I have had the good fortune of sculpting many important and prestigious bronze Portraits, Memorials and Monuments in the past 18 years. This has lead to international recognition of my sculptural work. When John Burnam contacted me in 2008 about possibly sculpting the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument project I was greatly enthused because I am an animal lover, especially of dogs. I have had several wonderful dogs in my life and know the love and loyalty they can offer. Then when John related to me the story of all the military working dogs that were left behind in Vietnam, my heart broke. I knew I wanted to bring all the emotion and skill I have as a sculptor to this project.
Working-Dogs have made a tremendous contribution to saving lives in times of war. At the risk to their own safety, these brave animals put their life on the line for our service men and women. There are countless rescues and positive outcomes we never even hear about. This long overdue National Monument will hold testament for these unwavering dogs and give recognition of the sacrifice these devotional animals and their handlers have made to protect and save our soldiers lives.
It has been my great pleasure to work with the JBMF team (John Burnam, Larry Chilcoat and Richard Deggans) on sculpting the 18" high and 12" high beautifully detailed monument models and getting them approved by the Defense Department and the Pentagon. Now it is my great honor to sculpt their long-held dream into reality starting with this first 1.5 times life size (5 ft high) Doberman Pinscher, which will soon be cast in bronze. The second piece I am presently sculpting is the 1.5 time life size German Shepherd. My goal is to not only sculpt with the high detailing and fine finishing I am known for, but to also bring a natural, energetic and life-like quality to each of the bronze components of the elegant design by JBMF.
The Monument will be cast by the Artworks Foundry, a premiere bronze foundry located in Berkeley, California. They produce museum quality "lost wax" silicon bronze casting. I work closely with the foundry and am involved in all phases of the bronze casting process from working my own waxes to checking the metal, the welding, the bronze finishing and working closely with one of the top five patina artists in the United States to assure the highest quality bronze sculpture. The large granite base, extensive granite wall and other granite components will be produced by Keith Monument Company who also produced the granite components for my monumental Abraham Lincoln Monument in Springfield, Kentucky.
The national sponsors of this monument have planned many exciting promotional events after the sculptures are completed in bronze by the end of October 2012, even before the full National Monument is installed and dedicated 2013 at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Stay tuned to this website for updates and announcements.... the dream-into-reality of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument continues!
Paula B. Slater, M.A.
PAULA SLATER SCULPTURE