born and raised in Kenya, Denis Mathews enjoyed both art and science at school, but the educational system forced students to choose their vocation at a young age. He had to drop art for science. He continued on to study engineering at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 1978.
After working in the industry for eight years, he setup Matbronze to cast his father’s sculptures, but on Valentine’s day 1987 his father was tossed by a rhino. His injuries would take years to heal. Denis had lost his only customer. Rather than close the foundry and lay off staff he had trained, Denis turned his hand to sculpting. The first years were tough. The steep curve of learning how to sculpt, coupled with the failure rate of new castings, together with Kenya’s limited resources almost broke the business. However, persistence prevailed. Today, Matbronze has the largest display of wildlife bronzes in Africa. Over six hundred pieces, ranging from cuff-links to life size crocodiles. From cute cub footprints to large lion track trays.
The two galleries and foundry are situated in historical Karen, a suburb of Nairobi – originally Karen Blixen’s coffee farm. Matbronze is conveniently located between Nairobi’s two main tourist attractions: The Giraffe Centre and the Elephant Orphans. The Matbronze cafe offers light lunches and all day refreshments in a comfortable garden setting. (Please see map on our contacts page.)