As we recently outlined in our February blog, “How This Winter’s Storms Have Impacted Maine and The Lobster Industry,” it wasn’t just piers, pilings, wharves, boats, and the shoreline that suffered damage. (Astoundingly, Maine has just endured its fourth 100-year storm in early March, damaging even more lobster wharves and shoreline property!)

For artist and sculptor Richard Johnson, the storms generated by this El Niño winter got personal. Last year, he began a quest to cast his King Neptune sculpture in bronze to donate it to the Maine Lobster Festival in honor of long-time volunteer Alice Knight. But the storm surge from this winter’s battering winds and surf destroyed his work. Here are before and after photos showing the damage.

But you can’t keep a good King down. Especially when it’s to be dedicated to a Knight. Johnson has gone ahead with plans to rebuild his monument with a GoFundMe page to raise money for the bronzing process.

In a recent YouTube video, Johnson described the process of recasting the King’s head in wax. The next step is for the wax head to be encased in a ceramic material, after which he’ll layer on about 12 to 15 coats. He’ll then create a mold into which the melted bronze will be poured. He hopes to have King Neptune’s head, arm with lobster, and staff cast by this spring.

The project will cost $25,000 to rebuild with just over $2,000 donated towards that goal by the community at the time of this blog’s writing. All of the money donated will go entirely toward bronzing the sculpture. Johnson is dedicated to donating his time and not accepting any of the donations for himself.

In addition to being a sculptor, Johnson is also a talented muscian, and has an album coming out soon titled Neptune’s Return. Keep an eye out for news regarding a benefit concert in the fall to support the bronzing of the statue. In the meantime, listen to some early releases from the album.

To support the project, make a donation. You can also get updates on Johnson’s progress as he continues to rebuild King Neptune by following the GoFundMe page, or friend Neptunes Return on Facebook.

Maine communities have faced a lot worse, and we stand strong in helping one another. Come see this statue in person this summer during the Maine Lobster Festival July 31-Aug. 4, 2024, offering free admission once again! Visit our website for more details: