Today: Jan 26 , 2020

Meet Natalie Krol & Silver Tornado

25 June 2019  

Natalie Krol and the bull Silver Tornado are celebrated!

Twenty-three years ago, Natalie Krol decided she wanted to give the City of Prescott a gift that only she could give. She created monumental sculptures seen across the world, now she would create a bucking bull in honor of the World’s Oldest Rodeo™. The finished product, a stainless steel sculpture 10 feet high, 14 feet long and weighing 4000 pounds was a perfect blend of her unique skills and the history of Prescott’s Western heritage and roots. Krol named it Silver Tornado. 

Silver Tornado lives on a pad along Whipple Street in front of Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Over the years, the grasses had grown up obscuring the sculpture from view, and at night it was difficult to see in the dark. Now the City has tamed the growth around the area and added spotlights for easier viewing at night.

Monday morning, the Chamber of Commerce was joined by community representatives, City officials and other dignitaries as they recognized Krol’s very special talent and her gift to the Prescott community. 

Watch the ceremonies here:

Here is what Natalie said at the event:

My Conception of Silver Tornado.

Driving past the Yavapai Regional Hospital one day, I noticed a concrete slab with nothing standing on it.  I investigated and learned that Geri Wagner, our ex-mayor, had commandeered a sculpture of an Indian mother and child, destined for this pedestal, to the Prescott Hotel, leaving the slab abandoned.  I decided to make a proposal to the Prescott City Council to build a bucking bull honoring my beloved town of Prescott, claiming the distinction of being “The Home of the World’s Oldest Rodeo”.

I needed to study a bull up close and personal. My neighbor, Linda Redfield, knew Keith Quail, owner of the American Ranch where he raised a herd of cattle and his prize bull.  We followed him by car onto his ranch.  He tooted his truck horn multiple times until we arrived at a clearing.  After parking our vehicles, Keith tossed a bale of hay off his truck.  While he was scattering hay on the ground, the cows came running toward us from all directions and they began to eat that hay with gusto, heartily enjoying their meal.

Suddenly a large bull appeared at the top of a small rise, standing very proud and arrogant, while he viewed the scene.  The cows paused their eating, slowly backing up and forming two lines to create an opening for the bull. He strutted and strolled majestically toward us.  The cows, having formed two opposite lines, waited motionlessly for the bull to arrive.  He began to eat the hay slowly, with quiet dignity as the cows crept back cautiously to join him in silent reverence that left me in complete awe.  

I took many photographs of the bull all the time hoping he would not step on my toes.  He was so vain and so in command.  The Salers breed of bulls is never used in rodeo work but this handsome bull appealed to my artistic nature. 

I created a small version (macquette) of, “Silver Tornado”, cast it in bronze and showed it to the City Council.  After an enjoyable discussion with the council I offered to personally donate the larger than life bull and fund the project myself by selling one hundred bronze macquettes of “Silver Tornado”.  Truth is that I only cast twenty five miniatures I called “Bronze Tornado”.

The purpose I had for using stainless steel, instead of bronze when casting “Silver Tornado”, was due to the critical engineering of his armature, and structural strength the bull needed to balance on his two front legs alone.  I was told that the bull would crack at his ankles if cast in bronze because  bronze was not as strong a material as stainless steel.  Thus the bull was cast in stainless steel. 

The rest is history.

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.