Grizzly statue unveiled
One front leg of the grizzly alone, Enderby’s Braden Kiefiuk estimates, contains 4,000 individually shaped pieces of metal.
Overall, on his latest creation of a grizzly bear with a cub, Kiefiuk of Majestic Metal Art figures there’s probably between 35,000 and 40,000 metal pieces.
Kiefiuk unveiled his latest creation, made in the confines of his Stanley Avenue shop with the seven-foot ceiling, Saturday morning with about 60 people gathered in his front yard.
The bears are a thing of metal and artistic beauty.
“The grizzly is five-feet tall at the hump, about seven-feet long and weighs about 800 pounds,” said Kiefiuk. “I have one cub with her and the cub weighs about 150 pounds.”
The pair of bears were nearly a year in the making for Kiefiuk, a shop foreman at Combined Mechanical Contractors by day who spends his weekends, evenings and extra days off creating metal magic in his shop.
Kiefiuk became known in 2013 for his first major creation, a 10-foot-tall metal mule deer that weighs between 800 and 1,000 pounds, is six-feet wide from nose-to-tail and which now stands permanently beside Enderby City Hall.
Creating the bears took nearly a year.
“I started last August,” said Kiefiuk. “I did it differently than the deer in the panelling. I actually attempted to replicate bear fur, so it was little small pieces at time. It’s all metal, all hand-formed, and no two pieces are alike.”
The bears took “way more effort” than the deer to create to the point that finishing the project was becoming agonizing for Kiefiuk.
“I had to force myself out there (shop) while everyone else is enjoying the sun and I have to finish the sculpture,” he said. “It’s so tedious. That’s the hardest part. Building the bear was simple. It’s staying on track and doing it that was horribly hard with so many other distractions.
“That’s why I like to work in the wintertime. I come from work, it’s hard. Nobody’s doing anything you’re missing out on.”
Kiefiuk has missed out this year on some rounds of golf, but he plans to rectify that now that the bears are complete.
“I’m going to rest and relax for July and August and maybe finally get some golf in,” he laughed. “I haven’t started thinking about a next project.”
Two potential buyers expressed interest in purchasing the grizzly and cub before Kiefiuk’s unveiling Saturday. He was meeting with a third potential buyer over the weekend.