Western sculptures by Jack and Joann Anderson | TheFencePost.com
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Western sculptures by Jack and Joann Anderson

by Anna Aughenbaugh
Fort Collins, Colo.

Jack and Joann of Grover, Colo., worked in rodeos ” he as a pick up man and bulldogger, she as secretary for 50 years. It was lots of fun, but they got “road soured” and retired.

Jack said, “I’ve been broke all my life, so needed to get another job. We got into making western sculptures.”

Many of the pieces they sell were sculpted by John T. Burnell Jr. before his retirement. His eye for detail is apparent and his work portrays a mood or action that the viewer can feel and enter into.

John created his original sculptures out of clay or wax, then a latex mold was made and encased in a hard shell of plaster. When John retired, the Andersons purchased all of his molds to cast the Hydrostone figures to re-produce his wildlife and western sculptures.

In June they get busy in their shop, pouring the Hydrostone, a prepared sculptor’s blend of resins and acrylics into the latex molds. Joann places the latex form into an outer plaster mold that makes the liquid hold its shape. The latex has molded formed “buttons” that press together to prevent leakage and hemp is placed into the plaster to make it stronger without adding unwanted weight. Straps are then tightened around the mold.

After the Hydrostone is poured, wires have to be pushed into it to make the legs of the sculpture strong.

The liquid has to be shaken to get it to go into all the nooks and crannies of the mold. This heavy job usually falls to Jack. The Hydrostone can’t be left to set for more than two hours or it is hard to get the sculpture out of the mold. After it is out, it can take up to 15 days to dry.

After the sculptures dry, Jack cleans them up and files off any rough spots. They transfer the pieces to the basement where Joann works on finishing them. She puts them into a dipping tank to give them an undercoat, then rubs on a wax with a bronze tone, and sprays them with a protective coating of clear acrylic.

The Anderson’s wildlife, rodeo, western, and Indian collections are moderately priced and will be available at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Joann also makes delightful garden sculptures out of cement that she sells at her flea market booth in Cheyenne and at their booth at the Frontier Days. The Andersons can be reached at (970) 834-2309 or 1-866-203-9219.

Jack is donating his favorite sculpture, Saddle Bronc Rider, to a benefit auction for Britt Trumble. The Feeders & Friends Feedlot Rodeo to benefit Britt’s family was held Aug. 19 in New Raymer, Colo.


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