Rod grew up playing with clay and by the age of 14, he realized that not only did sculpting quickly become his favorite hobby, but that he actually “had a gift” for it. Rod has never had any art lessons hence, his inability to draw anything beyond a “smiley face”.
Rod graduated from Western Michigan University with a major in marketing and accounting. He then spent 13 years in the Army, at first as an NCO and later as an OCS commissioned officer and company commander. He also worked at a major (legal) pharmaceutical company. At that point, he then decided to quit the ‘day job’ and pursue his life's passion -- sculpting. He’s turned his hobby into a successful business and has become an internationally recognized sculptor.
Rod served for 13 years first as an NCO and after O.C.S. he rose to the rank of Capt in an Armor Battalion. Rod has degrees are in Marketing and Accounting, yet never took an art class in his life. Rod Mench likes to say he comes from the school of ACE HARDWARE. The only drawback to that school is that he can’t draw either. Rod can look at something and can “see” it in his mind. Which gives his work a trait, a “look if you will", of “thinking outside of the box”.
The American Civil War and modern military have always been the main focus of his business. When asked by COLLECTORS EDITION magazine why the Civil War, he responded, “I’m a great fan of lost causes, cavalry charges, and country waltzes.”
With his great interest in history, Mr. Mench believes that there are many human conflicts that go beyond the political storms that no one knows about. The Civil War is rich in human-interest stories. Modern military also has its own stories – and, occasionally, active duty personnel invite him out to the range to blow stuff up! As a tanker in the Army, Rod has truly developed an “appreciation for decimation”.
With 19 years’ professional experience, he is able to create unique sculptures with painstaking detail. He is also one of the few artists to actually ask his collectors what they want. His emphasis is on accuracy, quality, and always keeping a fresh approach.
In 2000, Rod expanded his modern military line into a concept named “Mil Spec’s”.
With his military experience, he knew about the difficulties that our personnel had with awards being affordable and meaningful. The Mil-Spec’s line started to grow far more than anticipated and by 2003 had overshadowed the Civil War line.
With the Civil War line slowly being phased out, Rod has been very busy developing new sculptures and branching out into custom works.