was born the 5th of 10 children near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Being a middle child with an unusual name he strived to stand out in the crowd. He'd draw cartoons to amuse his siblings and entertain classmates. Volz was also creative using his hands, spending hours in his dad's workshop building elaborate mazes for pet mice, an electromagnetic lifter, or fiberglassing a canoe.
He began his sculpting career on a cold winter's day in 1987 by building a snowman. Rather a snow Smurf. Passing cars honked their horns in approval, and Volz realized he created something special. By working in public he sensed what appealed to people, and soon gained an audience. Fran's been recognized for his creations receiving awards in state snow competitions. He's also been featured in newspapers at least a dozen times yearly and visited by local TV and radio personalities interviewing him on their programs.
In 2004 Volz organized the Chicago Snow Competition. He brought it downtown to Navy Pier where teams of artists from around the world competed: Spain, China, Germany, Canada, Russia, to name a few.
While he enjoys working with snow, Volz's real love is creating monumental statues in bronze. He likes the permanence and classical appearance of this traditional medium. His influences stem from a variety of sources: the style of Masters like Michelangelo, DaVinci, Rodin and Houdon; the whimsical subjects of Norman Rockwell; the dynamic poses of Marvel Comic book superheroes and the fluid, flowing lines of Disney and Vargas characters. Like his snow sculptures, Volz likes to create bronze works that touch people. For this reason, he concentrates on the human form (figurative art).
Instead of formal training Volz immersed himself in studying, observing and researching every aspect of the human form to create beautiful true to life statues. He did receive formal training in the bronzing process by working as an apprentice to a bronze sculptor in the Chicago area.
Rather than mass producing his pieces Volz creates one of a kind monuments for cities to honor historical figures, portrait busts of loved ones for private commissions and will consider any other project.
Fran Volz Sculpture Studios
1804 9th St, Rockford, Illinois 61104, United States
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