Astonishing, dazzling, dangerous, vivid, garish.


31" wide x 27" tall x 13" deep


This exquisite creature has been near the top of my list of things I wanted to create for a very long time because if its bright vivid colors, its showy fins and compelling markings. I just needed the right opportunity. And one came along in the form of a juried show at the museum of life and science here in Durham NC called 30 x 30 which was a show to bring awareness to a campaign supported by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to protect 30% of earths land, water and oceans by 2030.

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Stainless steel lionfish sculpture colored using only torches by artist Aiden Dale.

Artist Aiden Dale with his metal Lionfish sculpture.

Closeup of metal lionfish sculpture's face.

Closeup of lionfish sculptures fin.

This flowering dogwood sculpture is a wall hanging art piece. It's a metal sculpture handmade entirely of stainless steel by Durham, NC based artist Aiden Dale.

And all of the work was to be nature themed for this show which is right up my alley. And I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to finally make the lionfish! Now I know this is a bit controversial as they are a highly invasive species but this is why it felt like a perfect time to make one as it could be a conversation starter about protecting our wild areas. And the lionfish didn't migrate to our waters we brought it here and accidentally released it. The fish is simply doing what it knows to survive and it is unfortunately doing it very well.

The design of this fish was pretty straight forward as far as the pieces of metal were concerned as I have done hundreds of fish before this one. But where the challenge and fun came in with this one was with the intricate and ornate colorful patterns. As always I had to start with the hottest color, blue, and color the whole fish blue then I ground away the golden stripes, colored them and then finally I came in with the natural silver color of the stainless. This was a very tedious project with many days of hand grinding with my tiny pencil grinder. It was fun to match the stripes from the face through the eye and lip. And once this piece was done I had the very rare experience of being immediately proud of the final product!

This lionfish sculpture is safe to be kept outdoors!