Studio West sculptor Don Begg leaves monuments behind — literally
More than 40 years of creating art, and still going strong
For sculptor Don Begg, creating art is about preserving memories — like his monuments that can last for generations.
"They don't rust, they may corrode a little bit, but we saw bronzes that were 4,500 years old, and they looked like they were brand new," he said.
Begg was born and raised in Cochrane and it's where he and his wife, Shirley Begg, still operate their workshop and foundry
The couple founded Studio West in 1970 and has been working side by side to create more than 85 public monuments across North America. Their works have also been accepted in collections and museums across the world, including the Queen's.
Don first studied bronze casting and sculpture in Alberta and California. He also studied the craft of monumental sculpture in New Jersey and New York.
After more than four decades of sculpting, Don still insists on being personally involved in every stage of casting and finishing of his statues.
He uses the "lost wax" casting method that has been around for centuries, and it's thirsty work.
"Our bronze, it starts to melt at 1,800 degrees and we will pour at about 2,100 degrees," Don explains.
The Beggs love creating art that is accessible to anyone that wants to enjoy it. Many of their works can be seen around Calgary.
Here are a few:
Visitors can schedule a free tour to see the gallery and learn more about the lost wax bronze casting method.