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Force of Nature

Sculptor Cathy Ferrell draws her inspiration from air, land and sea

Cathy Ferrell. Photo by Renee Brady

Cathy Ferrell. Photo by Renee Brady

Shaped by a love of the sea, sculptor Cathy Ferrell’s ancestors date back to the early settlers of New England. “We trace our roots back to the Plymouth Colony in the early 1600s,” says Ferrell. “They were seafarers who earned their living in whaling and shipping and as merchants and bankers. So, I guess I have some of those genes. From an early age I was drawn to the power of the ocean and all its magnificent wildlife and sea creatures. My life and my work revolve around themes of nature.”

On a wind-swept, stormy afternoon I paid a visit to Ferrell and her husband, Tuck, at their splendid home that sits on A1A a few miles south of Sebastian Inlet. In her light-filled lower level studio, Ferrell’s detailed portrayals of dolphins, fish, great blue herons and sandhill cranes are evidence to the physical world she inhabits residing between the ocean and the Indian River, surrounded by the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. 

 Deliberate and exactling in her work, Ferrell captures the essence of her subject in a pleasing and joyful way. Her passion, spirituality and enthusiasm abound. One of her most widely exhibited works is “Abaco Hogfish,” circa 1999. First carved in strawberry alabaster and later produced from a mold made from the carving, it was cast in multi-colored patinas of bronze.