So, the next day, we start our morning prayers & Rosary.......and the phone rings, it is my dad, as usual. He always waits till we start our prayers or the Rosary before he calls, regardless of whatever time of day we pray. Uncanny knack. So, I put him off for twenty minutes :) and go back to prayers. But, I cannot find my Rosary. I went looking in the kitchen, and I see someone walking to the front door.........I say, "Are we expecting someone?" I did not recognize the person from the angle. I open the door, and there is Andre. The husband of my friend Debbie, who was the good friend who was there with me when I gave birth to that wee fella mentioned last week. :) And, he is the great guy who invented a way to attach swings to our swing set. (I definitely need to post about the GIANT swingset!)
In his hands, we find this:
He says it is the first of its kind. He has only made fish from these plow discsFor us, we get a bear. That so fits us! In fact, I was in the middle of reading my third book about Yellowstone (I am infatuated with the place since our visit.......I am in the middle of my fourth book right now), titled: PLEASE DO (NOT) FEED THE BEARS, about bear management at Yellowstone from the start of the NPS. Here is a view of the back side, with his signature and date:
Here is his story:
In case you cannot read it, the card states: Andre's interest in metalsmithing began in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, where he was raised, and where he trained and worked with traditional Basque craftsmen. To create his art, he recycles descarded steel and iron. Each piece of metal art is handcrafted and unique. An avid fisherman himself, some of his favorite work features trout and steelhead. Other pieces use Basque themes and symbols. Many California State Parks have benefitted from Andre's custom-forged hardware and decoration. Andre has donated his art to local organizations, including The River Center and Castle Crags State Park interpretive association.
We are in absolute awe at his generosity. I have seen his handywork at his house. He makes some pretty neat stuff. :) One thing he is "famous" for is the creation of bear-proof food lockers, at some of those CA State Parks. He just recently retired from the state park system, and with all of this time on his hands, I expect he will get to finally embark on his REAL career, ART. :).
For the curious, these sculptures are made from a plow disc. A plow disc is one of many in a line on agricultural equipment that cultivate dirt. They get worn to the point that they are no use to the farmer and then they are discarded. Then, Andre turns them into art! Here is a photo of the plow......
Andre is going to create these sculptures for the CA State Park store at Burney Falls, and he wanted to see how a bear would look. And, he gave us the prototype, the first one ever made.