Bronzetopus (Sean calls it “Pearl Diver” but whatever…)

California artist Sean Monaghan is one of my favorite/wittiest friends. A master of both animal and figurative work, he’s a terrific conceptual sculptor too. We met about twenty years ago when I first began casting bronze at Sean’s then fledgling BronzeWorks of Santa Cruz*; bonding immediately through our mutual—some might say, preternatural— “gift” for sarcastic repartee and smart aleck one-upmanship. I have many a fond memory of spending endless late-nights molding wax or sanding bronze until my fingers bled while laughing our heads off at God knows what.

A year ago, October, I got a chance to check out progress on Sean’s commission in-progress. I’ve paired a photo from then with a more recent shot from the installed “Pearl Diver”. I love the crazy complexity and humor and detail of this insanely twisted cephalopod fountain, commissioned by a new restaurant on the famed Santa Cruz Wharf. Every single one of those water pipes (including the bolts) was carefully molded and cast individually. He worked on this commission seemingly forever—but I am as meticulous and hardcore about detailing&finish as Sean—so I definitely appreciate the value and importance of takin’-it-slow.  To see more of Sean’s work, check out: And yes, of course you should give him hell for the circa-1992-web-design..!

*I lived in cool/seductive Santa Cruz from 1991-1998


Pearl Diver, outside SPLASH on the Santa Cruz Wharf

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