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Self-Taught Artist Makes Life-Size Sculptures
Stan McCarthur of Athabasca, Alta., never gets tired of welding. Although he works full-time as a welder, his day job just isn't an adequate outlet for his creative juices. So after hours he uses his AC/DC stick welder to create works of art.
  He creates life-sized sculptures using a combination of welding heating (with a propane torch), pounding (with various types of hammers), and grinding (with air-driven tools). The result is extremely detailed works of art that attract a lot of attention.
  Initially, McCarthur creates the basic form or shape by welding together miscellaneous pieces of pipe and steel. Then, he continually fine-tunes it, adding steel and taking some off again until he's happy with the outcome.
  His specialty is wildlife and birds of prey, but he has also made a replica of his friend, Walt Talmey, mid-swing, playing golf.
  Talmey marvels at McCarthur's accuracy, pointing out that the cap that was made for the statue actually fits his own head perfectly!
  McCarthur captured his subject's position by looking at a photograph but, since he's a stickler for detail, he took Talmey's body measurements as well.
  The finished sculpture is 6-ft tall and is fastened to a base equipped with castors to make the 400-lb. unit portable.
  "I love doing this realism sculpture and I have a world of patience for it," he says. "Once I start a project, I work steadily on it until I'm finished. I don't need a blueprint I just do it. I didn't have to go to school to learn how to do this. It's just a God-given gift. I can't draw a thing, but I can visualize something and make it out of steel."
  McCarthur's work is time-consuming. The golfer sculpture took 400 hrs. to complete. He has also made a life-sized bald eagle (300 hrs.), a golden eagle (250 hrs), a mountain lion lying down (300 hours), a 17-in. tall peregrine falcon (over 100 hours) and a 5 3/4-in. tall tree swallow (50 hours).
  He's incorporates color into some of his projects by combining heat from the torch with water, to bring gold and purplish hues to the metal. First, McCarthur polishes the area where color is desired, and then he applies water and heat until it turns the color he wants. Lastly, he covers it with a coat of clear acrylic to preserve the color, avoiding any changes that would otherwise be brought on by oxidation. He says these colored sculptures should be re-treated with acrylic every six months for best results.
  Between his regular job and the sculpting, McCarthur hasn't put in much time trying to market his finished projects.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Stan McCarthur, Box 127, Athabasca, Alta., Canada T9S 2A2 (ph 780 675-4183).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2