John Tolmay’s homage in bronze to the African Elephant covers a wide range of sizes and postures suited to a variety of tastes. Large-format pieces for the discerning collector through to playful and imaginative compositions that let you enjoy every aspect of one the most majestic animals on earth. From the giant tuskers of the Kruger National Park in South Africa to the legendary elephants of Amboseli and Tsavo in Kenya – you’ll find them here in this masterful collection. The ongoing efforts to protect these great tuskers form poaching is a very important aspect of John Tolmay’s commitment to conservation.

Three new pieces plus a new website for 2019

Time moves quickly these days and so must we to keep up. If you are reading this you will have already noticed the new website, helped in no small part by John Kepchar of TAP Photo Studio in Asheville NC with his beautiful photography.

I have three new pieces in the gallery.


I decided to do my best to sculpt an Elephant called ‘Duke’ who lived in the Kruger National Park and died there in 2011. This is the most beautiful animal with more than 100lbs of ivory on each side. The Duke was a gentleman with the most wonderful disposition and I hope I have captured that.

The Painted Dog

I had collaborated with an avid collector of mine to sculpt a Baboon with a baby on its back. I don’t like Baboons so, as he and his wife are dog lovers, I decided to see if he might like a painted dog and this was the result.

Waiting for the Groceries

Going on from the painted dog bust I thought to have a pup with him. It didn’t look right so I put the pup by himself. I am happy to say the pup trumped the Baboon.

Chatting with John

Our daughter Georgie came up with the idea that it might be nice for me to chat about some of my sculptures in a short video format. So that’s what we have done. You can watch a video of the sculpture while I chat a bit about it. You can see them here or you can subscribe to the channel if you’re a YouTube user.

Thanks for your feedback

My thanks to all of you who responded with such gracious, kind and encouraging testimonials about my work. You can see your handiwork live on this website. We always welcome your feedback about the work you have purchased or any general enquiries you may have.

2020-04-15T22:55:30-04:00November 17th, 2019|Elephant, Large, Predators|

Wrapping up 2018 at Bronze Africa

Had a really lovely comment from Barbara and Steve about Closing in the Long Grass. Went something like this:

I wanted to let you know that the bronze ‘Closing in the Long Grass’ arrived safely on Friday. My husband and I are so pleased with it. We really love the sculpture. Thank you both for what you have done for us.

John, I received a book recently from the Painted Wolf Foundation in the United Kingdom. Maybe you are familiar with it. The title is ‘Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life’, by Nicholas Dyer and Peter Blinston. It is a beautiful book with a moving story about these incredible animals.

Di, I laughed when I read your description of camping in Namibia in the winter time. I know exactly what you mean. I’m sure you and John have many fascinating stories you could tell about your years spent in Africa.

Barbara & Steve

Thanks for the kind words Barbara.

And as you will see, Di and I show no signs of slowing down if you look at the year we had in 2018. March in France, April and May in Africa to visit my sisters and many of our old friends and in November we headed for Australia to visit our son Riley, his wife Laura, Emmett going on 4 and Stella going on 2.

And in between some 7 new pieces. Still waiting for the latest buffalo piece to arrive from the foundry but here are 6 new pieces for you to peruse.

Black Powder – a very dynamic new sculpture of a black rhino

Fighting Talk – a bugling elk and my first sculpture of this magnificent American giant

Heading for Water – a male and female southern nyala

Little Big Buck – a male bushbuck

The Scent of Silence – a new elephant piece to add to the collection

Bait Ball Ballet – and something right out of left field – a sculpture of a yellow fin tuna

Not sure what is store for 2019 but for now, another Christmas, the festive table to consume with gay abandon, vast quantities of vittles prepared by our wonderful women folk who are singular in their frantic need to sink us into glutinous mounds of quivering Christmas overindulgence. Wonderful! The Kiddies open their presents from Santa, break some, fight over others and hide the rest!

Wishing you all a fabulous festive season. Thank you for your continued support in 2018 and very best wishes for 2019.

2019-08-28T16:25:29-04:00December 24th, 2018|Antelope, Elephant, News, Rhino|

Bronzes rising from the ashes

This is a tale of woe that fortunately had a good ending for 3 of my original pieces. I suspect there are a good number of you out there that have never even seen these 3 pieces.

The Kilimanjaro Bull is three feet high and was the very first Elephant I sculpted but I don’t display it anymore. It is too heavy to haul around as are the wall mount and the giraffe. Time has marched on and Di and I don’t have the strength to handle these at the shows.

So herewith the tale. One of the foundries I have used for years burned down this year. Cal Paulson’s Billings Bronze was nearly burned to the ground. Thankfully no one was hurt and few losses of art occurred but there was really not much left.

The patina room was destroyed and much of the equipment was also burned. Sometime ago, Cal cast two Kilimanjaro Study wall mounts, one Kilimanjaro Bull as well as Rain Dancer, a four foot tall giraffe and they were just there when the fire went through.

Mercifully, the flames were not hot enough to melt or damage the bronze. On my way back from the Bozeman foundry last month I stopped by to collect the two heads and the Giraffe. The Kilimanjaro Bull however, will be on its way to be displayed and perhaps sold at the African Oasis in Dillion, Montana in the next few weeks or so.

Back from the dead

Cal had to patina the heads with rudimentary bits and pieces and used a fork lift to raise the pieces so we could get it done. We managed to find a little bottle of silver nitrate which is the foundation chemical he has always used to patina the Elephant. The darker colors were the usual ferric oxides he uses which is easy to make by putting a kilo of nails in a gallon of sulphuric acid and let the nails dissolve so we had plenty of that. Cal had his pump pot with the potash mixture so we had no problem with that either. The sequence is to put potash on the raw bronze and to highlight the high bits with a blue pad which is like a nylon pot scourer and then heat the whole thing with the blow torch which he had because it survived the fire but the bottle of course had exploded so he had another one or two brought in. We worked in a room across the street from the original Foundry. It was very hot work in that summer heat so naturally a few beers assisted in the improvisations we had to make.

Kilimanjaro Bull
Elephant head wall mount

I was glad to have the chance to work with Cal on these original pieces. A lot of water under the bridge for the two of us and it felt like we had gone full circle. Cal, the foundry and I go right back to when I very first arrived in the USA to become a full-time sculptor.

And there we shall leave this tale…

If you might be interested in the sculptures, do get in touch. Otherwise be on the lookout for some new work before we go to Australia in late October to visit our grandchildren and, of course, their parents.

And don’t forget that we are going to be at the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson, TX on October 6th and 7th. A new show for us which we are very much looking forward to attending so if you’re in the area don’t forget to come over and say hello.

Until next time, JT

2019-11-18T17:46:18-04:00September 12th, 2018|Elephant, Large, News|

More new Pieces in the Gallery

It’s been a while since I last posted here. Been a busy 2017 with renovations and new pieces of work. So without further ado let me introduce my three new pieces.

We’ll kick off with Audacity – an unusual piece in its form, depicting a leopard on a kill in a tree and this very brave or, equally, very stupid jackal stealing a leg of the dead impala that has dropped off the carcass.

Next up we have Reading the Menu – my first ever sculpture of a cheetah. Sitting on a termite mound surveying the grassland before it, picking out what might be next on the menu.

And finally Charge of the Light Brigade has made it into the bronze and I am absolutely delighted with this piece. It depicts 2 baby elephants playing – mock-charging an imagined foe or threat. Enjoy.

2019-08-08T00:26:49-04:00November 30th, 2017|Elephant, Medium, Predators|

Charge of the Light Brigade

These 2 little elephants are ready to go to the foundry – one of my more whimsical and light-hearted pieces to join the collection of smaller sculptures – popular as gifts and adornments on desks and smaller spaces in the home and the office.

Very pleased with this piece. Rich with that special brand of chaotic excitement that little ellies are so well known for.

2019-08-08T00:05:48-04:00July 2nd, 2017|Elephant, News|
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