A message to the Wapakoneta community from sculptor, Michael Tizzano:
I am very excited to share with your community my passion for creating art! The life-size sculpture of Neil Armstrong is now under way and will be available to be seen during my three planned visits to Wapakoneta in the coming months. For this project, as with all of my larger works, I have started with a ¼ scale model in clay, called a maquette. This is used to then create the enlarged work initially in Styrofoam, using exacting measurements throughout. The same kind of oil and wax-based clay is then applied over top of the Styrofoam, requiring hundreds of hours to achieve the desired likeness of this great American hero, Mission Commander Neil Armstrong. Once completed in clay, and approved by the Air and Space Museum committee, it goes to the foundry in Cleveland for several weeks of mold making and casting in bronze. The sculpture will then be installed in the downtown location in time for the fiftieth anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s landing on the moon next July.
I have been very fortunate to be able to create hundreds of sculptures over the past thirty years, many of them being placed in school libraries, city parks, town squares and in private collections throughout the U.S. and overseas. A number of these works have been formed in what I call my “public sculpting events”, allowing those in the community to have the opportunity to observe up close the sculpting process from start to finish. Observers will often ask a lot of questions, showing great curiosity about how the sculpture is being made, what the materials are, and how it will end up being a bronze figure. I love interacting with those watching me work, responding to their curiosity and explaining exactly what it is that I am doing and what processes will follow before going to the foundry. As a retired Westerville middle school art teacher, I am known for my enthusiasm and warmth in engaging with others who are eager to learn more about art. I very much look forward to my visit this Thursday and Friday, focusing primarily on the engineering and enlarging of the figure, using a variety of instruments and measuring tools for this phase of the project.