- Bronze on Wood Base
- 21 x 10 x 7 inches
bronze (with mesquite wood base)
limited edition of 45
21" h x 10" w x 7" d
© 2006 Kelly Borsheim
"Hi, my dear Kelly. Ohhhh, you have REALLY done it this time. I think Warrior Spirit is the most beautiful sculpture in the world. Your pic in clay with the green leaves as a background was also the perfect setting to bring the young warrior to life. His gracefulness really wowed me . . . I am amazed you could capture and express this pose so perfectly . . . And the portrayal of the delicate balance absolutely put goose pimples all over me . . . That man has an appreciation and a curiosity towards wildlife is evident by the expression on the warrior's face. What a fabulous accent this would make in state parks, bird sanctuaries, etc.! A view of the warrior and his hawk certainly create a proper atmosphere.
After I had read your newsletter and studied the pictures, I called to Bob to come and see the pictures of your latest. He, too, was ever so impressed with the beauty. We then went to Winter Haven with Gene and Louise Sauls for fun and early dinner. As soon as we got home, I started calling to Bob and Gene to come quick . . . We had a large but young hawk flying around our pool, trying to find his way out. Neither of the men struck a pose even close to the young warrior's! The enclosed area of the pool made the bird seem even larger and his rapid flying made everyone quickly duck. They were successful in herding the bird to freedom and tomorrow I must drag in the hose and do some cleaning! My story isn't nearly as pretty as your sculpture!
(9 September 2006; Connie Talbott, Avon Park, Florida, USA, printed with permission)
Details of the Bronze Sculpture Warrior Spirit (shown here in plastilina)
I sculpted the tiny detail of the hawk's eyes with a straight pin from my sewing kit. Sometimes it would be helpful to have three hands. I took this photo using the timer on my digital camera, mounted to a monopod secured by my body. Then I held the magnifying glass in my left hand while shaping the clay with my right.
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Creation of the Sculpture Warrior Spirit - Man with Bird of Prey (Hawk):
2006: I spent my Fourth of July weekend creating sketches and eventually a wax maquette for a potential sculpture commission. I had been contacted by a corporate buyer's aide to submit a proposal for a limited edition (of 50) bronze for a board of directors gift for Southwest Airlines. The theme was "Warrior Spirit" but I was told it did not necessarily need to involve the traditional Southwest/American Indian art that the term brought to mind. I asked for other specifications, including deadline, budget, and past gifts to give me a better idea of the taste of this audience. I began to have some vague ideas and started drawing. Then, before the weekend got going, I called my bronze foundry to make sure this project could be done and that I had thought of all of their considerations in making this work.
While researching the concept of "Warrior Spirit" I found references to Chinese martial arts, American Indian philosophies, and even yoga practices. While the term 'warrior' seems to conjure up images relating to aggression, this is not what I found in most of my research. Instead, I read phrases such as "moving through fear," "embracing limitations," living a "joyful, courageous life," "disciplines the mind, body, and spirit," and "leads to compassion."
A warrior develops spiritual, martial, and ethical skills. He works to obtain an impeccable character in order to serve his community and expand his consciousness. He changes his perceptions about confrontation and creates his own destiny. His strength and compassion make others feel at ease with him, which reduces conflict. In effect, the ideal goal is that he becomes one with the world around him.
I do not have much personal experience with the American Indians, but I have always had an interest in birds, flight, and bonding with nature. I also loved watching the falconers with raptors at the Renaissance fairs. Their connection always struck me as romantic and absolutely beautiful.
In the interest of time, I decided to cast a wax of my sculpture Eric. I then softened him, cut and moved parts and re-welded the wax into the general shape you see here.
I did not win the commission. That is life. But by this time, I really liked my composition and decided to finish the idea. My hurried wax would not have survived the casting process since I had not created a proper armature for him. Plus, it was too crude. I decided the best approach was to start fresh, so I built an armature and began to apply plastilina (a wax-based clay that never dries) until I had plenty of detail and a known pose. In the meantime, I had hired a new (to me) model so that I could put the finishing touches on my new artwork. Later, I called my friend, sculptor Hap Hagood (d. February 11, 2018), to ask about the details on the red-tailed hawk that I could not find in my research. He is an expert on birds of prey and a super guy.
Here is an image of me with the model for Warrior Spirit, David Sackmary. He is also a gallerist and here we are at Quattro Gallery in Austin, Texas, at the solo show David gave me in November 2011. He will tell you how "fun" I was since I hung wide straps from the ceiling for him to rest his arms in. It is very difficult to hold a pose of extended arms, especially when going up and out! I told him what I tell a lot of my models when we work alone: Take breaks when you need them because I will keep working, even through your breaks. We both love how this sculpture turned out!