Forrest Fenn’s Bronze Buffalo

Forrest's BuffaloForrest,
You have been around and known many artists while owning your art gallery. I wonder if you were ever inspired by any of them to paint your own masterpiece? If so, I will gladly buy it for 17 dollars a square inch. 🙂 ~ colokidd

Thanks for the complement colo.

Sure, I think about it often and still aspire to paint at least one nice canvas. I would be a great artist if it didn’t require so much talent. From a personal view though, I was always more interested in sculpting. I asked my friend George Dabich if he thought I could be a sculptor. “Sure, it’s easy,” he said, “If you want to make a buffalo, you just take a piece of wax and carve away everything that doesn’t look like a buffalo.”

Forrest's Buffalo 1I thought that was simple enough so I did, and this is what it looked like in bronze. I didn’t know how to make feet so I made the poor thing stand in mud.

Years ago I made a life-mask of my daughter Zoe, and sculpted her head and shoulders, and cast it in bronze. No one liked it but me, and Zoe claimed it wasn’t really her face. I placed the portrait on my deck up stairs, where it was promptly stolen. It made me feel pretty good that some thief liked my work enough to take it.

I learned later that it was sold for scrap metal. I still keep my buffalo around to remind me why I need to stay in my day job.

If someone wants to buy that great bronze, I’ll sell it for seventeen dollars a pound, but no refunds after you see it in person.


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28 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Awesome Buffalo, Forrest! Who wants to buy it? Colorkidd, you going for it? If not, maybe Forrest will auction if off…I could go for a good auction…:)

  2. Lia Faille says:

    I’m impressed. First that you talked Zoe into pasting vaseline over her face, and breathing through straws while the plaster mask hardened! I lived through one of those ‘death masks’ in HS art class. Secondly, three dimensional art is the most difficult. Nice going Mr. Fenn!

  3. dal says:

    I agree…feet are highly overrated. But customers demand feet. It’s what they are used too. Sneakers are easier…perhaps you could have given it gym shoes…just a thought…
    Additionally, $17/lb seems heady for a footless piece. Maybe you could start out at $9/lb until you can add the sneakers.
    dal – freelance art critic and business consultant

  4. Mr. Fenn,
    Your stories are always enjoyable! I would be very interested in hearing you describe the bronze process at your foundry. How do you get from a sculpted wax bison to a bronze one? It seems like the wax would melt in the process.

  5. dal says:

    Oh…and being the conspiracy theorist that I am sometimes accused unfairly of being…I think you need to look under Zoe’s bed for her likeness in bronze…just saying…if she didn’t like it…!!

  6. Mark J says:

    I actually like it. It has it own uniqueness to it.

  7. Forrest Fenn says:

    Thanks for liking my buffalo Mark J, Dal likes to jazz my stuff. What does he know about such things? Someone may have said he lives on a cute little island and collects pop cycle sticks.

    • Mark J says:

      You should know that before thanking me, I only own one real sculpture. It is a hand carved round rock about 6 inches in diameter. I was working in Costa Rica, and had hired a local crew. We paid them well, bought ice cream every day and on Sunday took them out to lunch. When we finished the job, they gave it to me. It is symbolic of all these round stones that the early europeans found all over in Costa Rica. Some are several feet in diameter.

      My friends will see that stone on my book case and wonder why I have such an odd thing. It is not pretty, it is not practical, but it means the world to me.

  8. SpecialKLR says:

    Don’t hit enter until you are done.

    $17 per pound is close to the price of an automobile.
    Forrest, you didn’t say the size or weight.
    If it weighs 2,000 lbs., then I would have to opt for the car.
    When I find the TC it won’t matter.

    I would consider purchasing this over some roadkill plein air art. 🙂

  9. germanguy says:

    Only one question Forrest… Why the mud? Couldn’t you have hidden the feet in tall grass instead. Or was the blades of grass too fragile to carve. 🙂

  10. E* says:

    Forrest – Thank you for answering my question,…as to whether or not you are an artist. And I think George Dabbich took a lesson in sculpting from Michelangelo:

    “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
    – Michelangelo

    So,…if there weren’t any feet there,…then there just weren’t, right? 😉

    p.s. You have my permission to use this reasoning in marketing your bronze.

  11. E* says:

    Forrest – A case in point for you:

    Check out this bison, lying on a carpet of mud/dirt. My husband actually filmed a brief video of several bison taking turns having a mud bath. Each walked up, kicked up a bit of dirt with a front hoof, and then proceeded to roll in the mud. It looked like they felt pretty groovy doing it too.

    • E* says:

      Forrest – I mean,…they really do get stuck in the mud,…in Yellowstone,…especially when the heard gets to the “warm waters” of a thermal feature,…while migrating in Winter:

      • E* says:

        Forrest – And no wonder they get stuck in those thermal features,…when they can’t even feel their feet!:

        Some bison were nearby in the geothermal area, and were also standing near Old Faithful Geyser once we arrived a short time later. It turns out the have no nerves in their feet, so they can’t feel the cold of the snow or the warmth of the ground in the geothermal areas. This is good so that they can rest on the warm ground, but can also be dangerous, because they might step in a hot spring not realizing it is hot, or even break through the ground where scalding waters are below, creating a new hot spring. It is common to see bison with burn marks on their legs.

  12. Cynthia says:

    I am interested in purchasing this as well…at least until I know the weight and actual price. Maybe Forrest should sell it to the highest bidder…Dal could run this like Renelle’s raffle, and Forrest could decide where the money goes…

  13. E* says:

    Cynthia – What a lovely idea! I was thinking earlier, though,…that like George Dabich’s “Salute to a Warrior” buffalo sculpture,…Forrest’s should also have a title. What about, “Your Name is Mud”,…for example?:

  14. colokidd says:


    Thank you for your answer(s) 🙂 and you are welcome. I know what you mean. I excel in stick figures and color by numbers so I am easily impressed by original creativity. I would be honored to purchase the buffalo bronze from you sight unseen, muddy feet and all. 🙂


  15. Woody Bogg says:

    FF I like the buffalo . It has a nice touch. I have a picture of a buffalo I saw when i was on a search.. They always remind me of all the stories of the old west. It’s a shame that they were killed off to almost extinction . Although they are making a good comeback.

  16. jdiggins says:

    Forrest, didn’t George tell you to carve away everything that didn’t look like feet? 🙂

  17. HappyThoth says:

    Videsne quis venit?

  18. Brad Hartliep says:

    I would love to see some Gaudy Video ..

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