Bronze Sculpture by Chris Barela

Artworx Gallery is pleased to showcase bronze sculptures by American artist Chris Barela. Marine artist, photographer and sculptor Chris Barela spent his formative years in Southern California, surfing in Orange County. After ascending to the pinnacle of success in the world of competitive professional surfing in the 1970s, Chris continues to derive pleasure from the ocean near his home and studio, located on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Careful study and documentation of the marine life he observes first-hand enables Chris to sculpt magnificent undersea creatures, from the tiny seahorse to the impressive marlin.

Barela’s charming sea turtles evoke both the wisdom and playful demeanor of these sage elder statesmen who live beneath the waves. Chris often sees and films turtles from his surfboard, and says that every time is a special encounter that leaves him smiling.

“Each turtle has a unique personality, and the way they cruise around at a leisurely pace is a reminder to us to slow down and enjoy life too. They definitely like to come around and check out the humans, see what we’re up to in their living room.”

Aruba by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with beautiful colour patina

Aruba by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with beautiful colour patina

Barela uses the lost wax technique to create his sculptures, a labour-intensive process invented by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. He begins with a conceptual sketch for each sculpture, from this a model is made. First a wax replica is made from the original sculpture, which is repeatedly dipped into a solution and dried for several days forming a strong ceramic shell. This shell is heated in the foundry to melt and drain away the inner wax, then molten bronze is poured into its place. The shell is then chipped off and sandblasted to reveal the bronze underneath. The bronze sculptures go through several smoothing and polishing processes before they are ready for the final stages.

To achieve the vibrant colours Frogman sculptures are famous for, each one goes through several steps of hand applied colour patina to create the unique depths and richness of appearance. This process is all done by hand and no two sculptures are ever the same. Each sculpture is finally buffed and waxed by hand.

Kiko by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with a stunning colour patina.

Kiko by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with a stunning colour patina.

Lil' Flipper (blue) by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with stunning colour patina.

Lil’ Flipper (blue) by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with stunning colour patina.

Chris Barela’s sculptures are part of a limited edition and come complete with their own certificate of authenticity to prove their provenance. Each sculpture is engraved with the edition number and edition size which is also stated on the certificate of authenticity.

Bermuda by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with stunning colour patina.

Bermuda by Chris Barela. Bronze turtle sculpture with stunning colour patina.

For more information please visit

Chris Barela at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively please ring 01952 820397 or email info@artworx.co.uk
Artworx Gallery, 67 High Street, Newport, Shropshire TF10 7AU.

Opening times Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm. Saturday 9am – 5pm. Sunday closed.

Or get in touch below with our contact form….

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