As some of you may recall, our mascot bison who appears on the logo has a name – ABE, which is an acronym that stands for American Bison Extraordinaire. For the past week, I’ve been involved in a project to create an interactive (old school low-tech) verson of ABE that can be used at events. If you’ve visited the Facebook page, you’ve already seen the photos, but I thought I would go into some more detail about the process in a few posts here on the blog.
The first step was to create a drawing which I partialy freehanded and partially traced from various photos of bison. I used a grid on the drawing so that it could be expanded to a larger size while keeping the correct proportions.
Using the grid as a guide, the next step was to transfer the drawing onto two separate pieces of plywood. The overall size is approximately 6 ft x 8 ft, which equates to a rough average size for a true American Bison (those that have not been bred with domestic cattle which tends to result in a smaller animal).
I used a hand held jigsaw to then cut out the shape.
Two coats of primer resulted in “The White Buffalo.”
Then, two coats of brown resulted in “The Brown Cow.”
The finishing steps were probably the most difficult, as they involved a lot of decisions as far as what colors and materials to use. The “fur” was purchased at a fabric store and carefully cut and glued in place. The tail is made of stout rope. I fashioned the horn out of a block of 2 x 6 scrap, and the eye from a hemisphere of craft wood that I painted with a high gloss black paint. The little doors will contain facts about bison and/or the Great Plains.
There is more work to be done, but I’m pleased with the results, and I welcome any questions as well as any thoughts or suggestions for facts or finishing touches you think would be good. If you want to see ABE in person, it looks like ABE’s “debut” will be at the PTV (Personal Transportation Vehicle) Show in Louisville, CO on September 14th. Followed by Pedal the Plains a week later (Sept. 21) in La Junta, CO.