New England’s first public mermaid statue will soon be unveiled as a permanent fixture on the Eastport harbor.
Its creator, local artist Richard Klyver, gave us a sneak peak.
The mythical creature took shape in Klyver’s backyard-where he operates his own bronze foundry.
“Once she was in clay then we made a series of plaster molds,” said Klyver.
Those molds are filled with bronze–which is heated to 2150 degrees using an outdoor furnace.
The bronze is covered with a layer of wax, then it’s preserved using fire.
“I have to get a really good hot flame going, so this is what we use,” said Klyver.
Klyver’s work usually consists of smaller pieces…the mermaid is his first to go on public display.
The lower part is a green, which is a copper-based element. The middle part is a traditional bronze. And then here you have a mixture of liver of sulfur and a red bronze dye. I repeated the green in the earrings,” said Klyver.
But Klyver says this mermaid almost wasn’t a mermaid.
“I proposed to the city to do a series of invertebrate sea creatures in bronze to put along the sea wall, and I was not able to get the funding. Four people approached me at one point and said ‘look, if you will change the subject matter from invertebrate sea creatures to a mermaid, we’ll finance you.’ I said ‘you’ve got a deal.'” said Klyver.
Six years later, she’s finally ready to go public.
Come Saturday the mermaid will take her rightful place right alongside the famous fisherman who’s adorned the Eastport waterfront for the past 14 years.
An entire day of events is planned–from a mermaid puppet show to speakers including a mermaid expert,-and kids are invited to dress as their favorite mythical creatures.
But the centerpiece will be this lady here.
“I’m hoping she’ll go over well with everybody,” said Klyver.