Statue Bases

Why go through all the trouble of creating the sculpture of a rock? The answer is simple: because the base of your statue should not be an afterthought, like many young sculptors learn the hard way. In our independent survey, 92% of sculptors asked, at the Loveland Outdoor Sculpture show in 2004, said that the base for their bronze statues IS, in fact, “an integral part of their overall piece”. In other words, the two, working together necessarily "function as a whole".

Shown below is a monolith we cast in place out of intrinsically colored grout, over a matrix of epoxy-coated reinforcement bars, to serve as a naturalistic base for Ed Hamilton’s Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Park, near the Ohio River. Our monolith sculpture weighs in at nearly 20,000 pounds, which wasn’t a problem because we poured into our mold right where it rests today and will for hundreds of years-in front of the engraved granite seating of the amphitheater backdrop.

The weight and density are very important when adding to the convincing qualities, and it sounds completely solid when tapped on. (And they will tap on it). Also convincing is the feel. The structurally rated 15,000 p.s.i. grout is gritty and cold to the touch, unlike hollow fiberglass artificial rock. There is no discernable difference between our statue bases and huge monoliths found on a mountainside because of our use of this material.

Shown above, the rock shelves we incorporated describe sedimentary Limestone native to Kentucky and our naturalistic patina finish convinces the visitors to the memorial, fully, that this monolith has been here near the riverbank for millions of years. The rock shelves we incorporated describe sedimentary Limestone native to Kentucky and the naturalistic finish and made extra convincing with real geodes, fossils and chirt strata that make the piece extra special and “scratch-your head” believable!

Above, it is worthy of noting and no accident that all of the elements of the bronze statue are custom fitted to our monolith! The intense slope of our rock sculpture base is exactly balanced with Lincoln’s posture and weight shift. One can also see in this photo that his coattail is flush with the top plane of our rock sculpture, like it should be, and all the other elements are spaced and scaled just right. Museum quality is what we deliver.

And lastly, the photograph above shows our convincingly naturalistic finish that is UV stable. It also shows how we made the cast extra convincing by incorporating real geodes, fossils, and chirt strata intrinsically, during the casting process. These special effects result in a “scratch-your head” believable final product!


Visitors at the dedication ceremony are shown here, where the Louisville orchestra performed to a setting sun the summer of 2009. Note that one of the rock shelves was custom sculpted to receive his boot heel perfectly-just another benefit of custom fitting and meticulous planning during the scale model stage of development. You can also see here, one of the cast geodes, which appears as a white circle, to the left of the boot heel.

The founder of our company, Forest Boone, began this rock sculpture with nothing but a slab of clay, designed and sculpted every square inch, nook, fissure, and cranny of the rock sculpture completely from scratch.


Below is a cast-in-place monolith that compliments the bronze relief sculpture. We created this piece for the front lobby of the Frazier Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. This monolith has a hollow core which appealed to the engineering team because of it's weight reduction qualities. Yet, we were able to maintain full detail since we were still able to cast the monolith in a mold rather than a standardized additive process of building with material over an armature. It was also reinforced with steel, moved with a forklift and incorporated male all-thread studs in back whereby the statue was strongly secured to the faux rock using nuts and washers.


(Click on images below to view enlargements)



Directly above you see a 22,000 pound cast-in-place cliff like rock feature we created for the eight foot bronze statue.  It functions to set the context for the theme of exploration and York's contribution in pioneering "The Great Frontier", where a plain, mundane, geometrical piece of limestone or granite would not.

The dimensions of the rock feature are 4 feet high, 7 feet 6 inches long, and 4 feet wide. The image below and to the left clearly depicts the 1 foot incline or slope or the artificial rock which was important in capturing a sense of "aspiring to a new height" or "rising up" as York reflects over the cliff's edge and across the mighty Ohio river. Also note the many fossils that we cast on the top of the rock feature. Below and to the right you can see the side profile which clearly shows the bench like rock shelf we designed as a subtle way for visitors to stop and rest under the larger-than-life presence of York. This encourages them to actively engage and experience the statue in all of its grandeur, rather than be intimidated by it and afraid to touch it. After all, they can't hurt it. In fact, it will be around for hundreds and hundreds of years.

The image to the left is a close up of one of the Trilobite fossils in the top of the rock. We were able to incorporate dozens of fossils, some actual fossils taken from nature, and others, like this one, that we added to the mold. Across the Ohio river from where this statue stands is one of the oldest Devonian fossil beds in the country. The geologists working at the state park and interpretive center there, were gracious enough to allow us to take impressions from the fossil beds which we later incorporated into our mold for the creation of this rock feature. We now have even more fossils, in our wax collection, from which to choose.

The image to the right is a detailed photograph of the side wall which functions inconspicuously as the back to the bench area that we incorporated into the rock base. Note the detail of the striations suggesting the passage of time through geological history. Sedimentary rock is the predominate rock indigenous to Louisville, particularly around the Ohio River, where this installation is situated.

Shown here to the immediate left and right are two of many actual fossils found in nature that we attached to the inside of our mold and embedded into our cast artificial rock feature. This is a close up of the portion of the rock feature which also functions as a bench seat. If you look at the image above and to the right (with the orange tree in it) then around the bottom of that bench seat area, you will find these two fossils.


In the image to the right, just in front of the bench area, you can see one of two geological shifts (called Geomorphis) that we designed into the rock feature, in order to help suspend the viewer's disbelief.

The image to the left shows both-the tremendous layering of the sedimentary style rock and the biochromatic patina-naturalistic color resulting from our trade secret patina coloration system. And yes, this color is impervious to the elements and ultraviolet light.
And finally, the image to the right shows the second Geomorphic shift implied, by us incorporating into our design, that suggested breaking away and eroding of the rock strata. It can be seen in the darker region of the artificial rock, just below the right foot of the statue.