Sculptor | Fly-Fisherman
Chris Bladen grew up close to nature, fostering his keen interest in nature and its workings, with fish and birds always topping the list. At the same time, he was also exposed to art. His dad trained young sculptors in the fine craft of stone carving, focusing on ‘seeing’ anatomical form and structure in the material. Fascinated, Chris started carving fish in wood and stone in his early teens.
Formally trained as a dental technician, Chris worked in laboratories in London and South Africa, and credits the skills he learned from making dental crowns for his trained eye in precision sculpting and his immaculate attention to detail.
As a fly fisherman, Chris pursues anything from trout, bonefish and permit on remote flats to billfish roaming the open seas. Once hooked, he has the opportunity to look at, hold and capture these species on camera. But the ultimate pleasure is releasing these wonderful specimens back into their natural environment.
Back in the studio, photographs are studied in intricate detail, and then the sculptural process begins in earnest. With each piece he produces, Chris hopes to inspire an appreciation of the beauty of our marine and bird life, and the desire to respect and conserve them.
‘Each piece I work on is an intense relationship,’ says Chris. ‘I sometimes have to fight my way through the sculpting proses, searching, trying and destroying until it suddenly jumps out at me. Perhaps I am not a natural, but I do work hard at perfecting my methods.’
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