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Porter Coelophysis skull

Chris Porter

Grand County Artist

Local sculptor carves niche in K-Town

by Cynthia McCoy

As an artist, Chris Porter embraces anything that catches his eye. But more than anything, it is the ideas of customers and custom, special orders that most inspire the local sculptor.

He works hard to give his customers what they are looking for, he says, and wants them “to feel something.”

He has been creating art for as long as he can remember. He sketches, paints, writes, carves into wood and stone, and sculpts paper and clay. At the moment his preferred medium is polymer clay, which he can bake in his oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Porter art elk

Porter’s moose and elk sculptures are part of a 10-piece series featuring animals found in Colorado. He also has ornament and pendant sets from the series. Photos compliments of Chris Porter.

Porter Black Raven dragon

Chris advises budding artists: “Do what you want to do.”

As of late, he has been firing up skull beads (for necklaces) and candleholders, dragon and dinosaur skulls and fossils, and other Halloween and holiday-themed pieces (including a series of ornaments representing Colorado animals). Because some pieces can be very intricate, prices depend on the detail.

He was born in Washington and grew up in New York. He came to the Kremmling area in 1999 and helped form a co-op of artisans in 2012 called the Gore Range Artisans Group.

The collective started with about six talents and now encompasses the works of almost two dozen artists, each with something different to offer. Guests are invited to check out their pieces at their gallery, located at 110 West Park Avenue, Kremmling.

Hours are 9 am-5 pm Thursday-Monday. For info. call (970) 724-4197.

Porter art chains
Porter Black Raven dragon

Porter’s Allosaurus (meaning “different lizard,” probably because of it’s three toes) is one of several dinosaur skulls (and dragon-related works) the sculptor has pieced together. He also creates fossil / skeletal imprints in shadow box displays.

He carved and fired skulls that held votive-sized candles for Halloween, then branched off that idea and put them together in designs to fit larger sizes. He has also been asked to carve skull, bone and teeth beads for necklaces.

One of Porter’s dragon skulls is 3’x2′ and had to be fired in pieces, including the teeth, jawbone, skull, horns, sinus cavity and more. Porter estimates he applied about 96 hours to it (as well as a special (temporary) extension for the door of his oven).

*Thanks go to Chris Porter for sharing his talents, and for the photographs of his works.

Freelance journalist Cynthia McCoy
Local journalist Cynthia McCoy inspires to cover any and all art forms in Grand County (culinary, performance, media, and musical). She grew up in Hot Sulphur Springs and worked for Grand County Publishing (Sky-Hi News, Winter Park Manifest, Middle Park Times, and daily tribunes) for almost a decade. Her current passions flow freely into This Side of Berthoud, a division of Slopeside Productions. There is a calendar updated daily on its FaceBook page, and the company is currently putting together a third compilation CD.

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