Each skull is unique in the fact that they are all "one off" hand-made pieces, bent and welded, out of exhaust tubing. Exhaust tubing made with different types of metal (stainless, carbon steel, and aluminized) are all made to create the specific look that appeals to the client. Some are super realistic and some are more "machine" looking. I start with a piece of muffler pipe and cut, bend, and weld where needed to create my skull designs.
There is nothing in the world quite like the feeling of seeing antler tips sticking up out of the ground. It's the best feeling and experience I've ever felt. Even better is when you find the bull or deer's sheds from multiple years. For some deer and elk, I have 5 years' worth of their sheds! Spar Mountain Skulls of Steel was created to display this passion of mine. I feel you get a better look at each animal's unique design by displaying them in this fashion.
My dad, Jim LaRoy, works with me in our shop located in Challis, Idaho. I was so busy making skulls that I didn't have time to hang them. My dad loves to fabricate things (that's where I get it from), and he's made these awesome stands and wall mounts to display my skulls.
The idea for the piece was to have a bull elk rising out of his bed, early in the morning. I started duplicating the largest elk shed I have ever found and matching the other side, because I only found the one antler. Everything you see, besides the floor plate base, is exhaust tubing. Sometimes, I start at 2:00 a.m. and work until long after dinner time. Each antler took 2 weeks (with untold hours of time) to make. This piece of art’s real name is “Early Riser,” but the hours of my life I have invested in making him have earned him the nickname of “Lucifer.”