Our office is located in the Earth Building which has many windows and beautiful landscaping and is quite enjoyable on days like today. This morning I was able to get some fresh air outside as I helped assemble some of the decorations for the Corndog Kickoff. As I was working I saw several walkers powering up the steep hill between our office and the Anderson Erikson Stage. I also spent some time enjoying the Fairgrounds this past weekend. My fiance and I took our engagement pictures here Sunday afternoon. My Dad got a cool picture of us standing under the sky glider with the Grandstand and Fairgrounds in the background. If you happen to be looking for a good place to take pictures I strongly suggest coming out to the Fair!
This week continues another round of Butter Cow facts!
Duffy Lyons became the apprentice to sculptor Frank Earl Dutts in 1959. Just one year later she replaced Dutts to become the fourth Fair sculptor and the first female Fair sculptor. Duffy preferred to sculpt more modern cows that were long and thin opposed to short and round. She loved sculpting cows but did not enjoy sculpting calves as much. She sketched out a picture of every cow prior to building its frame and would begin sculpting at 6 a.m. each morning. Duffy happened to be 8 months pregnant when she sculpted her first cow for the Fair in 1960. The sculpture was of a Jersey cow, as she was most familiar with this breed from spending time on the Lyon’s farm. Since then, each year has featured one of six major dairy breeds: Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Guernsey and Milking Shorthorn.
If the temperature in the cooler is not cool enough, the sculptures have a tendency to lose their shape. Three of Duffy’s Butter Cows have lost parts of their bottom sides. Luckily Duffy and her team are talented enough to rebuild the udders and adjust the cooler temperature. Usually Duffy has about two or three assistants each year helping her construct the cow and companion sculpture. At the age of 13 current sculptor Sarah Pratt began an apprentice with Duffy constructing the Butter Cow. Sarah took over the as the Fair sculptor in 2006.
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