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Interested in the official biography of Sgt Reckless? Click this image to be redirected to Amazon. The book was released in August 2014, and quickly made the New York Times Bestseller list! (Congratulations, Robin!) . This book was written by Robin Hutton, who commissioned me to sculpt the monument. Robin has spent years gathering information from those who served with Reckless, and the book will include the making of the monument. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -

Team Reckless
- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -

Media Coverage
- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


This is the original poster created for the initial fundraising process - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


It all starts with vision, and a wire armature of a miniature version of the future monument. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The warm oil-based clay goes on quickly and smoothly - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Building bulk - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Forming the head and tail to begin developing movement - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Introducing a base design... Woops. Didn't like it. Not enough angle of ascent, and too solid under her hooves - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A better angle to depict the struggle she had carrying the weight up steep hills - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A ruler for good measure :) - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Developing details - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


I decided on a simple non-bulky base under her hooves, to form a bit of a 'precipice', as she was truly living on the edge with each step. She carried thousands of pounds of ammunition over war torn ground; littered with live and detonated debris from various artillery. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


After approval of the maquette, a mold is made and through the 'lost wax method', a bronze casting is made. It is necessary to cast this 'maquette' in multiple pieces to get a clean and detailed replica of the original clay sculpture. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Michael welds her together, filling in plug holes and retexturing the weld lines. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The raw bronze assembled and polished, before the patina (color) is applied - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


With a torch and application of chemicals, the color is developed and then sealed with a marine-grade lacquer. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The first maquette of SSgt Reckless was cast without her tack and ammo (the 'naked' or 'bare' version) - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A view from above, useful when developing the design to submit to the museum; a birds-eye view of her 'footprint' , which had to fall within the guidelines and restrictions of the Semper Fidelis Park monuments. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


To make the miniature sculpture of Reckless (maquette) with her tack and ammo, I had a resin replica poured out of the same mold the foundry used to cast the naked version of Reckless. The resin is hard and will not gouge or mar during the sculpting of the delicate straps and buckles. I used a combination of wooden dowel and brass tubing for the canisters. The dowel fit perfectly inside the tube and allowed me to taper and contour the end caps. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


This is a diagram submitted to the museum of the projected monument size. The footprint of the pedestal had to fit within a 3' cube, her height and length could not exceed 10'. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Through the magic of technology (is that such a thing?), the maquette is scanned three dimensionally and the numbers are plugged into a program for the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) mill. Once the final size of the monument has been determined, large pieces of foam are milled to shape and then assembled. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The foam is cut to size, but only has rudimentary details. It's my job to sand and refine the surface to bring in the muscle and definition. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Its a pretty messy job, and Michael gets really mad at me if he catches me without a mask and eye protection on. This was just for the photo op, and to see if he really loves me. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Thats more like it... I consider this outfit excellent birth control. It is a great advantage to work on individual parts of Reckless, as it gives me a full-angle perspective on every inch of her. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The foam weighs next to nothing, and I assemble her initially with simple bamboo skewers and roofing staples. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Of course the cat cannot resist inspection (OK... I put her up there, but she seemed to appreciate her new vantage point.) - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Reckless, wheeled outside for a stroll in the trees, and inspection from a distance. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Muscle, veins and joints. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Once the detail is laid in on the foam, I can start the application of clay. It is tempting to rush this part of the project, as after weeks of sanding and refining, I'm tired of looking at a blue horse and I'm ready to see Reckless. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Robin takes a flight to our island to take part in the 'hands-on' aspects of the project. She now officially claims this as" her tail"! Well earned, Robin! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Again, a great advantage of the lightweight foam enlargement is to segment the project into smaller projects than can be brought into my smaller (and warmer!) studio and worked on in detail. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


We even took her head on the road to a couple of shows, and got some quality time in on the clay while Michael talked to the show patrons. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Kind of odd to see her head attached to a board, but I could flip that board around at all angles and work on all aspects of her head that would be seen long after I am gone. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A toast with Harold Wadley's plum wine...to a few hard days in the shop before Robin heads back to California. Thanks Robin, you were a shot in the arm. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A highlight of the project, Harold located a packsaddle similar to what Reckless used. He then carefully created some mock canisters and then lashed them on as he remembers her being tied in Korea during her hard service. This saddle was absolutely invaluable during the sculpting, as few photos showed the extensive detail needed for the project. Of course the next obstacle was how to fabricate a horse to cinch it to...a thrift store blanket over a bag of packing peanuts! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Our local friend and amazing farrier, Tom Carter. He came by to inspect her hooves and gave pointers on the shoes that she likely wore in service. From the photos, he determined that she had a protective 'toe clip' in the front of the shoe, and advised me of the difference in the shape of her front shoes compared to her back shoes. Thanks, Tom! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


One of the few pages online that gave details about the canisters that were strapped to her back. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


I used shipping tubes and wetsuit material to fabricate the canisters and packsaddle straps. Add a bit of cardboard and some spit, and walaaa! She's loaded! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


At this point, Reckless was precariously perched on a narrow cart on swivel wheels... with a center support of 1" conduit and about 150 pounds of clay hovering at more than eight feet from the floor. After this photo, I carefully began to disassemble the sculpture, head, neck and tail off first. Then with the base removed, I lowered her body down to easily reach the canisters and ropes to finish the details. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Harolds real-life pack saddle with mock-up canisters showed how the ropes and knots would have been tied to lash down the load. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Here is a view of the ends of the canisters before I sculpted the end caps. A manilla rope is tied around the canisters and then covered in clay. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


This is the balanced load, complete and ready to send off for molding. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The base under Reckless was signed and a few more initials were added in honor of Team Reckless. These included the initals of Robin Hutton (shown here), Harold Wadley, Bob Rogers, and Debbie McCain (who remembers taking care of Reckless as a young girl at Camp Pendleton after Reckless retired to the United States) - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The hard part.... the complete disassembly of Reckless and crating her for safe transportation to my foundry in Colorado. The crating was almost more difficult than the sculpting, as I had to make sure she was suspended and/or bubble wrapped so the delicated clay was not damaged. Notice her head and legs/tail on the counter. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Seriously.... this is midnight, and the freight truck is showing up first thing in the morning. Just a few more screws.... - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The body is suspended in the crate with allthread from all angles. All of the extra 'parts' now get bubble wrapped, blanketed, and/or stuffed into the extra spaces. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The last morning.... I put the side and lid on and sprayed fragile on the crate. Kitty approved. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


In a matter of minutes after arrival, the guys had the 500lb crate rolled up on the truck. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


And she was gone.... - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Harold sent me a beautiful and timely bouquet to commemorate a wonderful feeling of accomplishment (although the shop was eerily empty now, and I was feeling a palpable sense of loss; how strange). Hey... there's that plum wine again! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Reckless at the foundry... this is after the mold and she is already in the latter stages of assembly. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Many people were involved in the casting of Reckless. One of the workers here is securing the armature inside and preparing to weld her right leg on. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Reckless is assembled, sandblasted and nearing completion. It seems fast and easy, but this is about a four month project for the foundry alone. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


This is the natural color of raw bronze. I think it is really beautiful, but unfortunately, it does not maintain the delicate soft lustre for long. It soon darkens and 'tarnishes', eventually turning green from the copper content in the metal. The patina helps seal and protect the surface, and a final coat of wax ensures a long life for an outdoor installation. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The guys at Art Castings apply a wash of potash, which turns the metal blackish. They then scrub back the highlights, leaving the straps and recesses dark for contrast. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


After a good rinse, the bronze is heated up with a torch and ferric nitrate is carefully applied in layers to build up a rich gold, to red, to brown color. The buckles and highlights are then buffed off for a little 'bling'. Then, she is waxed and ready to go. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Art Castings... a top notch foundry for a difficult project. Thank you everyone! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Thank you Shipper's Supply for an amazing crate job, and FedEx for complimentayr delivery to Manassas, Virginia to the landscaper (Kline Memorial) for installation. Fred Smith and his wife of FedEx also donated to the monument project and share their name on her donor plaque. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Rick Burroughs and his crew do a superb job of landscaping as well as making and drilling the pedestal for the monument. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


She weighs about 1200 pounds, but is skillfully balanced for placement. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Robin would not miss the opportunity to see her dream come true. She worked years on this project, and she made it happen. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Contact! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


The last straps come off. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Dedication Day; what a great group of people showed up! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


It is sobering to be part of this event. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Robin, Jocelyn and Harold. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


General James Amos (Commandant), Lin Ezell (Museum Curator), Jocelyn, Robin, and Bonnie Amos - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A glimpse of those in attendance at the Dedication Ceremony. Thank you Mark Tenally, for some amazing photos of a great day. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Bob 'Doc' Rogers and his wife, Carol. They certainly made this project fun and rewarding. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Harold and his wonderful speech. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Robin at the unveiling. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Yikes, a microphone terrifies me. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Harold gives the order to unveil Reckless. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A truly proud moment. Notice the young marines in the background. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Private Williams presents Robin and I each with a signed book from the Young Marines and Veterans. When I asked if she had signed it, she said, "No, I was working!"' She promptly signed our books. Thank you Joe Bles for a terrific representation of the Young Marines at the dedication and unveiling. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Debbie McCain and General Amos. The inset shows Debbie as a young girl with her Daddy, Colonel 'Jinx' McCain, holding Reckless and one of her foals at the Camp Pendleton Stables in California. Debbie donated a horse shoe and some hair for the museum display, and also has her initials on the base of the monument. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Seriously.... who IS this guy? He kept following me around the dedication and trying to get in all the photos! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Robins family, Brother Mike, Mom Alda, sisters Amy and Layne. It takes a family of support to pull these projects off. Kudos to the fam! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Alda Vandling and John Newsom, both proud donors to the monument project. John also served with Reckless. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A bit of fun posing at the interior display. Thank you Lin and crew for a fantastic exhibit to honor Reckless. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Michael, Jocelyn, Robin and Karen (Robin's college room mate) drinking a toast to success! If the folks at the Marine Museum ask, this was non-alcohol(ic) wine! After all, no booze on the grounds! And we didn't spill a drop. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A last chance to get a close up. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


We weren't supposed to get up on the monument, but we snuck in a few last photos and said farewell to this part of the journey. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


- Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


A walk-about at the National Mall after the president spoke. These are Robin's friends, Karen and Donna. And now they are my friends! - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


One should always make friends with the policeman's horse. This beautiful big boy was patroling the grounds during the president's public speech. The gelding stood over 18 hands, but had a soft eye and that wonderfully rich smell of horse. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


Miss Robin is already planning on another casting of Reckless to be dedicated and installed at Camp Pendleton. This memorial is at the entrance of the Stables and is the only marker to represent her service. Reckless retired here at Camp Pendleton and died in 1968. The location of her remains is unclear, and her bones will likely never be recovered. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -


And there's even talk of another casting in South Korea. Having seen Robin in action, I give it good odds. - Sgt Reckless- The Making of the Monument -