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Artist Created Worldwide Business Making Livestock Figurines
If you’re looking for a farm-related gift or trophy, check out the website of Carol Herden, the world’s largest producer of cattle figurines.
  Herden doesn’t just paint figurines from a purchased mold. She makes the clay sculpture, creates the mold, and pours the casting with a resin-based media called cold cast porcelain. The resulting sculpture isn’t delicate like porcelain, but it’s not a toy either.
  Herden has created calf, cow and bull models for 35 breeds of cattle. Some are limited editions (molds were broken). As livestock breeders around the world have discovered her talents, she has created sculptures of horses, sheep and hogs. Plus, she engraves leather, metal, wood and ceramic tile with livestock, wildlife and farm-related themes.
  “Everyone knows me for cattle,” Herden says. She grew up on a Montana beef ranch and sculpted her first cows when she was in junior high. While studying art in college, she worked at a local bronze foundry and learned how to make molds.
  She is a regular vendor at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, where cattle owners buy up her figurines. Some give her photos to custom paint figurines to match their live cattle. Others are willing to spend more to have her make a new sculpture, posed and painted like their animal.
  Herden also makes figurines for companies and associations to give as awards or gifts. For example, she painted a world map design on a Holstein bull to replicate the marketing theme for World Wide Sires, a bovine genetics company.
  There’s also a trend by associations to create large traveling trophies for winners, and Herden has designed them for all types of livestock. Some of her clients include manufacturers such as Breyer, which commissioned her to sculpt nine pieces for its Western series between 1996 and 2002.
  Her swine figurines are among her newest, and she was pleased to hear praise from a couple of producers at the World Pork Show in Des Moines, who said her Duroc boar was the best they had seen.
  Figurines are mounted on wooden bases that her husband makes. Sizes vary, but typical bases are 6 by 11-in. Figurines range from $50 to $500.
  “I’m always game for a new venture,” Herden says. Her biggest and most challenging sculpture to date was a one-third-size fiberglass Jersey cow custom made as a serving cart for The Inn at Little Washington, a four-star Inn located near the nation’s capitol.
  She would love to be commissioned to design large bronze monuments, but meanwhile she stays very busy making livestock figurines and engraving tractors and other rural related items.
  In addition to her website store, Herden is opening a shop called Time Flies in Amboy, Minn., this year.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carol Herden, Carol’s Original WorkS (COWS), 51447 124th St., Amboy, Minn. 56010 (ph 507 380-1330; www.cmherden.com).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2