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Mon, June 17

Local artist hopes to turn bronze into green for Hotshots' families

Bill Parsons/Courtesy photo<br>
This wax casting of artist Bill Parsons’ sculpture in progress is part of the bronzing process.

Bill Parsons/Courtesy photo<br> This wax casting of artist Bill Parsons’ sculpture in progress is part of the bronzing process.

PRESCOTT - When Bill Parsons heard about the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, he immediately put his artistic abilities to work to help raise money for the family members.

Parsons has created a bronze sculpture of a Hotshot in honor of the 19 crewmembers that were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire in June. He is selling the bronze figures for around $1,500 each. Half of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to family members of the 19 fallen Hotshots.

"I have a brother-in-law who was in the Hotshots crew in the past and I was a friend of one of the Hotshots - Wade Parker. His family and my family were good friends," Parsons said. "The day that it happened and I found out, I actually started sculpting the figure."

"I decided it would be a way for me to return something to the families. I just felt like I needed to do it," he added.

The figure stands about 10-inches tall, Parsons said.

"I made it kind of generic so that it's not depicting any one of them on the crew," Parsons said.

However, in designing the figure, Parson wanted to make sure he included specific details related to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

"It's really detailed because I have a field pack on him," Parsons said. "The Hotshot guys that work up here have a little loop in their pack that has flagging tape. I tried to make it so that those would show up in the bronze."

Parsons said he usually sculpts wildlife, so the figure was the first human he had ever designed.

"How to get the clothes and the different folds that appear on clothes when you have them on was a real challenge," Parsons said. "There's a lot of difference between an animal and a how a human being looks."

Local company, Skurja Art Casting, is doing the bronze work on the sculptures.

"There's a lot of detail there," John Skurja said. "His sculptures tend to have quite a bit of detail to them."

The process to bronze each figure takes about eight weeks, according to Skurja.

"I have to make a rubble mold, then you have to make a wax, then cast it," Skurja said. "Then you clean it up and do a patina. All that time involves about eight weeks."

People interested in purchasing a bronze figure can place an order with Parsons through his email at parsonsbill57@gmail.com.

Follow Tamara Sone on Twitter @PDCtsone

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