The charity event began when I set my tools and table between two Gyr Falcons. This was my first “live sculpt” with a subject that gets restless after fifteen minutes.

My long held impression that the Peregrine Falcon was the fastest animal on earth at 220 mph in a dive from hundreds of feet in the air was altered in February. In the early 70’s, my friend from the Army was a falconer who invited me to watch his Peregrine in an open field. After that I was convinced that the Peregrine Falcon was the fastest creature on earth.The caretakers at Natures Educators brought new truth to my long held belief. Tonight I learned that the Gyr Falcon is 60% faster at 380 miles per hour, and much larger in size.

The kids were in awe as they watched wide-eyed from just feet away for the first time in their life.Four months later, I’m still in awe!

Proceeds from the sales that night supported Nature’s Educators mission to rehabilitate these wounded animals, return them to the wild when possible and educate the public.

This work is still in progress. The first collector to purchase will get to name the finished work, and select their edition number.

While I sculpted these magnificent birds, I felt respect as I stood arm length apart from one on the right and another on my left side. The gallery’s collectors and guests talked to me as I kept my eye on the clay and these powerful birds – a test of my ability to focus and respond.

My first big response came when I quickly stepped back away as one bird rapidly flapped his wings to stretch. I heard the wind, felt the thrashing air against my chest, and I gained respect for these powerful birds. While my purpose was to entertain the gallery guests as I formed my interpretation, the Gyr Falcon actually captured more attention with their quick wing flapping and strong talons. Their mere presence in the art gallery drew people as close as they dared. Awe was the word of the evening as people moved carefully throughout the gallery to view the next magnificent raptor.