an early age, Chris Barela showed a strong attraction
to the water. For family vacations the Barela family
would travel the United States fishing most lakes and
rivers. Chris would always be the first and last to be
fishing. As Barela grew, his love for the water became
started a surfing career, and with hard work and determination
Chris took on the number one rating in the US Pro Surfing
tour. At the peak of his career Barela was a finalist,
surfing waves that were 12 to 15 feet in the "Banzai Pipeline Masters" in
Hawaii (Internationally televised). Chris was known for
his versatile style and could adapt to any style of wave,
big or small left or right.
Barela spent most of his teen
years on the Hawaiian Islands. Growing up on the Islands
Chris would scuba dive the lava tubes, diving the reef
was a magical experience, almost surreal. There were
long hot days spent waiting for the surf to pick up and
when it didn't Chris spent time fishing the exotic waters.
Memories of fish striking and boiling on bait are those
that are inspiring.
As an adult and reflecting
on his past, Chris wanted to bring back some of those
exciting moments, but in a different way. He wanted more
than a photo or a painting. He wanted to create dimension,
to feel the amazing strength and beauty these fish had.
Chris then began to study and train with sculptress Terri
Bennett until finally he produced his life like sculpture
of a fish. Chris's sculpture are a reflection of his
of his surfing maneuvers, he feels he owes his sculpture
designs to surfing.
Chris then wanted to learn
to color his bronzes. He studied with master patiner
Michael Edge for the coloration of Bronze. In order to
successfully produce the color on bronze he uses an extremely
heated torch at 350-500 and carefully measured chemicals,
the two applied together create the brilliant blues,
greens and golds which enable Barela Sculpture to come
alive. Chris is educated to build steel armatures, sculpture,
make molds, fine finishing of metal and patina. Most
of Barela's works have been commissioned and he most
enjoys the challenge of a monument sculpture or fountain.
At this time Barela lives in Hawaii with his wife and
business partner Phoebe & their
two children Shane and Sage. Chris and Shane now, 13 surf and fish local waters
off the big Island. Barela feels very fortunate to be able to share the wonderful
life experiences and knowledge of marine life with his children. He is a firm
believer in catch and release, it is the enlighten awareness that brings together
life & Sculpture.