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Pilot’s close call with death triggers artistic talent

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LONGMONT, Colo. -- Ivan Schlutz is a lucky man. A lucky man with an incredible talent.

It's crazy to think it took an experience that nearly claimed his life, before he even realized the talent existed.

"Growing up my father taught us to fly really young," Schlutz said.

For a good chunk of his life, Schlutz worked in the aviation industry as a pilot. But one fateful day, while working at the Longmont Airport, a propeller blade struck his skull.

"The blade turned around and it still threw me about 20 feet," he said. "[I] lost about most of this side of the skull on the left side,".

The accident prevented Schlutz from returning to a career he loved dearly. It was heartbreaking for him.

"[I] pretty much knew I wouldn't be flying anymore at that point," he said.

In the years that followed, Schlutz was told to give a 'bronze sculpting class' a chance. It's something he had never done before; let alone any sort of art form.

"No," Schlutz chuckled. "I didn't do it before".

When you look at his finished work, it's simply incredible. The detail and emotion put into each piece is reflected in each statue.

"This is what lets me push myself to the next level," he said.

To learn more about Schlutz's work,  watch Kevin Torres and Photojournalist Drew Smith's "Unique 2 Colorado" report, profiling the artist's talent. If you have a 'Unique 2 Colorado' story idea, e-mail Kevin at kevin.torres@kwgn.com.

 

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