Saturday, December 14, 2019

Wreaths across America Ceremony at Willamette National Cemetery

  It was cold and rainy at Willamette National Cemetery this morning. In spite of the weather, Oregonians turned out for the holiday tradition of laying wreaths on veterans’ graves.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor
The Lewis & Clark Color Guard was honored to provide a musket volley at today’s event. In addition, the Color Guard was privileged to escort the Grand Ronde Honor Guard (Veterans' Board of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community), who posted the colors at today’s wreath-laying ceremony. Native Americans serve in the United States’ armed forces in greater numbers per capita than anyone else. The Oneida Indian Nation was the United States’ first ally in the War for Independence — playing a key role in the battles of Oriskany and Saratoga.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Bloodied by the Frog.

Today I thought I would work on the weapons and the Frog.

The frog is that leather piece that holds the tomahawk and the bayonet and is connected to the leather strap that goes over the shoulders. You can see it on the side view photo below.

Concentrating on the Frog, and getting the shape and weapons looking right, but not on my clay knife and my fingers. Yep, knife slips one of my fingers is in the way ... blood all over.

Time out for Nancy to become the nurse.

Bandaged up and back to work. I have used that knife for decades without a mishap. Age slows the reflexes and the little gray cells I guess.

Oh well, it is true, an artist puts their blood and soul into their work.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

New Clay Arrived

Just arrived. The new clay is here. A bit warm since it was in a hot UPS truck all day. It has been sitting in cooler room and is firming up. Have it sit in air conditioning for a day or two. Hope it works.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


So, no new foundry clay yet. I had to go to plan B.

I bought clay from a supplier in CO. Here is the cost breakdown.

The CO. clay is $1.50./lb  more than foundry clay including shipping if I buy 30# or more. But it is $2.50/lb. less than if I buy retail. I will use more than 130lbs. of clay per sculpture times 3 sculptures.

Fingers crossed I can buy my foundry clay soon, until then 30# at a time from CO. Thing is I have never used clay from this supplier before.

Exploring new possibilities is what artists do. Otherwise life would be boring.

My first shipment arrives tomorrow.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Good Days Work

Finished the face/head and working on the folds.

Called the foundry to order more clay but they have halted production because the price of the vegetable oil tripled. They have been reformulating it for 6 mos. to get a new batch that works and keeps the same retail price.

They say they might have it, just need to test it. Could be 30 days before shipping. I have 5lbs left. Won't last that long.

May have to take a vacation.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Today I started to add some personality and a bit of attitude.


Monday, July 29, 2019

I Came Back To A Sagging Old Man!!!

Compatriot Michael Tieman
So, remember I talked about the clay melting if it got too warm in the room.

Yep, it happened. Today I went into the studio after not being in it for a few days and the hat had melted and fell into his arms. And it had slumped a bit, he gained a few inches around the waist and it was lower. In other words, he got old.

So today I turned on the air conditioner, pushed his gut back,  replaced and rebuilt the hat. Drove a few screws into the hat and into the foam of the head.

Once I did that, I added clay to the musket to cover the wood base.

Then, I started to add the harder foundry clay covering the base clay.

My hands were screaming so I had to stop for the day. I put the fan on for the night on the clay and put my compression gloves on me for the night.

Tomorrow I call the foundry to order some clay as I am on my last ingot.

Friday, July 26, 2019

One Fold At a Time ...

Compatriot Michael Tieman

And now that the base is in, I begin on building the body up and adding the clothes. One fold at a time. Here I need patience and a lot of clay.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hands to the Musket

Compatriot Michael Tieman
 The end of work yesterday.

I added more foam to bring out the arms to where they need to be. Added the musket form, I traced my musket onto a 1x8x6' piece of Hemlock to get the correct shape and size. This will be the form I add the clay to.

The arms and hands are now in final position.

Took today off and went to the beach with family. Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Clay, Clay and More Clay

Compatriot Michael Tieman
The easy part is done. The underside form. Spent the day just adding clay to the form. Tedious work, but some days are like this. Had the fan on all day as it was warm in the room and the clay was getting a bit soft. It made it easier to work with, but it can't get too warm.

Now to shape it so it looks human and work in the details

Friday, July 19, 2019

Softer Clay As a Base

Compatriot Michael Tieman
After a few hours of work I had to stop early because the arthritis in my hands was acting up

Because of that I am using a soft Van Aken Plastalina from Blicks. It is softer and easier to work with when my hands act up. Works pretty well. When I have covered the entire figure with it I hope to get back to the harder foundry clay as it holds the detail better then this softer one.

I will take Saturday and Sunday off then hopefully back to work Monday .

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Clay Begins to Take Shape

Compatriot Michael Tieman

For those who may try to apply oil based clay to the foam. Don't, it won't stick.

Again, Home Depot has what you need, a roll of 6" wide gutter screening. The perfect base. Cover all of the foam with the screening then apply the oil based clay. I also use the screening as a base for fabric as it can be twisted and folded and retains it shape.

This type of clay does not dry out or harden which for me is great. No water to mess with and clean to use, and I don't have to worry about it drying too fast or keeping it moist as in a water based clay. And if I don't like something, I pull it off and redo it. I have gone back to unfinished pieces I started years ago, hit the clay with a bit of heat from a hair dryer and continued on. The oil based clay becomes soft with just the heat of your hands. I buy it in 10 lb. ingots from a foundry. It comes in soft, med and hard. The hard I use for detail work, the base is soft.

This clay is perfect for when I did demos in a gallery. I can work in a 6'x6' area in the gallery and I don't have to worry about people spilling water, or getting the clay on the floor, or keeping it moist. The galleries I have done demos in love it.

Beware though.

Don't leave your work in a hot environment. I had a friend that completed his sculpture, went away for the weekend to celebrate and when he came back the piece had melted. There was a heat wave that weekend and he had not turned on his fans on the sculpture before he left. I have had to put fans on pieces while I was working so it would not become too soft. I have also hit small areas with cold air in a can to freeze a portion so I can add detail.

Also, I reuse the clay from sculpture to sculpture. When a piece is finished, molds are made and the last piece in the edition has been cast, I tear apart the original and reuse the clay. Frugal. I guess there is a piece of all of my past sculptures in all of my future ones.

You will notice that there is a heart. I always start my people sculptures by placing the heart. It gives the piece a soul.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

And Now the Foam

Compatriot Michael Tieman

Cutting and applying foam board. 

I am adding the clay to this and will begin to sculpt the figure. 

The foam gives me a firm support for the clay, I use less clay and it is lighter in weight as a finished piece

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Starting the back board

Day Two

Working on the life-size sculpture of the Revolutionary War Rifleman/Militia soldier. 

Went to my favorite Home Depot to get the supplies I need as the support for the clay sculpture. Then I cut the boards and cleated them together to make a 7' x 2' back support board. 

Now I have brought the piece into my small studio and added the drawing. Good thing I have 8' ceilings.

To see more of this project, go to my Blog and read my daily Journal.

Michael Tieman, artist

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Life-sized bronze bas-relief sculptures started

Starting one of three the life-sized bronze bas relief sculptures for the Oregon Revolutionary War Orwm Memorial. These are the Rifleman/Militia soldier initial and life size drawings. Next I start the clay original sculpture. Good thing I have 8' ceilings.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

New Committee Members

Today the Lewis & Clark chapter has appointed
six new members to the ORWM Committee for a total of eight.

The ORWM Committee:

SAR Compatriots:
Michael Tieman, Teddy Mills, Tom Akers,
Mark Robertson, Rob Greene, Bob Simpson, Gene Foley.

DAR Daughter:
Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Thank You For Your Support!

A quarterly update on what is happening so far this year:
  • We have sold 11 of the thirteen benches. Our thanks to:
    The Oregon CAR - Virginia Bench
    Oregon SAR - Connecticut Bench
    Oregon DAR - New Hampshire Bench
    Grier Ingebretsen Memorial Bench - Massachusetts Bench
    Compatriot Barker - Pennsylvania Bench
    Compatriot Wight - Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, New York and       
                                   Delaware Benches,
  • Thirty of the Memorial Muster books have been sold to date
  • Twenty Three of the 500 bricks have been sold
  • Ten Patriot Sculptures sold

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Our 2019 Fundraising Goal: $75,000!

This year we have set our 2019 Fundraising Goal to $75,000. For this to succeed, the ORWM Committee needs your help. 



Our committee is looking for at least four more volunteers to help us in the following areas:

  • Public Relations/Marketing

  • Event Planning

  • Fundraising 

This is a $250,000 project and we need to get this built in time for the 250th Celebration of the United States of America. 


Our Patriot ancestors fought and supported the fight for their Freedom and the building of this new country. This will be a fitting Memorial to Honor them and a reminder to this and future generations of the History of the Revolutionary War and the struggles endured to make this a great country.


To volunteer some of your time on this worthy project, please contact Michael Tieman at