After spending a few more hours on him, I finally cut the strings and took him to Sioux Falls to Bronze Age Art Casting. They are so thoughtful and kind there, I know he will be well taken care of. They gave us a tour of the facillities and explained all that would now happen to him on his next journey. In two to three weeks, I will have him home again, only in bronze this time. I will also have the mold so that there can be more of him cast. The price I thought was reasonable considering the work that goes into making the mold, casting the bronze, cleaning him up and then doing the patina. I am so thankful there are people who know what they are doing so that I can just do the creative fun part.
I did find out that the clay I was using wasn't the best for this project. After going for lunch with a friend in SF, we returned to the van to find that his hat had drooped and fallen off in three pieces. It was just way too hot. In fact, after we left the foundry the thermometer in the van said 100 outside. Way too hot for this time of year! Anyway, after it had cooled off somewhat I was able to put his hat back on and he was ready to go.
In a few weeks I'll have a photo of the finished piece. Now it's back to painting again until I get some clay that gets harder and won't soften quite so easily. Some ideas are already running through my mind. In the meantime, there are paintings that have to be done, so I'll be back at that tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll have more photos every once in a while.