Land of the Glass-Studded Giants
[imgbelt img=horse-mane528.jpg]Madam Toussaud has her wax museum of movie stars, and Wisconsin’s Fred
Smith recreated his superstars, too: lumberjacks, Indian guides, and giant
muskies, all made of cement.
Whatever its motivation, this vast assembly of chieftans and presidents, drunks,
dogs, clydesdales and ox-drivers is a open-air pantheon of the north
Since many of his sculptures are so large, Smith had to build them in parts. He made armatures of wood, wrapped them in mink-wire and then covered them with layers of cement. For the largest pieces, Smith would pour concrete into molds dug in the ground and then, with the help of friends and neighbors, fit the limbs together and lift the figures onto prepared bases.
The tallest, standing near the center of his three-acres of statues, is of Paul Bunyan, legendary woodsman, presiding among pine trees over the scene. Nearby two real-life lumberjacks covered with red reflectors (Smith identified them as Barry Swanson and Gust Johnson) are felling a cement tree with an eight foot saw.