This really is one of my treasures. It is created by Stephen Maxon of Max-Cast. His foundry is in Kalona, IA and is open for tours at times. We went through it once and it was very interesting. He had a large and wonderful globe/world piece there. Taxi Trout is solid iron and about 3 lbs. This piece always makes me smile.
As does what the artist has to say about himself.
Born into a family of itinerant acrobats, young Stephen went lost in the western wilderness, having dropped out of the back of a medicine-show wagon. Living on snake venom and cactus thorns, the toddler was adopted and raised by wolves. Later, after being rescued by cowboys, he rode from town to town on bucking broncos searching for his parents and eaking out a meager living wrestling grizzly bears.
Knighted at fourteen, he became a mercenary in Central Africa struggling to protect endangered plants and wildlife and continuing his search for his long-lost family. Laboring to discover new strains of communicable diseases, he worked tirelessly to stomp out athelete's foot and halitosis.
He began sculpting at six months, twisting the bars of his play pen into a striking likeness of the family dog. Later he studied with Donatello, Giacommetti and Rodin, teaching the later all he knew. After years of study and toil, Maxon renounced his MFA to become an outsider artist. Finding casting much less difficult than bending steel bars with his teeth, he developed new ways of melting metal via thought control.
After making and losing several fortunes, he currently lives in a trailer in rural Iowa receiving messages from outer space in his dental fillings. He enjoys telling lies and chewing gum.