Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Zanesville’

Tom Swan Captures the Spirit of the Story

storytelling

Tom immerses himself in “Three Billy Goats Gruff” at the Salt Fork Festival.

There’s a secret to storytelling and Tom Swan has discovered the magical way to tell or read a story and make it come to life. Children listen closely as he tells his tales and even adults are drawn into his stories.

   Years ago Tom listened to the Minnesota Public Radio Show, “A Prairie Home Companion” as Garrison Keillor read “Tales of Lake Wobegon”. He read with such expression that Tom decided he would like to try telling stories too.

National Storytelling Festival

Tom’s daughter, Aili, and mother, Julia, accompanied him to the National Storytelling Festival.

   In order to get some first-hand experience at listening to great storytellers, Tom and his family have attended the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN several times. Here, all that is permitted to tell a story is a mic and a stool.

blue hair

Aili is with her dad, who wanted to surprise old college friends in Colorado so dyed his hair blue.

   People don’t understand how entertaining stories can be if they are told with enthusiasm. Stand-up comics and one-man shows depend completely on capturing the audience through expression. Too often readers and storytellers simply read, and that’s just not enough to seize and keep the attention of the audience.

Children's Moment

Tom continues the Swan Family tradition of performing with puppets.

   To tell a story well, the storyteller must bring back to their mind why the story is important to them. All stories are not fun; some have a poignant or nostalgic theme. Tom practices telling stories while driving his car. Most important is to memorize the first line. Once you get started the rest just flows into place.

   Usually, he has an outline in his mind so the major points are covered. When he writes the story down, it’s usually after he has told the story to a group. His first storytelling adventure was with the Zanesville Christian Women’s Club where he recited the poem, Cremation of Sam McGee, in a meaningful manner.

Installation as state president of the doctors' wives' club

The kilt reflected his Scottish ancestry when he was inducted as president of the Ohio Doctors’ Wives’ Club.

   Tom is married to Dr. Linda Swan, an obstetrician at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville. As a result, Tom has become very involved in the National AMA Alliance, which he calls The Doctors’ Wives’ Club. He has been state president and involved nationally in their organization.

Roasted Leg of lamb and kosher salt crusted new potatoes

One of his favorite dishes to prepare is roasted leg of lamb with new potatoes and red wine.

   Tom has led an unusual life as a housewife. Now, however, his children are adults with his daughter being in medical school and his son a State Trooper. So today he lives the life of a trophy husband when he isn’t out telling stories to places like The Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, Dickens Victorian Village, the Celtic Society, and various schools and churches. This man loves a mental challenge.

Buckeye 4 miler

Physical fitness is important in his life. He wore a kilt when participating in the Buckeye            4 -Mile Run.

   Tom grew up in Cambridge, Ohio and graduated from Miami University, where he majored in zoology and was a cheerleader. Since his father and grandfather were doctors, it seemed that he might follow in their footsteps. But Tom really didn’t enjoy the studying required to be a doctor so decided to become a high school science teacher, which he did for seven years.

Auctioneer

As auctioneer at the AMA Alliance in Chicago, he helped raise money for community health grants.

  Frequently, he has participated in Community Theater in Cambridge and Zanesville. Handbells are something he has also played over the years and still participates in a great handbell choir at the Grace United Methodist Church in Zanesville.

Sermon on the Mount

He let his hair grow long to portray Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount.

   Dedicated to fitness training, Tom decided to learn the Sermon on the Mount while bicycling. He then decided that he would like to portray Christ giving this sermon so Tom let his hair and beard grow so he would better fit the image. It is of great importance for a storyteller to get into the character he is portraying. He presented this program in several area churches.

Trixie

Tom donated his hair to Locks of Love after portraying Trixie.

   While his hair was long, Tom also decided to dress as Trixie with heels and a short skirt. When he was working with the Doctors’ Wives’ Club, he auctioned off the opportunity to take pictures with Trixie and raised quite a bit of money for their projects.

Judas back from the dead

Tom likes to tell all sides of the story so portrayed Judas returning from the dead.

   The role of Judas coming back from the dead was also a fulfilling role that he portrayed. Here Judas asked that he quit being terrorized as he was sorry for the betrayal. It ends with a warning to the audience not to be like Judas.

Chainsaw carver

Tom showed his artistic side by this chainsaw carving of a 10′ bear.

   Tom gave a bit of good advice to himself and others who find themselves overwhelmed with tasks and commitments. “Learn to say NO to anything that is neither necessary nor meaningful.” That’s great advice from a man who also likes to spend time with his granddaughter.

Baked Alaska

This Baked Alaska proves to be a popular dessert with the Swans.

   A favorite story of Tom’s is “Selfish Giant”, however, his favorite one to tell is “Three Billy Goats Gruff”. There he has fun using different voices to entertain children.

Queen Victoria and her royal bard

As a royal bard, Tom shared stories with Queen Victoria during Dickens Victorian Village season.

   Tom’s goal is to make a living telling stories. If you would enjoy having Tom tell stories at one of your events, you can contact him at lswan@columbus.rr.com.

With our Hardleys

Tom and Linda head off on their Vespa motorscooters, which Tom calls “Hardleys”.

   When Tom’s not telling stories these days, he enjoys riding motorbikes with his wife. He’s also been experimenting with making wine – from honey instead of fruit. Sometimes he adds a bit of cinnamon, cloves or orange for a different taste treat.

   No one can say that Tom Swan lives a boring life.

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Coopermill Bronze Works Prepares Alan Cottrill Sculptures

Coopermill Hoppy and Alan

Alan Cottrill designed the bronze Hopalong Cassidy statue that stands at the Senior Center in Cambridge.

Seeing is believing. A trip to Coopermill Bronze Works explained more clearly how one of Alan Cottrill’s bronze statues becomes a reality. It’s not an easy task!

DSC01903

Adam’s lifelong friend, Charles Leasure, is his partner at the Coopermill Bronze Works.

    The Bronze Works is located on the farm of Charles Leasure, a life-long friend of Alan, and there’s even a statue in Charlie’s field…a mushroom hunter, in bronze of course. This farm has been in his family for eight generations.

Bronze Mushroom Hunter   Charlie and Alan created Bronze Works back in 1996. Alan needed a handy place to complete his bronze creations so made his own bronze casting foundry. So far they have cast well over 500 of Alan’s statues and hundreds of other sculptor’s works.

Coopermill Bronze Works 2

Coopermill Bronze Works can be found high on a hill along a country road in Zanesville.

   You can tell Alan is a down-to-earth kind of guy in spite of his fantastic talent to sculpt just about anything. His Bronze Works is not a big, fancy building, but one that can do the job required.

   While Alan does the preliminary work of designing the perfect wax statue in the downtown Zanesville studio, the final touches are placed here at Bronze Works by highly skilled Ohio artisans.

Coopermill Gear Shift Knobs

These gear shift knobs were made as gifts for Vietnam veterans.

   You have to understand that the statue is not bronzed as a whole. It is separated into many, many pieces, which are individually prepared before the final assembly happens.

   The whole thing is quite complicated so if my explanation isn’t quite perfect, please excuse me.

Coopermill Josh Leasure details

Josh Leasure uses his magical tools to make certain every detail is perfect.

   Bronze Works is where every fingerprint is erased and every line made crystal clear. Each detail makes a difference in the final product. Some parts are definitely easier than others. The men found it much easier to do a five-foot pant leg rather than a five-inch head.

Coopermill Dana Erichson

Dana Erichsen holds the base for the beginning of a crane family of eight for the Cranes.

   It has to be perfect in its wax state, otherwise, when it is made into a mold, the bronze statue would carry any flaws, no matter how small. When asked how they correct tiny mistakes, Dana answered with a big smile, “I fix it with magic. My magic wand does the work.”

Coopermill Batter Dip

Each waxed part is dipped several times into a ceramic slurry.

   All those smaller pieces are then dipped in what looks like a batter and rolled in fine sand. The workers commented that it was somewhat like dipping a fish in batter and then rolling it in flour.

   They do this dipping several times until dip by dip, a thick ceramic mold is formed all around the wax piece. When this dries, they melt the wax inside and remove it, leaving an empty shell to fill with, you guessed it, bronze. The wax though can be used again and again.

Coopermill Bronze

Bronze ingots are melted at temperatures of 1900-2000 degrees F.

   They receive the bronze in large sticks, which are then melted and poured into the shell. The bronze should then fit down into the perfect lines that were earlier created on the wax figure.

Coopermill Woody Hayes parts

All the parts of the Woody Hayes statue hang waiting for the next steps.

   My purpose in going this particular day was to see the progress that was being made on the statue of Woody Hayes, Ohio State University football coach for many years. The Newcomerstown Historical Society has funded this project since Woody grew up in Newcomerstown while his dad was Superintendent of Schools there. Woody also coached in Mingo Junction and New Philadelphia before going to OSU.

Coopermill Woody Hayes Head

The wax head of Woody Hayes is ready to be detailed.

   During this visit, the head of Woody Hayes was hanging in the room, ready to be examined for any tiny imperfections. Then it would be dipped in the solution to make the mold on the outside.

Coopermill Swan and Wax removed

After the bronze has set, the ceramic mold is knocked off to reveal the perfect creation.

   After the mold is filled with bronze, it sets for a while before the cast is knocked off to reveal the actual piece that will be used in the statue. This is the end of a very long process. But now there will be a head, pieces of arms, legs, and body – all will be in bronze.

Coopermill Bronze Pieces to be Welded

All of these bronzed parts will be assembled into the donkey seen below.

   Now comes the assembly. It’s like putting a big puzzle together! Each piece is carefully attached to the place where it belongs with bronze welding rods. The weld has to be sandblasted so the connection is no longer visible.

Coopermill Bronze donkey 2

This bronze donkey was having its recently attached parts smoothed.

   Even then, it’s not finished as there has to be a solution applied to the bronze to make it the correct shade required for that particular statue. Now you can see why it takes months to create a bronze statue from beginning to end.

Bronze Woody Hayes

New bronze status of Woody Hayes at Newcomerstown’s Olde Main Street Museum with Vane Scott, museum director.

   Alan Cottrill has designed statues all over the United States and the world. We’re lucky to have one in Cambridge of Hopalong Cassidy, and now one in Newcomerstown of Woody Hayes.

   Watching the artisans at Coopermill Bronze Works felt quite magical.

‘Born Hustler’ Now Creates Marvelous Bronze Statues

If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery,
it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.
~Michelangelo

                                              

Alan Cottrill's Sculpture Studio is watched over by Chief Nemocilin, an American Indian who helped blaze the National Road.

Alan Cottrill’s Sculpture Studio & Gallery is watched over by Chief Nemocilin, an American Indian who helped blaze the National Road through Pennsylvania.

Often in life, people return to their hometown area for various reasons. Alan Cottrill came back to Zanesville, Ohio in 2003 to open a Sculpture Studio & Gallery at 110 South 6th Street. Here he found the perfect spot for his artistic designs in the former Zanesville News building, where the words from Michelangelo hang on his wall.

Alan tells about all the busts he made during his first two years.

Alan tells about all the busts he made during his first two years of sculpting.

Like many young people from a poor background on the farm, where his dad was a Meadow Gold milkman, Cottrill explored several careers during his lifetime. As a youngster, he never seemed to run out of ideas or job opportunities. In high school, he sold candy bars at lunchtime, worked as a guard, supervised Y-City umpires, and helped at the Skyway Drive-In.

After trying the college scene, the army, and being a milkman himself, he founded the Four Star Pizza franchise with his dad, and became an international entrepreneur. As he traveled the world, art museums attracted his attention and he began collecting art and paintings – his first being in Bulgaria.

Alan with his Sculptor's Bible, an old anatomy book.

Alan holds his Sculptor’s Bible, an old anatomy book.

Then in 1990 in California, PA, Cottrill touched clay for the first time, realizing his intense passion for creating. He sold his business and devoted himself full-time to becoming the finest figurative sculptor in the world. His studies at the Art Students League and National Academy of Design in New York City developed his abilities.

Cottrill sculpted a brass plaque of the McIntire Library in Zanesville, because he said it opened the world to him. His love of books continues to this day. His Sculptor’s Bible is a well-worn book on anatomy, as he feels the need for accuracy in all of his creations, which display intricate design but most importantly, emotion.

Outside his studio, statues line the street making it a treat to drive past his gallery, but it also gives a desire to know what’s inside. His working studio is on the ground floor, with the gallery above. The bronze sculptures demonstrate his passion and curiosity to always be looking for something new. He feels, “The degree of passion in artwork shows the degree of passion one has within.”

Alan checks his favorite sculpture - two tombstones for him and his wife.

Alan checks his favorite sculpture – tombstones for him and his wife.

Once Cottrill receives an inspiration or a consignment, he then assembles photographs of objects, researches clothing and accessories, and then begins the formation of a clay bust, where he makes the face come to life with emotion. The clay he uses comes from Laguna Clay in nearby Byesville, Ohio.

In order to have quality bronze available, Cottrill, along with his lifelong friend, Charles Leasure, established Coopermill Bronzeworks, Ltd.  All of his pieces are bronzed there and they also do work for other artists.

Woody Hayes sculpture at OSU Center

Thomas Edison Bronze Sculpture will soon be placed in U.S. Capitol to represent Ohio.

Over 400 bronze sculptures are displayed in his Zanesville studio. They range in size from 18 inches to lifesize, which takes about seven weeks to complete. While his favorite piece of work is the tomb sculpture he did for him and his wife, the one that receives the most attention is his Woody Hayes bronzework, which appears in front of the Woody Hayes Center at OSU in Columbus, Ohio.

Bronze Ohio Coal Miner Statue

Bronze Ohio Coal Miners Statue stands at the old railroad station in Byesville.

In nearby Byesville, he sculpted the Ohio Coal Miners Statue, paid for by contributions from those who rode the train over a several year span. His Thomas Edison statue has recently been accepted for the U.S. Capitol; while for Cambridge, Ohio, the Hopalong Cassidy bronze statue is only just begun.

Bicentennial Legacy Monument stands on a mound at Zane's Landing on the Muskingum River.

Bicentennial Legacy Monument stands on a mound at Zane’s Landing on the Muskingum River.

Watch Alan Cottrill at work in his studio in Zanesville, Ohio, where you will find the world’s largest bronze sculpture collection of any living sculptor. If you are lucky, he will share stories of his life and his passion. This amazing sculptor still works seven days a week…but doesn’t start as early anymore!

To discover Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio, take I-70 exit 155. Drive south a half-mile. Turn right onto Marietta St., then right again onto S. 6th St. The studio is one block ahead on the right. Look for the statues lining the street.

Cambridge Concert Association Presents Michael Sonata

One of the best entertainment values for your dollar can be found in Cambridge, Ohio through the Cambridge Concert Association.  For Senior Citizens, it is a real bargain at $25 per year.  This includes four concerts at our home theater, Scottish Rite Auditorium, plus four reciprocating concerts at each of three other locations: Zanesville, Lancaster, and Alliance.  What a deal!

These concerts are varied and appeal to many types of music lovers varying from classical music to vocal and dance.  Usually at least once a year, an old favorite will appear such as recent appearances by the Osmonds and Tony Orlando.

One recent concert was given by Michael Sonata, who does a very life-like presentation of Frank Sinatra, “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”  He played to a full house and the crowd loved him.  Michael is from Canton, OH and graduated from University of Notre Dame as well as earning his masters degree from Kent State University.

Auditioning for a role in a local murder-mystery, The Contraltos,  Michael developed his entertaining  re-creation of Sinatra’s music and unique style of singing. He does such a meticulous job of matching his voice as well as his movements to those of Sinatra that several people said they couldn’t tell the difference, especially if they closed their eyes.

Over the years, he has expanded by including different Sinatra moods: young innocence of The Columbia years, swinging revival of The Capitol years, and confidence of the Chairman during the Reprise years.   He now uses over 90 songs that Sinatra has recorded and constantly adds new ones to his repertoire.

Backed up by a great 12 piece band, there was lots of variety along with some excellent instrumental solos by different sections of the band. Included were such hits as: “Stranger in the Night,” “My Way,” and “Night and Day.”

Cambridge was indeed fortunate to have the “Ol’ Blue Eyes” experience through the presence of Michael Sonata, one of the most sought after Frank Sinatra tribute artists in the country.

Join the Cambridge Concert Association at any of their programs as they are always enjoyable and filled with a variety of musical styles that are sure to satisfy music lovers in the area.  Concerts are sponsored in part by the Ohio Arts Council and Pennsylvania Arts on Tour.

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