THE biggest bronze sculpture of a grizzly bear ever made in the UK is travelling over the Atlantic from Stroud.
Standing almost 11 ft tall with a four ft base – making it taller than a double decker bus – and weighing 2.3 tonnes, Indomitable, a life-size bronze sculpture of the colossal Kodiak bear is on its way to Brown University in Rhode Island, USA, having been cast at Pangolin Editions foundry in Chalford.
The bear is the University’s emblem and Devonshire sculptor Nick Bibby was commissioned to make the piece last year.
Last week, after 18 months and 3,500 hours of work, the completed sculpture was shipped to the East coast of America where it will be officially revealed to the University at the end of October.
Nick, who has been a sculptor for more than 20 years, said: "Grizzly bears are truly my favourite animal so to be given the opportunity to sculpt the most exciting, challenging and fulfilling sculpture of my career so far has been an absolutely wonderful experience.
“Early in the process it really hit me as I looked at the sheer bulk of the bear looming above me just what a mammoth project laid ahead.
“Even working flat out on a good day I could only sculpt a couple of square feet of the intense fur texture due to the concentration and focus required to produce that level of detail."
More than 100 people have been closely involved in moulding, casting and finishing the sculpture and during the process Nick received an order for a second ‘grizzly’ cast.