Our Rafiki steel sculpture captures the wise mandrill from the Pride Lands mid-dance with his magical bakora staff.

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Our Rafiki steel sculpture captures the wise mandrill from the Pride Lands mid-dance with his magical bakora staff. This iconic scene is uniquely handcrafted using my specialized fire color hardening technique. The design begins with an original hand drawn rendering of Rafiki’s energetic pose, ancient tree bark robes swirling, as he holds the staff high to commune with the great kings of the past.

I grind and shape the sculpture, using controlled heat up to 1800°F to permanently set an array of greens, browns, greys, and black for dimensional details. As the metal is heated, natural colors emerge. No paints or coatings are used, just the physics of steel. And no two pieces are ever identical, epitomizing Rafiki’s one-of-a-kind mystical essence.

The finished steel sculpture is fitted by hand with marine grade stainless brackets to perfectly balance its hang angle. Though durable for outdoor installments, care should be taken to inspect fittings periodically. Proudly made by me in Central Florida. For interior or exterior decoration, this tempo-art steel interpretation celebrates Rafiki’s lively spirit and wisdom.

Additional information


24", 36"


Armando R. Hevia, a passionate artist and sport fisherman enthusiast, was born in Havana, Cuba, but moved to the U.S. as a young child. He has lived Orlando, Florida since 1972. Fortunately, Florida is a premier destination for fishing, and the open seas have given him a wide realm of both observation and discernment, fueling his creativity to replicate sea life in his own vision.

Armando has always loved to draw, and studied both Commercial Art and Welding at Mid-Florida Tech in Orlando. His welding knowledge prompted him to experiment with creating his first metal sculpture over 20 years ago. What began as a hobby has turned into much more, and he has methodically developed his stainless steel sculptures depicting sea life. All sculptures begin with a hand drawn design before the metal is cut to the proper specifications of each fish. He then grinds each piece to add depth and dimension into each piece. The array of colors is achieved by controlled heat, a process known as fire color. The colors are not painted on, but rather drawn out of the metal by different temperatures of heat. The colors are then embedded into the steel permanently. Each piece is original, and no two pieces are alike.

Armando not only has a passion for, but takes pride in each piece of art he creates. It is clear he has an innate, intuitive gift for art, and is willing and able to create anything the mind can imagine.