A Montana native, Fred Boyer’s bronze wildlife sculptures have won awards and recognition worldwide. A Living Legend sculptor, Boyer’s work depicts nature frozen for a moment in time, portraying life in the wild as simple and ruthless, majestic and pure.
Fred Boyer has traveled the world but he has remained close to his roots in Anaconda Montana where he grew up, went to high school and went on to major in art education at Montana State University in Bozeman. His family recognized Fred’s artistic talents early. “I was always painting or drawing” he says, crediting an aunt, whom he considered an accomplished artist, as an inspiration. From early on, his family encouraged him to develop his talents.
After graduating from college, he went to Sitka, Alaska where he taught art in the public schools, and worked as a hunting guide in the summers.
He loves Alaska, but Montana kept calling him back home. He returned to Montana and taught art in the public schools for 14 years. “Teaching art is a learning experience for the teacher as well as the student” he says, recollecting his years in the education profession.
Although Boyer studied sculpture in college, he didn’t get really serious with sculpture until he had been teaching for 5-6 years.
Fred builds the underlying structure, or “armature” of the piece with wire and Styrofoam, which he can then carve to produce the basic shape. This he covers with clay that he’s melted to the consistency of peanut butter. The clay Fred uses is Plastalina, a mixture of Microcrystalyn wax (unrefined paraffin) Kaolin and mineral oil, which he keeps in a heated fridge in a corner of the studio.
This underlying clay remains very pliable so Fred can continue to make adjustments to the model’s position and even lop off a limb should something be dissatisfactory in the process! To translate his measurements onto the piece, Fred employs an architect’s rule, which allows him to scale the work.
Learn more about Fred and his work at www.fredboyer.com