(BASTROP) Bastrop is home to a variety of artists, but tucked away in the Bastrop Industrial Park is the nationally acclaimed Deep in the Heart Art Foundry.
One of The Foundry’s best-recognized bronze pieces is the beaver that greets all travelers who stop to fill up with gas or shop at any of the Bucee’s locations. And The Foundry will soon be pouring an additional beaver for one of the newest Bucee’s locations.
The Foundry, initially located off Alley A in Downtown Bastrop and employing 5 people in 1980, was purchased in 1999 by Clint Howard and Michael Hall of Michael Hall Studio Foundry in Driftwood. Today, employing upwards of 30 people, Clint and his wife Jamie are sole owners.
At various locations in Bastrop, the community enjoys Foundry creations including “In Moments of Valor” by Clint Howard located at the Bastrop Fire Station, “Night Song,” a coyote by John Maisano at the City offices, three seated bears in honor of Bastrop High School and a soaring eagle honoring Cedar Creek High School at City Hall and numerous toads by Clint Howard dwelling in the downtown area.
Those who travel Chestnut Street passed the Lost Pines Art Center may wonder where the large bronze moose with butterfly has taken to. According to Ashley Garza, Deep in the Heart Art Foundry Business Development Coordinator, the moose, originally sculpted by Clint Howard for the Ohio Zoo, has been recently purchased by a private collector from Arizona. Another similar moose belongs to a private collector in Maine.
Through the years, the creative process for bronze sculpting has changed very little. The lost wax process has been around for thousands of years, but the current technology and tools have changed dramatically. At The Foundry, artists have access to 3D scanners and 3D printers as well as a CNC Axis mill that allows the artists to enlarge and reduce the size of pieces previously all done by hand.
The Foundry is a full-service foundry with in-house sculptors who create molds and cast in bronze and stainless steel. They also have a delivery and install crew.
Even though the production process has changed some, Garza said Deep in the Heart Art Foundry is committed to providing its clients with the best quality product with short lead times and great customer service. Foundry pieces can be identified by the Foundry Mark stamped into the piece, typically placed near the artist’s signature.
With 75% of The Foundry’s client base being fine art sculpture collectors and 25% from organizations who commission custom monumental work, pieces can be found throughout the United States and internationally.
From The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veteran’s Monument on the Capitol grounds in Austin or The Texas A&M ring in front of the Texas A&M University Former Student Center or the Texas Tech Ring on the Tech Campus in Lubbock, or the Jacob’s Ladder at Abilene Christian College to The Age of Australian Dinosaurs in Australia, the artists create an array of pieces depicting vast themes and ranging in size.
One of the pieces currently in the works includes multiple statues depicting Alice in Wonderland’s tea party. This piece, including open seating for families to enjoy a picnic with Alice and others, will be installed in Bellaire this spring.
For those interested in the creative process of bronze sculpting, Deep in The Heart Art Foundry will have a free-to-the-public open house and night bronze pour Friday, March 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Otherwise, interested parties of 1 to 4 people can schedule a 10:30 a.m. tour on Wednesdays or Thursdays for $60 and $15 per additional person. For more information and photos of The Foundry’s creations, go to http://www.deepintheheart.net/.