He is also the metal arts instructor at Northland Pioneer College and led the effort to recreate the founders’ monument in bronze for the City of Show Low earlier this year after the original was destroyed by fire.
Teaching metal art at NPC since 2008, Noble is passing on a tradition that has been practiced since the 15th century. He teaches metal art, armor fabrication and blade-making one night a week in Show Low. He has built armor for Renaissance festivals throughout the U.S., for casinos and museums and for the Walt Disney park in China! His masterpieces in metalwork are displayed at art fairs throughout the region.
With all that experience, it’s no wonder Noble was the City of Show Low’s logical choice to recreate the monument that is of such huge importance to the community as a symbol of its history.
Noble says, “It was a very interesting project because I learned a lot about the history of Show Low and the two men so instrumental to the city’s founding. Noble spent two weeks researching the famous card game between Corydon Cooley and Marion Clark, examined photos, met with their living relatives and spoke with the Show Low Historical Society Museum.
The monument commemorates a card game in 1876 between the two men, who had each formed a huge ranch in what is now the Show Low area. When the area could no longer support both and neither would agree to buy out the other, they chose to play a card game, Seven Up, to determine who stayed and who left. With the game nearing its end, Cooley was losing. Holding a three in his hand, he suggested to Clark “Show low and you win the ranch.” Clark played the deuce of clubs and won Cooley’s ranch. That fateful game would later name the city of Show Low and its main street, Deuce of Clubs.
In addition to the historical significance of the project, it was also a large under-taking. The monument includes 38 pieces and weighs 1,200 pounds! Noble teamed up with Dennis Lynn (creator of the original monument), Kent Kidwell (who works for Noble) and NPC students Chris Christianson and Ian Kinde, who all contributed to the creation of the impressive monument.
“The steps to making the monument included the carving of styrofoam, sculpting over it with clay, adding details, taking molds of each section and then pouring the bronze,” Noble says.
Noble used his 97-hammer arsenal to pound the bronze structure into shape and Kidwell sculpted details such as shirt buttons and facial expressions. It took six months to create and was finished just in time for the city’s 2017 Fourth of July parade.
Noble says, “You think about that four seconds when they figured who won and who lost and, as a sculptor, you try to capture the moment of Cooley’s loss. We took that four fatal seconds and made it historically correct. We gave it personality. It was an honor to work on the monument, and I was glad we were able to keep that project on the mountain. And having the help of Dennis Lynn, who created the original monument, along with NPC students made the project even more special.”
Reactions to Show Low’s new bronze monument have been overwhelmingly positive. “I’m proud we met and even exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Noble says.
For more information on NPC metal art classes, contact Noble at (928) 242-1231.