From Bones to Bronze: The Indian’s Pony

By Gerald Anthony Shippen. Foreword by Peter H. Hassrick

Sculptor Gerald Shippen is known for his exquisite figurative sculptures of Native Americans, horses, and wildlife. Shippen’s recent creation, The Indian’s Pony, was inspired by his life-long interest interest in and study of North American Plains horse culture. In this book, the sculptor invites us on two parallel journeys of discovery: the metamorphosis of a sculpture from clay to bronze, and the evolution of a diminutive forest-dwelling mammal into the magnificent mount of the nomadic Plains tribes.

Step by step, through text and beautiful photographs, Shippen provides a visual explanation of the sculpture process. Using the écorché method of the Italian Renaissance, Shippen builds the underlying skeleton and musculature of his subject first, then skillfully applies layers of clay “skin” to complete the figure. The emergent clay figure is then transformed by the complex but fascinating “lost wax” casting process into a finished bronze sculpture.

Accompanying the story of the journey of The Indian’s Pony “from bones to bronze” is the intriguing narrative of the horse’s evolution, domestication, and return to North America.

In his foreword, art historian Peter H. Hassrick connects Shippen with previous artistic masters and discusses Shippen’s use of traditional methods to create works that resonate with modern tastes, perceptions and expectations.

This book will be appreciated by art lovers and horse lovers alike.


Book Information:

  • $24.99 paperback
  • 76 pages, 9″ x 9″
  • 90 full color images
  • Published September 2020
  • ISBN: 978-0-9896405-8-9
    Library of Congress Control Number: 2020935685
  • Subject: art, horses, natural history

Pre-Order Book (available in late September 2020):