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Ann Ayres

My introduction to clay came first from a friend, Shelly, and again from a niece asking for help to make a cowboy’s hat brim stand up. After closing the shop we made our home fifty miles north of Fort Worth outside Bridgeport, Texas, where I teach classes in my studio. I am blessed with ranch horses, crossbred cattle, good Catahoula cow dogs, family and a few day-working cowboys and cowgirls who provide an endless supply of ideas for both sculpting and writing. 

I love my life and am thankful for it every day.  I try never to forget my blessings—which includes my many students called The Texas Young Artists. 

 My Dalhart, Texas grandmother loved all things Cowgirl, all things western.  She kept a postcard of Bonnie McCarroll.  We had a special attachment to the card and when I started to sculpt, this cowgirl was the first thing I wanted to do.  I became so intrigued that I wanted to know her. Research wasn’t as easy then as now. So, as I sculpted, I researched. I got to know the cowgirl behind the wild hair. She called it a “New Coiffure.” Bonnie and her husband Frank McCarroll were strong influences in most all the early accounts of rodeo that I found. I did write a book, illustrated by Gale Cochoran-Smith and cover design by DeAmber Barrett called, The Cowgirl Who Wanted To ride Buckers… a Bonnie McCarroll story. I include a story from the book taken from newspaper articles she wrote by Bonnie Herself while in England, performing with Tex Austin’s Rodeo Group, before the Queen. 

My works can be seen in many private homes, museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and now Canada, including the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and The Wise County Veterans Museum—where I’m working on a life-size of a soldier reading, as it is titled “Letters from Home”.

I have been interviewed for newspaper articles numerous times as a woman owning a tack repair shop. To my surprise the number of times I would be interviewed for my art exceeded that very quickly, including front-page coverage on the Fort Worth Star Telegram while sculpting on a live modle Mr. Buck Taylor of Gunsmoke Fame. 

Clay is just clay until someone appreciates it, then it becomes art.

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Ann Ayres sculptor
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