Heisman Triumphs With Artisanal Trophy

The New York Times: “The Heisman is gritty verisimilitude. It depicts an athlete in action, dynamically stiff-arming an unseen opponent. It is the color of a scuffed shoe sole, and its chiseled features — deep-set eyes, wrinkled trousers, one bulging calf muscle — are beautiful but not pretty. So byzantine are its details and so idiosyncratic its coloring that each individual statuette feels unique. In fact, each is, even though the Heisman remains instantly recognizable and its manufacturer takes no creative license … ‘No two are exactly the same,’ said Jack Nortz, the director of sculpting for MTM Recognition, the company that produces them.”

“Suitably for a new statue designed to look old, the process of making a Heisman is both normalized and artisanal. The ancient Egyptians would have known how to make a Heisman: The lost-wax casting method has been used to fashion bronze sculptures for roughly six millenniums.”

“Not only is this year’s Heisman slightly different from last year’s, it is more different from those of a generation ago … Before 2005, the back shoe had bumps on it to depict laces while the front shoe did not. Mr. Nortz added some grooves to the top of the right foot. MTM Recognition also standardized the trophy’s dimensions after staff members noticed that past trophies’ outstretched right arms departed the body at different angles. That arm has always been cast separately from the body.”

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