Tuesday, May 7, 2013


How wonderful to receive this email from Dallas Baptist University executive Vice president Blair Blackburn. Glad to see it now has a name "Called to Pray." I really enjoyed this piece. Prayer has always been important in my life and it was a blessing to be able to put that in a sculpture.

Stay tuned to how you can purchase a small replica of this statue.  We are working on that now.


Thank you for your faithful dedication to complete the “Called to Pray” sculpture for Dallas Baptist University. We are grateful to God for your partnership to advance the Christ-centered mission of DBU as we seek to transform the lives of our students as servant leaders.

On April 6, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Dr. Gary Cook as President of DBU. We have enjoyed this wonderful milestone in Dr. Cook’s presidency and in the life of the University. I want to share with you the pictures of the “Called to Pray” sculpture as it is currently mounted in the garden and will be for years to come.

Bridgette, the students marveled at the new “Called to Pray” statue dedicated in Dr. Cook’s honor as they entered the sanctuary for Dr. Cook’s 25th Anniversary Chapel Service on April 8. We are so grateful to you for your creative talents, led by the Holy Spirit, to craft this sculpture for the DBU Family. The “Called to Pray” statue will stand as a tribute to Dr. Cook’s legacy as a spiritual leader, but more importantly, this symbol will serve to remind all of us to be on our knees, submitting to the Father’s will and seeking His direction for our lives.

We enjoyed working with you on this special project. Thank you so much for diligently working with your team to accomplish this task in a remarkable amount of time.

Bridgette, your investment will forever shape the generations of students to come to study and to be transformed on University Hill. May the Lord abundantly bless you as you serve Him through your time, talents, and relationships.


Blair Blackburn

 I have moved on to a new project that is as consuming, if not more so than "Called to Pray" .  Having this e-mail come in today really raised my spirits as my head is spinning with the new project and raising a 13 1/2 foot tiger in a warehouse space.  Here is the project blog on the Grambling State Univeristy Tiger project, for those who are interested in following along with my work.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Dedication

The sculpture now titled "Called to Pray" was dedicated. It was moved to the chapel for a ceremony and dedication before installation . Here are the photographs sent to me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Send us your pictures and comments

We would love to see pictures of the dedication, installation and even pictures of you with the praying man. Tell us what this sculpture means to you, what prayer means to you and how you feel about the Dallas Baptist University campus.  We would love to hear from you and post your photographs and comments.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Delivering the praying man sculpture

We arrive onto the DBU campus ready to complete the praying man sculpture project. The last few steps are
Very overcast as we drive the lovely spring drive from
Houston to Dallas. Wildflowers dotted the path as we drove.  
1. Deliver
2. Install
3. Dedicate

I'm always so excited to see the sculpture of Sam Houston
by my friend David Adickes.  It says goodbye when we leave
and greets us when we arrive home. 
Of course we are not doing the installation or dedication so we can only hope picture of both of these come back to us for the blog. 

Also, we are working on a small table top version of the sculpture for purchase. Stay tuned to this blog for more on that. 

The travel time up to Dallas was nice. Overcast- I prayed the rain would hold off until it was delivered.  It didn't start raining on us until we got into Dallas.  
Everyone contemplates removing the sculpture.
I have sent a text on ahead and said, "have lots of
strong men, gloves and a covered area
to unload."  Everything is in place when we arrive. 
It is raining and I'm so thankful for a covered area to unload.

More contemplation of the project. 
Team work and a little prayer. 

Our burden is light, but the praying man is heavy.
It is estimated to weight about 350-370. 

Quick, take a look, as this will soon be covered up. 

I explain the process of installation as the sculpture is
covered.  We are on our way back home in no time.
My job is done, until we begin the process of manufacturing
the small sculpture of the praying man. 

Loading of the praying man sculpture

It is necessary to make a template for the sculpture. Bolts are
welded in the underside of the sculpture. Threaded rods
are put into these bolts. Holes will need to be drilled in the
concrete where this sculpture is placed.  A template will help
my client install the sculpture.  
Whenever I am going to deliver a sculpture weather is an important factor, especially if it is big.  We had not had rain in a while in Texas and sure enough, the day I have slotted for delivery, the forecast says heavy showers.  

I'm thankful that we have no rain while loading the sculpture up in Houston.
How do we get it in the van?  An engine hoist and two creative foundry men assist with this.

We are blessed with no rain, until we reach Dallas. The trip home is another story entirely.
Going for a ride down a ramp.  

The sculpture is hoisted onto the waiting pallet
No, he is not putting on the prayer covering, this shirt is
protecting the bronze. 
An engine hoist works perfectly to get the sculpture
into my awaiting van. 
Miguel is a wonder when it comes to the foundry. I trust this
man with all of my creations. 

Strapping down the sculpture, just in case.
My template is packed, I have the threaded
rods and we are on our way.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Patina

When the foundry calls and says, "We are ready," I'm there.  First I look over the sculpture and discuss possible tweaks with the piece. The foundry needs an extra couple of days to fix my suggestions before we begin to do the patina.

The patina is done by heating up the bronze sculpture and then adding chemicals to add color. This sculpture is done in a traditional patina. This means there is no real color other than the traditional brown.  The care of a bronze sculpture is important, and I give this document
The sculpture is sandblasted and ready for patina.

Miguel heats up the entire sculpture and then adds chemicals
to create the dark patina.

Slowly, color is added to the sculpture. 

I'm there for the entire process. I like to be able to direct.
"Make this lighter here, or darker here." 

Often the foundry will squirt the bronze with water.  This
helps me to see how the sculpture will look once it is waxed.
It helps me to know where I want things changed. 

It takes some time to bronze a large sculpture. 

Once the entire sculpture is complete it is covered
with a coat of wax.  

We will wait to polish the sculpture until after it is installed. 

Notice the torch on the bible. There was something about the
foundry man working in this sacred space.  The heat on the bible
The patina, making the words pop out of the text.
I just had to post this picture. 
to all of my clients so they know what to expect with a bronze sculpture that is placed outdoors.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Going to pieces.

Most people reading this blog will cringe at the pictures in this post.  Yes, the praying man has gone to pieces, but the foundry will put him together again.
These sections went from clay, to mold, to wax and now
metal, they now need to be put together. 

Remember after each piece is poured,
the shell needs to be broken off.  This is
happening as well. So pieces are poured,
shell is broken off, grinding and welding are
done until the poor praying man is
back together again. 
Again, I'm tickled when I go to the foundry,
 but how else are you going to grind and weld the underside? 
I know you will come back.  

I stop into the foundry regularly. I am often tickled at how I
find the sculpture, today he is a welder. 

O.K. We are getting there.