoop shovels for the shoulders, and real horse shoes on the hooves.
The farm asked me to depart from my usual raw-metal style, preferring a silver-black paint to reflect the glossy, dramatic coloring of the Friesian breed.
John also works in bronze, so be sure to check out more on his site!
Find out more about his book here.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing and learning more about John Lopez! Thank you, John, for letting me feature you and being on #EquineArtHour, this Sunday, 4-5pm EST! Looking forward to having you on!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !