Braden Kiefiuk literally lifted the roof off his latest art project.
The owner of Majestic Metal Art in Spallumcheen needed to take panels off the roof of his Spallumcheen shop in order to get an eight-foot-high moose resting on 3/16th steel, featuring 4,000-to-5,000 pieces of metal and weighing between 800- and 1,000-pounds, out into the world.
“I built him the size I wanted knowing by the time it was finished I wouldn’t be able to get it out the door (of the shop),” said Kiefiuk, 56. “I had (Armstrong’s) Shepherd’s Hardware hiab truck lift it out for me. It was pretty cool.”
Creating metal art is Kiefiuk’s love, his passion, his pleasure.
His day job is a project manager for a sheet metal company that works with dust collection systems for sawmills and pulpmills.
When he has his vision of a piece settled into his mind’s eye, Kiefiuk will scour the Internet for images of said vision. He does this, he said, for all of his work. He’ll plaster the photos around his shop, walking back and forth, staring at the pictures. That’s how he comes up with his poses or the looks for his pieces.
It took Kiefiuk 10 years to complete the majestic metal moose as he couldn’t figure out a pose, or how to do the animal’s fur, or the antlers.
“I started it a long time ago but it got pushed around to the back of the shop as I had other commissions and projects I was working on,” said Kiefiuk.
“The opportunity came to get back on it, so I hammered it, went to town and got her done.”
Those thousands of pieces of metal are all shaped and hammered by Kiefiuk over a stump or anvil in his non-air-conditioned shop, then welded into place.
The moose’s antlers are made out of corten steel, a mild steel used in bridge building.
Kiefiuk’s latest piece has attracted interest from a pair of prospective buyers, but purchase discussions are still underway, he said. Other works of his currently adorn a hotel boardwalk in Kelowna (grizzly bear), and two wolves greet staff and students at the entrance of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
With the moose finished after 10 years, Kiefiuk said he’s putting down the hammer for a bit.
“I love doing it. It’s not my nine-to-five. It’s my every-other-hour beside nine-to-five,” he said. “With no air conditioning in the shop, I was building the moose in either freezing cold, or sometimes it hit 38 degrees (Celsius) in there earlier in the spring. I’m taking a bit of a break.”
You can find more information about Kiefiuk and his projects on social media at Majestic Metal Art, which is on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.