So this….is The Man. Arizona born ‘n bred artist Neil Logan. Designer and sculptor of what will probably become one of the most visited statues in Arizona.
Though the Wallace and Ladmo Foundation formally began April of 2015 – work on the Wallace, Ladmo & Gerald bronze began much earlier.
A committee worked with Neil to determine the year and era to depict as “The Wallace and Ladmo TV” show ran daily for 36 years. Once that was settled, his magical sketches began.
Concept and the era determined, Neil began much more elaborate sketches as we gathered costumes, notes from seamstresses and Families, so Neil could create exacting renderings of each of the three men life-size reminiscent of the DaVinci Vitruvian recognized as the man in a sphere. A good six months of work.
These renderings were mounted on the walls of his studio which the City of Phoenix with thanks to Mayor Gregg Stanton, Jeremy Legg, and several others helped arrange so fans could watch the process as Neil took the drawings to 3-D form.
Neil referred to the life-size drawings for exact measurements once it was time to sculpt. But that was down the road.
Next Neil built a platform on wheels of approximately 12 feet by 5 feet. Atop that he welded iron to form the bench capable of supporting an entire family of fans. Then he assembled iron stick figures of each character.
Blocks of Styrofoam were then applied and carved into basic shapes. And then a spray foam applied to that. The statues are not solid clay as the weight would be too great just as bronze statues are hollow. So approximately nine months from the first drawing, the clay was finally ready to be applied.
The figures were Wallace seated at the far left of the bench, lanky Ladmo behind the bench leaning next to his buddy, and the troublesome Gerald at the far right end – arms crossed as if scowling at those kids who loved to boo him.
Though “The Wallace and Ladmo TV Show” was G-rated, the initial clay figures were molded basically without clothes. This was to ensure proper dimensions and body proportions. Then clay was added for the clothing. Duffy McMahon was heard stating that, “Neil captured Pat’s lil’ derriere just perfectly.”
Once a three to five-inch layer of clay was applied to the three figures, Neil applied clay to the bench which large donors get to sign before it is cast, clay to the ground under the bench, and began to form the two pigeons for an inside joke.
So approximately ten months ago, Neil’s actual sculpting began to take place. Wallace began to take shape, followed by Ladmo and finally Gerald. Of course Gerald took far less clay but we don’t mention that to Pat.
Neil would shift between the three characters, hence they began to become recognizable and gain actual personalities together.
Robin Kwaitkowski, Ladmo’s son saw the clay nearing completion and stepped outside so the former firefighter could wipe away a tear – before returning to don one of his late father’s top hats and mug by the statue.
David Thompson brought his mother Katie, who sat on the unfinished bench as Wallace took shape, caressing her late hubby’s hand made of clay.
NOW the day has arrived and tomorrow morning on July 28, 2016, Rob and his crew from the foundry under the direction of Neil will begin the delicate and sensitive job of actually slicing and cutting the entire sculpture into sections approximately one-fourth each, resulting in 40 to 50 pieces.
These then get carefully packed and crated, loaded into refrigerated vehicles as the clay is quite sensitive, and transported to the foundry in Sedona….to begin a six-month process.
Each section will get painted or coated nine times with an expensive silicone, resulting in a thick mold. Two halves per section.
These molds will be used to cast the actual bronze – but you have been so patient reading this, I will save those details for the coming weeks.
Neil will also be working out of his home studio on various mementoes which we will list, to be given as gratuities for donors of all amounts.
Most of the TV stations will be covering this so you will be able to see this exciting phase tomorrow afternoon and evening. And our webmaster Edward Ellsworth will post any of such media segments for you.
Thanks….for tuning in.