The story starts with a Grandfather and Grandson. The world knew the grandfather as Stanley J. Smith, owner of Artists and Sculptor’s foundry, highly respected for his fine reproductions of American & European bronze sculpture using the lost wax process. The grandson, Jack, knew him as his gruff and generous mentor and father-figure.
Stanley J. Smith was an artist in his own right, making castings out of aluminum and bronze ranging from wall hangings to small animals and even some furniture. His style leaned toward modern but the majority of his reproductions were Western pieces, namely by Frederic Remington. William Moyers and Elie Hazak were living artists that he worked very closely with in producing their original artwork. They are both extremely well respected sculptors in the genre of Western Art. He also reproduced the works of August Moreau, Victor Seifort, Icart, F.JeLuca, and Roche.
Stan was entirely self-taught. Beginning with making wire sculpture, he taught himself the lost wax process. He was driven, an extremely hard worker, working 12-16 hour days, 6-7 days a week…and it paid off. His work is found in estates, commercial developments, museums and art galleries across the United States and abroad. You’ve probably seen it without realizing it in the sets of many movie and television shows.
During the summers and weekends, young Jack would ride with Stan to work and watch him weld castings. He helped dip the wax molds in plaster slurrey and had the opportunity to watch the molten bronze being poured to form the actual bronze castings. Jack would watch his Grandfather clean the waxes and before long became very familiar with the entire foundry process. He grew to have a deep affection for art, as well as his grandfather’s work ethic and values.
At the time, Jack enjoyed watching and helping a bit but didn’t appreciate the depth and difficulty of what his Grandfather was creating until many years later. However, this experience shaped how Jack looked at art, and the world for that matter, for the rest of his life. He wanted to be involved in the art world but didn’t feel he had much talent and didn’t know how or where he could fit in.
About 10 years ago, Jack and his daughter started talking about starting a business creating their own line of nostalgic t-shirts. Many other product lines were discussed, but then Jack’s daughter got busy growing up and starting her own career.
One day, about a year ago, they were shopping in a store with a whole line of Dia de los Muertos household accessories. That night Jack awoke with an idea and got out of bed to put it down on paper. He and the rest of his family had been an admirer of Pin Ups, particularly those of Gillette Elvgren for over a decade. The idea: Why not convert the work of the greatest pin up artist that ever lived to 3-D sculpture? The next morning Jack shared the idea with the family and Pin Up Works was born, a family tradition continues.
Jack got to work on this right away, securing the license to reproduce Elvren’s images from Brown & Bigelow, finding a foundry to produce the first piece and a way to bring these incredible sculptures to the market where they are available for purchase.
Pin Up Works’ first offering is “Splendid View” and will be followed by “Fire Belle”.