About Chris Bladen
Chris grew up close to nature, fostering his keen interest in the natural world and its workings, with fish, birds and animals 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.
After qualifying as a dental technologist and working in this field for a number of years, Chris realised he would rather create bronze wildlife sculptures. With the technical skills he acquired in the dental laboratory it was an easy transition to model highly detailed sculptures with immaculate attention to detail.
Bronze Wildlife Sculptures by Chris Bladen
Each custom-made bronze sculpture starts with an intensive study – considering form, anatomy and the environment the subject matter lives in to get a full understanding of the species.
Back in the studio, photographs and sketches are studied in intricate detail, and then the sculptural process begins in earnest. For Chris, the most important part is designing the armature, or skeleton, in metal to serve as a base for the clay modelling stage. Depending on the piece, Chris uses natural water-based clay, wax-based clay or sculpting wax. Recently he has been collecting clay from local riverbanks, which he feels brings him closer to earth and nature in its raw form.
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. Although most of his work is true to life, Chris also experiments with the abstract and suggestive in form and surface texture.
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