Sand Hill Crane

Trumpet the Mornings Glory

We fell in love with the Sandhill Cranes long before we ever actually saw them up close. Our farm was in the migratory path and several times a year we hear them high overhead flying in a forward moving circle with a long beautiful cooing sound. Our move to Alabama brought us closer to the rivers where they gather by thousands.

We are blessed to live near rich river environments that are abundant with wonderful water fowl and people come just to see the sight of large flocks of these beautiful birds.

Sand Hills mate for life. The competition for a spouse plays out in a battle of the voices as they stretch their necks high and try to out trumpet the competition. It is a lovely site and a glimpse into nature in its purest form. 

The process from thought to final work was over two years in the making. Walter knew the life shot that he wanted to capture and the scene began to come together in parts. Each nature inspired element is crafted individually for placement on the piece like pieces of a puzzle. He wanted the piece to be viewed from any direction to give the illusion of walking around a pond. Reflection and light would be important factors.

Sand Hill in Progess

Design of the head, body and framework for the feathers required the most challenge and time. Weight distribution on the narrow legs had to be considered. Once the main frame was completed the feathers were forged from recycled band saw blades. The use of the blade eliminated the weight of a forged steel feather. Through process he found you get one chance at working the material to the form desired. A second attempt results in brittle metal that shatters when hammered. There are 75 feathers on the body and bustle.


Water detail on tha sand hill crane sculpture

The bird was assembled on a separate plate while the river elements were placed and detailed hand work was completed and cleaned. The crane was then moved to its place in the Steel Life scene. After a final cleaning and inspection the earth tone patinas were applied to each element accordingly. The final step was to make steel look like water. The goal was to achieve a color and surface that would reflect the plant life and the crane as it stood at rivers edge.

dragon fly on a metal sculpture

The hand forged scene sits in a beautiful contrasting wooden base made by wood artisan Nick Parker. The sculpture is 30 inches wide and 24 inches deep. The Sand Hill Crane stands 42 inches tall. The piece is made for full view and is well suited for a large space.

Collaboration work with wood artisan Nick Parker to create a metal river.

The purchase cost for this work is $12,500.00. Persons with interest are encouraged to contact us to speak with Walter for detail and information


© Copyright Walter Howell 2020. All Rights Reserved.