My current sculpture is Franco Columbu, a former two time Mr. Olympia, strongman competitor, and Arnold Schwarzennegger’ best friend for 54 years. He was also a good friend of Stallone, training him when he was getting in shape for the Rocky and Rambo movies. I remember watching Arnold and Franco when I was a teenager trying to lift weights. When I displayed the statue of Arnold at the Arnold Sports Festival this past March, Franco was in attendance there. Though I didn’t get the chance to meet him, I decided that he would be my next subject as I am planning to exhibit at the event again next March. Franco was a legend in bodybuilding, most known for his incredible back and chest. I selected this pose because it it is the one pose which shows both of these muscle groups at their best. I began this carving on June 1st, so am just over 3 months into it, roughly half way. A few weeks ago I noticed that Franco had begun following my instagram account and was watching the progress of the statue. I was looking forward to Franco being able to see the statue in person next March. Unfortunately on August 30th, Franco passed away at age 78. At least he was aware of it’s existence before he died. Exhibiting his statue along side of Arnold in March will be sad but I think it will get a lot of attention as everyone there will be well aware of his legacy. This piece is being carved from a Sycamore tree. This is my first time with a large piece of Sycamore. It is softer and a bit easier to carve than the Oaks, Walnuts and Maples I am used to, but it’s not as grainy as Oak and the color is very close to flesh tone so I am anxious to see it finished. I will update here with recent pictures as often as possible.