The son of a professional guide and outfitter, Rip Caswell developed an innate understanding and appreciation of nature and wildlife. As a young boy, he began sculpting his very first figures from the moist shoreline clay of the Pend Oreille River near his home in Washington State. An early apprenticeship in taxidermy established an intimate familiarity with wildlife physiology and form, and his work in this genre earned Rip a reputation for a uniquely natural style that brought movement and grace into a field normally focused on technical accuracy rather than presentation.
Having won numerous taxidermy awards, first regionally then nationally, friends and family began to encourage Rip to pursue his talents more directly through his growing interest in sculpture. This new creative outlet allowed Rip to fully express his own personal style and vision in presenting the beauty of nature’s form and movement, and he soon began sculpting professionally and producing works in bronze. Rip immediately demonstrated a true gift for the medium, and quickly gained regional and national attention for a style that seemed to capture the spirit of the animal and human figure. An extended study trip to Italy and the sculptures of the Pietra Santa, in the company of other well-established sculptors, gave Rip the creative inspiration needed to fuel the figurative sculpting vision apparent in many of his works today.
With dozens of awards and honors to his name, Rip Caswell’s work has been displayed in both the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and the Pentagon. Many of Rip’s most celebrated works have been commissions for civic spaces and monument-sized outdoor pieces, and commissioned works are currently on display in public spaces, buildings and museums across the United States.
"To create my bronze sculptures I use the ancient “lost wax” method used by artists for over 6,000 years. I savor the total freedom of creating with clay – with it I form the heart and soul of my subjects. When they are finished in bronze form, people can touch one of my sculptures and know what I felt when I created it. This is especially important in creating atmospheres that become counterpart to site-specific themes."
Treasures of Western Oregon Hardbound, Morgan & Chase Publishing Inc. 2005
“Art & Commerce: Modern Day Patrons of the Arts” Wildlife Art Nov/Dec 2007
“They Walk Among Us” Western Art & Architecture Winter/Spring 2008
Information courtesy of the artist