Creation Process: Casting
The Eagle Bronze Foundry, of Lander Wyoming was selected by God Himself, to cast my “Divine Servant”® life-size bronze sculpture. In January of 1990, I began my search for the foundry God wanted me to use to cast my first large, monumental bronze sculpture, which depicted Jesus washing the feet of Peter. I knew this sculpture would be very expensive to cast, since it would be large and weigh about 1200 lbs. in bronze.
For some reason, I could not fully explain at the time, I felt the need to get bids from several foundries across America, rather than automatically give the job to my existing Austin, Texas bronze foundry, which I had used since 1984. Because this bronze would be my most important work to date, I decided it would be wise to get bids from the top art bronze foundries in the USA. However, Sherry and I still prayed for God to direct us to the foundry He desired, since we knew the Holy Spirit had inspired this composition. (Click here to read the story of how God called me to create the “Divine Servant”® artwork.)
Therefore, I contacted the nine best art bronze foundries in America. I asked each of them to give me a quote by February 28, 1990, for two life-size (105%) bronze castings, the #1 and “Artist Copy.” I did my research, talked to other sculptors and even traveled to Loveland, Colorado to check out two large foundries. I also called all the owners and managers of each foundry, and discussed my project at length with them over the telephone.
During my first telephone conversation with Eagle Bronze owner, Monte Paddleford, who was a stranger to me at the time, he said something I thought was very unusual. He said after reviewing my letter and composition, he and his wife, Beverly prayed about the project and felt that God said they would be the ones to cast my life-size “Divine Servant”® bronze! It was apparent to me that they were dedicated Christians who clearly understood the spiritual significance of the composition. I told Mr. Paddleford to send in his bid, along with everyone else, before the deadline.
As I hung up the telephone, the Holy Spirit immediately spoke to me in my spirit and said, “That’s right, Eagle Bronze is going to cast your bronze!” I responded back to the Holy Spirit, “Alright, then have him come in with the lowest bid!”
On the February 28, 1990, all the bids had arrived in writing except for one, Eagle Bronze. As I looked at all the letters on my desk, with various bids, I placed them in order. Large bronzes cost tens of thousands of dollars to cast, due to the cost of molds, metal and the many months of work required to create each monumental bronze.
As I prayed about my decision, the telephone rang. It was Monte Paddleford, from Eagle Bronze in Wyoming. He apologized for not getting his bid mailed to me in time, and then asked if he could give me his quote over the telephone. I said, “Yes.” Again, he reaffirmed that they believed God had spoken to them, and they were the ones God wanted to cast my sculpture. After a pause, Monte gave me his bid to cast the bronze.
To my amazement, out of nine bids, the Eagle Bronze price was the lowest to cast the “Divine Servant”® life-size bronze! I immediately told Monte he got the job! God had answered my “fleece” by having His choice for a foundry come in at the lowest bid, just as I had prayed! But, the story gets doesn’t end there!
On July 20, 1990, my wife, Sherry, our daughter, Diana Shay and I delivered the life-size, (105%) original wax sculpture to the foundry in Lander, Wyoming, after unveiling it at the Christian Booksellers Convention in Denver. We were blessed to learn that the Paddlefords loved the Lord with all their hearts, and were involved in serious ministry in their community. They also were fully empowered with the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit”, and were quite familiar with the Lord’s voice! (Click here to learn how you can receive these special, supernatural Gifts and hear God’s voice more clearly.)
Then, two months later, on September 25, 1990, after supervising the final completion of the #1 casting for CEO, Jim Buick, of Zondervan Publishing, I was scheduled to fly back to Texas from Wyoming. As I waited for Monte to pick me up at my motel room, to take me to the airport, the Holy Spirit suddenly spoke to me in my spirit. He said, “Max, I want you to give Monte another thousand dollars.” Shocked, I said out loud, “But, Lord, I just paid Eagle Bronze what I owed them!”
Again God spoke to me and said, “Max, I want you to give Monte another thousand dollars!” Again, I argued with God and tried to explain to Him that in my 12 years of using bronze foundries, I had never paid a foundry more than they billed! I also explained to God that this was a business deal, and that our family really needed the thousand dollars! That didn’t make any difference to God, as He patiently spoke the same message over and over, “Max, I want you to give Monte another thousand dollars!”
After about 45 minutes arguing with God, I finally said out loud, “I give up! I’ll do it! I’ll give Monte the thousand dollars, but I don’t know why you are having me do this!” So, I set down and wrote out a check to Eagle Bronze for exactly $1,000.00 and put it in my pocket.
As soon as I put the check in my pocket, Monte knocked on my motel door. We then drove toward the Riverton, Wyoming airport. When we arrived in Riverton, I pulled out the check and said to Monte, “Here is a check for $1,000.00.” Monte asked, “What is this for?” I said, “I don’t know, but God told me to give it to you.” Monte said, “I don’t understand, you have already paid your bill?” I said, “I don’t understand either, but God said to give you another thousand dollars!”
As I handed the check to Monte, tears began to fill his eyes. He said, “Max, you don’t understand what this means.” I said, “You got that right! I have never paid a foundry more than they asked in my life!”
With his eyes watering, Monte then told me that on the day he called, back in February, he was reading from a typed foundry quote, prepared by his staff. As he was about to read his bid, he suddenly felt the urge to take exactly $1,000.00 off the price, even though it was less than he really needed.
Monte then said to me, with tears in his eyes, “God had you give me my thousand dollars back!” From that moment on, Monte and I both knew without a doubt, that the God of the universe had brought us both together to create His sculpture. Eagle Bronze was God’s choice cast the “Divine Servant”®, and my other Christian bronze sculptures.
God had selected me to be the artist to carve this special sculpture, and chose He Monte to cast it! As a result, this Christian artwork stays in the hands of God’s children, during the entire creation process! We have been great friends ever since, with the humble realization that we were both “called” to create this Christ-honoring artwork by God Himself!
If you ask me why I drive over 2,520 miles round-trip, past almost a half a dozen foundries, some as close as 20 miles from my home, to go all the way to Lander, Wyoming. I’ll tell you why, “Because that is where God wants my bronzes cast!” And, that is the true story of how God brought my work to Lander, Wyoming.
Click here for more information on the foundry and the “Lost Wax” Bronze Casting Process, which is described in detail at the Eagle Bronze Foundry Tour, on this website.
|Click here to see Photographs of the finished life-sized "Divine Servant"® bronze sculpture|