Statue celebrating Windsor’s legacy almost complete
June 17, 2017
Brick and a Book fundraiser
The Windsor-Severance Historical Society is holding a Brick and a Book membership campaign. The fundraiser is centered around bricks that will be engraved and placed in Boardwalk Park with the purchase of a membership. The $300 one year membership includes the following:
» An engraved brick with the member’s choice of words.
» A copy of the historical society book “Windsor.”
» A premier membership in the society for 2017-18.
For more information, contact Sandy Brug at (970) 686-2122 or Marge Straube at (970) 686-2624, or visit thewshs.org.
Judy Firestien's family recently celebrated living on their family farm outside Windsor for 100 years.
Shortly after their celebration, Firestien's father will be remembered in bronze as part of the Windsor-Severance Historical Society statue that will be unveiled in Boardwalk Park in late June.
Austin Weishel, the artist commissioned to do the piece, used Firestien's father's work shoes and the family's old water pump as models for his sculpture. The water pump represents the water and sugar beets that led to Windsor's agricultural success.
"The sculpture really represents the history of this area, so it kind of all fits together with my family's involvement," Firestien said.
“The sculpture really represents the history of this area, so it kind of all fits together with my family’s involvement.” Judy Firestien
While Firestien and community members await the unveiling, Thursday morning Windsor-Severance Historical Society members visited Bronze Services of Loveland, where Weishel's work is coming together.
Weishel first completed the sculptures from clay and said he has put in around 1,000 hours on this project.
"Oh, wow," several historical society members breathed as they looked at the farmer and water pump portion of the statue.
It stands about eight feet tall and, Weishel said, weighs about 750 pounds.
Heat radiated from the work area where Bronze Services employees heated bronze to around 2,000 degrees. Despite that heat, the bronze cools too fast, Weishel said, to be poured into the entire statue mold at one time, so it is done in sections. Bits and pieces of the farmer's son portion of the statue lay waiting to be welded together in a work room.
When creating the original clay sculpture, Weishel said having articles of clothing, photographs and items helps him create as lifelike a statue as possible. He said he researches the subject and purpose of his work to help him capture the meaning in the clay. He keeps the materials near him for inspiration as he works the clay.
"You have to have some love and passion for what you sculpt," he said.
The process has been long for the Windsor-Severance Historical Society as well, and board member Sandy Brug said the group began talking to Weishel in February 2014.
Now, seeing the pieces finally coming together and looking forward to the unveiling, all she could do to describe the feeling was say, "there are no words."