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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Tim Parks does not impress easily. The founder and owner of TW Bronze in Enterprise comes across as laid back and unpretentious. But even Parks felt a bit of a thrill when Arnold Schwarzenegger rode shotgun with him to take a tour of his bronze foundry in September.
“Yeah, it was pretty cool giving Arnold a lift,” he admits.
Here’s how Parks got hooked up with the former body builder-turned-California-governor: Schwarzenegger commissioned three statues of himself in a body-building pose, one of which was to be displayed in a museum in his hometown of Thal, Austria. Idaho artist Ralph Crawford, who had met Parks at a show, created the clay model for the statue. “He asked around about foundries to cast the statue, and the fingers kept pointing at me,” Parks says.
Parks got the gig and got to work casting Schwarzenegger’s image in “heroic” fashion — meaning somewhat larger than life. It took 14 separate molds to cast the 25 pieces that were then welded together to bring Schwarzenegger to bronze life.
Once the statue was completed, Schwarzenegger wanted to inspect it. He flew into La Grande in his private jet, and Parks was there to collect him and drive him to his studio. “He spent about an hour and half here, inspecting the statue and touring the foundry,” Parks says. “He liked it a lot.”
Parks says he got a fair amount of notoriety from Schwarzenegger’s visit, but casting heroic statues of celebrities is not what pays the bills at TW Bronze. Most of his customers are working artists, and the pieces he casts for them are much smaller. Parks himself is a bronze artist and casts his own work for sale. He says he often puts in 60-hour weeks during peak production season. An order like Schwarzenegger’s is great for the foundry’s reputation but isn’t representative of 90% of its output.
Wallowa County is well known for its local artists, and is a center for bronze-casting foundries such as TW Bronze. Parks and his two brothers moved to Joseph 27 years ago to work for Valley Bronze of Oregon, then left to start Parks Bronze. They went their separate ways, with Tim founding TW Bronze and brother Steve staying at the helm of Parks Bronze. Tourists motoring through Joseph have doubtless seen examples of the Parks Brothers’ among the many pieces of public art on display in the town.
The statue was officially unveiled by Schwarzenegger in Thal on Oct. 7, but Parks wasn’t on hand for the ceremony. “I thought about going, but it just didn’t pencil out,” he says. “I gotta spend $3,000 just to get there to see it in place? I couldn’t see it. And the timing was all wrong — I’m just too busy.” Busy casting, among other orders, the next two Schwarzenegger statues.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL
Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together.
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