When we last spoke with wildlife sculptor Gerald Balciar in 2017, he was excited about developing a new bronze patina to capture the distinctive hue of bluebirds. The birds nest in the many boxes that Balciar and his wife Bonnie have placed around their 10-acre ranch in Parker, Colorado. “Oh yes, I’ll be doing more and more bluebirds,” he said at the time.
Six years later, Balciar has made good on that promise. When we caught up with him to learn about his studio—a 40′ x 60′ metal pole barn with seven rooms—the 80-year-old artist was in the process of sculpting a family of bluebirds. “When I go to work on a subject, I’ll get every picture out and have all my studies on my desk as I sculpt the originals,” says Balciar, who fell in love with animals while growing up in Wisconsin’s north woods and later learned to model them in three dimensions during 12 years working as a taxidermist.
Today, he has a reference collection of study casts that includes both North American and African animals. “I sculpted the aardvark and the Grevy’s zebra—that’s my A and Z,” he says.
14″ by 14″ by 6″
10″ by 11″ by 7″