Ornate Crab

Elaborate, sturdy, mystical, rare, vivid.


56" wide x 44" tall x 11" deep


It was commissioned for a gate in Hawaii. I received a photo from the client of the crab they wanted but they had no idea what type of crab it was. In order to do this incredible creature justice, I needed more reference photos and facts.

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Stainless steel charybdis obtusifrons crab sculpture
Artist Aiden Dale with his metal ornate crab (Charybdis Obtusifrons Sculpture)
Charybdis obtusifrons sculpture
Closeup of metal ornate crab claw
Closeup of shell of steel charybdis obtusifrons sculpture

I contacted a handful of marine biologists and a few got back to me and gave me everything I needed. It turns out it is a crab called charybdis obtusifrons and is found in Moorea and the IndoPacific. I would like to thank Dr. Megan Donahue from the University of Hawaii for her help and take a look at what she is currently working on. And I would like to thank Dr. Tom Wolcott and Dr. Donna Wolcott from North Carolina State University for their help. You can see some of their recent work in a PBS short

It was a pleasure bringing this exquisite creature to life. A unique challenge to this sculpture was its jet black portions. Black is a color that doesn’t come easily to stainless. I decided to burn holes and back those holes with darker metal to create texture while achieving the closest thing I could to true black. And since that first crab I have redesigned it and have been thrilled to see a lot of interest in this piece from a lot of folks with the cancer zodiac sign!

This metal crab sculpture is wall hanging, handmade entirely out of stainless steel, colored using only heat patinas and is completely safe to be kept outdoors!