Tatanka Iyotake


My inspiration for creating this Chief Sitting Bull sculpture was a combination of three influences: A Native American oil painting created by my Grandfather, Frank Knisley, in 1962, my interest in the Native American way of life, and my ongoing need to challenge myself as an artist.

The first step was to create the armature from 1/4" round steel rod. I then cut and hammered recycled 3/16" steel plate to the proper contour. The plates were welded edge to edge, and then ground down to a smooth finish. No paint or patina was used in the coloration of his face. The various colors come from a process of heating and waxing. The feather was created by cutting 800 individual veins in 3/16" steel plate and heated to bring out the various colors. The next step was to drill over 2600 follicle holes for his hair. The hair is made up of 4.7 miles of 1/16" stainless steel wire rope. The final step was to braid the 250 lbs. of hair and secure with leather wraps, which I also hand crafted. 

Total height 12.5 feet. Total weight 950 lbs. Completed in 13 months.

**Chief Sitting Bull is available for purchase. Please contact us for details.**

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