Sarah Luce doesn’t call herself a “real artist.” In fact, she tells me that she can manage a stick figure and that’s about all. Maybe she is right, I don’t know. What I do know is that Sarah’s work will be noticed in the town of Comanche for decades to come because she is the person who projected and traced the images that the boys would eventually cut into metal art.
“I did all of the tracing for the buffalo, the warrior, and the cowboys,” Sarah shared with me. “I also have helped with the grinding. Whenever they cut out the buffalo, etc. the edges were very rugged and sharp.
I helped grind them down to the smooth surfaces that you see now. On some of the pieces like the grass, we left the hard edges to make it look a little more alive. But on most of them, we smoothed them so that people would not cut themselves when they touch them.
“I have never been in any shop class at all, and now here I am in a college welding class, advanced college welding, no less. I didn’t know how to do anything, including the grinding. There are four of us who had absolutely no experience when we started, and this metal art project has helped us so much. We have learned the tools, the techniques, and a lot of team work. We have had to learn how to get it quick and get it correct, even down to unloading the sheets of metal.”
And then I asked her how many had gotten mad throughout the project. After all, it was hot, hard, dirty work.
“We haven’t had anyone really mad. I guess I’ve been a little aggravated at times because when you blow up a buffalo he doesn’t look the same as the pattern. Sometimes I would have to go back and fix the legs to make them fit the larger buffalo. I think his has been so important to my learning. The experience has been great.”
Of course, it won’t be until she is decades older and a volunteer in her own town that she will understand just how much her work has meant to all of us.