“Legend of Phantom Marsh,” Fish Sculpture by Powell Swanser
We’ve all heard fish stories, and some of us have probably told a whale of a tale or two, but Powell Swanser Incredible Sculptures can create an exquisite fish sculpture that’s not only an incredible exercise in natural history but also a dramatic tableau.
A Montana native and world-renowned artist, Powell Swanser is a self-taught master of furniture making, bladesmithing, and sculpture. His award-winning aquatic and game fish sculptures are amazing “demanding studies in anatomy, color, raw power, and drama” and “educations in the hydrodynamics of attack and escape and heirloom masterpieces,” with bodies created from cut and carved black walnut, tails and fins of hammered brass plate, and gill rakers and teeth of filed steel. The fish’s surroundings, from dragonflies to cattails and lily pads, receive the same naturalistic attention to detail. Even the foamy water in his sculptures is brought to life through a secret technique and a unique “splash cannon” tool created by Powell.
In the “Legend of Phantom Marsh,” we see a glimpse of life and death below the water, “in the murky depths of a log jam,” as a battle-scarred 27” German brown trout responds to the sudden appearance of a young brook trout.
Powell describes the scene:
For years, this formidable dictator of the depths has faithfully maintained the vigil, protecting and defending his rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness within his marsh … a sacred sanctuary of absolute ownership. Suddenly … from out of the current, appears an unsuspecting and unwanted intruder. The naive juvenile, a young brook trout … has spied the stonefly nymphs that have settled to the bottom. With utter disregard for self-safety and dangerous disrespect for elders, he attempts to feast upon another’s bounty. The reaction is fast and brutal. Is this encounter merely the frightening experience of lesson learned … or the fatal act of trespass? In the aquatic world of real estate, one law stands etched in marble … “My home is not your home!”
Powell’s aquatic sculptures have graced the homes of presidents and movie stars and the galleries of museums, such as the Smithsonian. Take a look at some of his other works featured in the Powell Swanser Incredible Sculptures CustomMade portfolio. Contact Powell and you, too, can have a fish sculpture custom designed to capture the majestic beauty and rugged drama of nature.