Bears in the Garden

Harmony, Grizzly by Cathryn Jenkins

This weekend I spent a beautiful afternoon, wineglass in hand, wandering the gardens of a stunning estate in Langley, B.C. while viewing some of the stone sculptures of Cathryn Jenkins. A few months ago I produced a television profile on Jenkins whose great stone bears now grace some very prestigious venues including a couple of the larger hotel lobbies in Whistler.

Nikita, Grizzly by Jenkins

Jenkins started sculpting when she was about 14. She learned from her mother who was already an accomplished artist. The serpentine with which Cathryn works is quarried in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and trucked in massive blocks to her farmhouse studio in Langley. There, with the aid of diamond-tipped power tools, she begins the process of releasing these massive bruins from the stone. By the time you clear away all of that material and work your way through the painstaking steps to achieve a glossy finish you’re looking at a piece that is often as big as its wildlife counterpart and can command tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars.

I’ve tried a little sculpting myself. Certainly nothing on the Jenkins scale..although I’d love some day to tackle a rock the size of a small family car. (My hernia is twinging already).

Green Gyrfalcon

Like most passions this can be addictive. And messy. This is not something you do in a spare bedroom. I’ve worked for years with much smaller hunks of soapstone, which is essentially talc…and when you’re done roughing something out (often with cloud-producing power-tools) everything in your backyard is coated in a fine layer of white dust. Don’t become a sculptor unless you’re prepared to wash a lot of windows. See more about Cathryn Jenkins at:


One Response to “Bears in the Garden”

  1. Renda Luvaas Says:

    nice work by both of you – ty 4 the good advice but to late 4 me – i had to find out the hard way

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