In early 2006, Michael Binkley secured a commission for a large, original fine art stone barn owl sculpture for his corporate collector, Clark Wilson LLP. Binkley had received a commission from this law firm to carve “Sounding Humpback” in 1989. For the barn owl project, Binkley began work on the piece during his first working visit to Studio SEM in Pietrasanta, Italy.
The sculptor personally chose the block of calacatta oro marble which was quarried in the mountains above the famous town of Carrara, Italy. He felt the yellow striations of the marble would fit well with the subject of a feathered creature. Binkley roughed out the sculpture at Studio SEM and then shipped the art work back to his Vancouver studio to complete the sculpture.
“Barn Owl” is carved completely in the round, save for its talons which Binkley has carved in high relief and he left webbing between the legs and under the tail of the bird for support. The artist carved the suggestion of a few wing feathers, but let the colour pattern of the marble describe the remaining feathers.
The patron was very pleased with the results and the sculpture now graces the reception area of the law firm.