The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips

By Gerald E. McLeod, February 28, 2014, Columns

Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop builds giants. Whether it is a 12-foot-tall Jesus or a larger-than-life cowboy on a horse, the bronze statues are a durable art form.

Not only do the statues freeze human emotion, but they can capture the fantasy of a dream. It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle as the parts come together into a seamless body.

Jamie and Clint Howard purchased the foundry in 1999, and have become the premier statuary design and manufacturing business in the state.

How many steps a statue must go through depends on the art, Jamie says. "It's a highly labor-intensive process," she says. "At the minimum, at least 13 people will work on a piece."

One of the pieces currently in the shop is the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument set to be dedicated March 29 on the Capitol lawn ( Visitors are invited to a special night pour at the foundry of the last two bronze pieces of the monument on March 1 from 6 to 8pm. The open house includes foundry tours for a donation of $5, benefiting the Monument organization.

Tours of the foundry are available during the week by reservation. The hourlong tours walk guests through the process from digital scan to care and maintenance. The tours are not appropriate for young children. For more information, go to or call 512/321-7868.

1,178th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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