How It Began
In 1998, after 22-years as a skilled contractor and successful businessman, Ken Borchardt decided to turn his inborn talent and life-long interest in art into a full-time occupation as a sculptor. Self-taught and self-trained, Ken has experimented with several sculpture media. He started by creating relief sculptures in limestone and then he moved on to direct sculpting in wood using exotic hardwoods such as African mahogany, Brazilian walnut, spalted maple, and teak. His wood sculptures range from maquette size to ¾ size. Some are abstract, organic forms and others are realistic busts and nude figures.
The “Mother’s Nature Series,” consisting of seven different Limited Edition bronzes, were inspired by his love for nature and life. Listening to the world around him, the universal themes of professional and personal relationships, relaxing and enjoying life are all integral parts of his creative process. Both masculine and feminine figures convey various feelings or emotions of the time.
One of Ken’s unique skills as a sculptor is his ability to create a patina and apply it to the bronze so that it enhances the sculpture’s qualities. He is constantly honing his application techniques — drawing the viewer into the piece, allowing him or her to experience it emotionally as well as intellectually.
Ken also direct carves in marble and alabaster. Using dancers as models, Ken’s primary focus is to capture the movement and flow of the model and her clothing. He uses the stone to inspire him, sometimes changing his original intention to fit with the stone’s inherent qualities. “Direct carving in stone is always an adventure because although I visualize the piece a certain way initially, the stone itself – its coloration or veining – can cause me to adapt my vision as I’m carving it.” Continuing to expand his body of work, Ken created several sculptures using combinations of marble/wood, wood/bronze, and ceramic/bronze, ultimately leading to his recent focus on working in bronze.