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Bronze Beauty

06/30/2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

The hundreds of equestrian enthusiasts who spend their weekends atop saddles in shows across the state do so each weekend for the pleasure of horses and competition, but for Patricia Borum, attendance serves a different purpose. Up and down the Golden State, the sculptor travels to showcase her ware – an inspiring collection of equestrian bronze. The passersby know she’s talented, but what most don’t know is the journey that formed her skill.

It began decades ago when a fearless child rode donkeys across the winded desert of Iran. Too tiny to master something larger, the tot fell in love with her sister’s Arabian stallion, an exquisite gift bestowed upon the daughter of an American general by the region’s wealthy sheik. With donkeys and horses in tow, the wide-eyed blonde followed the tracks of nomadic tribes, falling in love again daily with their colors, freedom and ponies.

Short years later, atop ponies in England’s rainy green countryside, life was still new and inspiring. Along the meandering River Thames and over the tops of rolling Chiltern Hills, little Patricia came to understand the kindred sprit shared by girl and horse.

“Being in England with a pony in my backyard is a dream come true for any young girl,” she says. “It wasn’t just an old cow pony, which would have been wonderful too, but England is known for its proper riding and for its love of animals.”

The expanse of Buckinghamshire meant endless freedom; the royal museums showcased the finest equestrian art, and lessons at Fulmer Riding Academy provided traditional skill. It was in London’s Tate Gallery that the girl would fawn over works of George Stubbs, the 18th century Brit praised for the beauty of his noble equestrian paintings. Later, in countries across Europe, Borum would witness the finest equine art collections that the world’s galleries and plazas had to offer.

When adulthood came and Borum left Europe and her horses, it was all real estate and wedding bells and, well, just life. To make a bit of extra cash, Borum, always an artist, began painting furniture, nothing particularly inspiring; a few things grand; mostly to fill time and the piggy bank.

But that all changed on the day Borum picked up a ball of clay and sculpted the bust of a rogue Grecian stallion. His eyes wild and demanding, mane ripping in a gust of wind - he was nearly perfect at once, and the realization of her talent was immediate.

Since then, Borum hasn’t stopped sculpting. Her skills are more refined, her studio has expanded and one by one, out came the bronze ponies, each one more elegant that the last.

Today her abilities seem limitless. Her weekend event tent holds but a portion of her talent – hand-sized figurines; something larger for a marble foyer, a few resin and fiberglass fountains. But ask what she can offer, and you’ll likely be surprised. Among the commissioned works that she’s capable of producing are life-sized replicas of your own horse’s loving face, massive garden fountains and her latest masterpiece – the proud Spanish rider on his Andalusian stallion, now greeting residents of La Quinta, California. At 14 feet tall and 16 feet long, the bronze statue is nothing short of extraordinary.
The tour de force took two years to complete, but Borum says the effort and hours were worth the reward. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says.

To view Borum’s work, visit patriciaborum.com, or contact her at her Orangevale studio at 916-989-6623.

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