I. The Design
II. The Maquette
III. The Enlargement
IV. The Final Sculpting
V. Epilogue
 
'Its About Time'
The Sculpting of the General James Longstreet Memorial
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The Maquette
Doctor Johnson, English author of the eighteenth century, certainly un-derstood the importance of detail in the relationship of recognizing the artist's subject.
 
As an ardent follower of the Impressionist movement and student of the Renaissance school of sculpture, I have gained a broad range of knowledge of what each school has to offer. In the historical art field, however, I learned early that portraiture in a straight forward detail form is the only acceptable approach to success. Andy Warhol once said, " Art is what you make it." This may have been true in his modernist New York art society. Campbell soup cans arranged rather neatly on the canvas didn't say that much to me. Maybe it's because I'm just too simple in my approach to understanding life or possibly
I prefer homemade soup. Whatever the reason, I say grits are only grits after you cook them, add molasses and break up bacon in them. Then, I recognize them as grits. For what it's worth, Longstreet had to be Longstreet in every facet. No matter what, as a sculptor, I was trying to relay to the viewer, it had to be the General. Just like my grits, recognizable.
 
I set about bending the aluminum armature wire into the crude shape of a horse. The wire attached to a metal post with a wood base would be the beginning of the sculpting effort, the James Longstreet Memorial.
 
The soft clay for the maquette would be the same I would use for the life size. Small pieces of the material are broken off the clay bars and applied by hand to the wire armature. Soon a crude shape begins to form, and after-wards a rough image is produced prior to the final detail sculpting.
 
During the sculpting of the maquette, nearly at the completion of the piece, it began to rain. I was living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. My studio was located next to an 1848 flour mill that had survived "The Burning of 1864", and within 50 feet of a beautiful, peaceful stream, Stony Creek. I heard on the radio that some flooding had occurred earlier elsewhere in the area; however, Stony Creek, though slightly rushing now, did not offer a current threat. Therefore, I had no reason to consider vacating the premises.
 
I arrived at the studio, the rain falling, and observed that the water of Stony Creek had come to within 15 feet of the building. After opening the front door and entering, I began picking up items from the floor and placing them at a high point, just in case. Within twenty minutes, the water began to enter the front door with ferocity. Quickly, I ran outside and moved my vehicle from the parking lot to across the bridge and higher ground.
 
Returning to the studio, I was not able to reach the front door. The previous tranquil stream was now raging and was nearly 2 feet deep at the door. Within a few minutes, the water rose to 5 feet in the studio before it crested. Watching in horror from the bridge, I saw the Mill Restaurant, the parking lot, manager's automobile, and studio became en-gulfed in churning sea of mud, sticks, floating cans and bottles. With the awe-some power of the water, the window glass began to break, and the locked door to the studio floated open.
 
While I was standing on the bridge, the water began creeping over the top surface, and I had to retreat to even a higher position. Upon leaving, I took one final glance at the studio and witnessed through one of the large windows, a churning mass of furniture, prints, frames, clothing, etc. It was then my worst fears came to be. Longstreet, floating among the debris, had been reassigned from general to admiral.
 
Somehow, he was managing to stay aboard his ship, the sculpting bench, continuing to cruise a clockwise route hour after hour. Sixty yards away, I looked on as he passed the window again and again. Knowing Ol' Pete, I was confident he would command his ship to home port safely; I said my prayers and went home to prepare for the clean-up.
 
By evening, the water was down and the clean-up began. The General was found on the bench, his ship, leaning precariously against one of the broken windows. He had a little mud on him, but he survived to be com-pleted in every detail and later unveiled at the Gettysburg Longstreet Sys-posium.
 
The maquette, having been completed and unveiled with proper pomp and ceremony, was delivered to Laran Bronze foundry in Philadelphia for the purpose of mold making. From this mold, a plaster casting was pro-duced to be used in the enlargement stage. Also, wax castings were made to be retouched and placed into ceramic shell for bronze casting. These castings were sold to assist in the fun-raising effort.
 
 
 
'Its About Time'
The Sculpting of the General James Longstreet Memorial
 
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