PLACIDA — As an area resident for 46 years, Jim Sears has thrived on his lifelike sculptures.
He followed in his father’s footsteps carving wood, and branched out to bronze sculpting, specializing in marine life — mostly turtles, lobsters, snook and redfish.
The transition to bronze was an easy one, he said.
“When I do bronze works like a bird, I use tupelo or basswood to make the mold,” Sears said. “I then cover with hot wax before I make the sculpture. I use acids for the color.”
It usually takes 12 weeks for Sears to complete a bronze sculpture. His work, he says, caught the attention of some famous people like Danny DeVito, John Wayne, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Burl Ives.
Sears’ work can be seen at the Placida Saturday Arts and Crafts Market, and he will be at the 26th Annual Englewood Bank Invitational Art Festival Jan. 26 and 27 at 1111 S. McCall Road.
Acrylics artist Ben Essenburg works with Sears on art shows and has known him for 23 years.
“I think he’s a good guy, funny and we’re the best of friends,” Essenburg said. Sears is working on a number of bronze sculptures — a 7-foot marlin, a 6-foot sailfish, a redfish, a snook and one of two tarpons jumping.
“I like the Placida Arts and Crafts Market because there a lot of local artists there,” Sears said. “There’s no pressure. It’s fun and (a) lot of local people flowing around.”
For more information on Sears’ work, go to http://www.jamessears bronzesculpture.com, or call 941-468-8540.
The Placida Saturday Arts and Crafts Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and most every other Saturday through April on the grounds of the Fishery Restaurant at 13000 Fishery Road, Placida. Parking and admission are free, and artists can display their work there free. For market information, call 941-697-2451, or go to the Placida-Saturday-Arts-Crafts-Market on Facebook.