Uhlorn is Artisan of the month
If you are looking for a unique gift, stop at the Library and see the incredible display that will be available now through the Christmas shopping season.. Each item is “one of a kind”, which cannot be purchased just anywhere, only locally and directly from the designer.
For the next few weeks, the Prairie Community Library is presenting the talent and artistry of Maurus Uhlorn, area farmer, born on the ranch and in the house where he and his wife Karen of 52 years, still reside. They are the parents to eight grown children 17 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He is the eleventh of fourteen children and attended school in Ferdinand, graduating in 1955. After serving in the Army, he returned to the Uhlorn ranch and farmed with his brother, Vern, raising cattle and grain.
His interest in metalwork led to the fabrication of truck beds, grain racks, combine cabs and pickup boxes for farmers and ranchers on the prairie.
His horseshoe figurines characterize the simplicity and raw beauty of a farmer, rancher, and metal fabricator. A little known artist with abundant talent and extraordinary vision, Uhlorn says he did not set out to become an artist. “I just want to do what I’m doing. I’ve always liked to draw, I’m a doodler drawer.” He gets his ideas at any given moment. “All of a sudden it will come to me, even sometimes in church”. “The thing I enjoy most is people’s reaction to the art and also in giving.” He has made a figurine for each of his brothers and sisters as well as many family members. “They all enjoyed it and so did I“.
To create a figurine, he starts with a horseshoe and a combination of metal objects that are found around his shop. Each horseshoe is put through a series of solutions and finishing steps before they are processed and ready to be heated and bent into shape with the help of an acetylene torch. “I use scrap to make everything else”. A plasma cutter is used to cut and create some of the metal pieces that embellish his artwork. Finally, a wire welder is used to attach the pieces together so that the pose of his character and the props bring each individual figurine to life. The face of his figurines have become as much of a focal point to him as the actual pose. “They all seem to be looking at you, no matter where you are,” he claims. Karen is responsible for making the scarves and other decorative details that adorn many of his creations.
Throughout his life, Maurus has been active in his church and choir as well as other singing groups including a quartet and the community choir.
His horseshoe figurines are doing the things that he himself might have done over a lifetime. From BBQ’n and Cooking, to Fly Fishing, Hunting and even watering the livestock. Four Wheelers, Snowmobiles and other modes of transportation are also on display. His art spans the times and a transition of ordinary people, from the way it was, to the way it is today, all in the image of the western cowboy and horseshoes. It is a “must see display”. (This article contains bits of information previously published.)
Karen and Maurus Uhlorn with a display of his horseshoe art that is at the Prairie Community Library. Photo by Laurine Nightingale.
They may look like they come off an assembly line but each of the gas pump figurines shown is individually made by Maurus Uhlorn and is ready for sale.
This photo and those below provided by Maurus Uhlorn.
Just to show Maurus Uhlorn doesn’t limit himself to horseshoe art, he also built this larger than life farmer that stood at Karen Uhlorn’s brother’s home.
A cowboy mounting a tire on a rim is one of Maurus Uhlorn’s unique pieces. Shown also are some of the parts that are fitted together to make the finished piece.