If you want to have close encounters with wild elephants then Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge is the ultimate destination.
Our sculpture/photography Safari was timed to coincide with the fruiting of the lodge’s huge mango tree. Throughout the day families of elephants would walk through reception and the grounds to feast on mango and provide our guests with perfect models.
From our deck we could look out at elephants eating, sleeping, playing and walking all around us. What proved particularly useful was being able to look down on passing elephants so we could get a feel for their shape and movement. By the end of the week most of the clients had commented how they now looked at animals in a different way; watching how muscles move, how weight is transferred and observing body language etc.
I had sourced local Zambian clay for the animal sculpture workshop which was quite different to my lovely porcelain and took a bit of getting used to! I started with a demonstration of my building technique and then manipulated the wild dog pup sculpture to tell stories and show how you can breath life into a piece. Everyone then set to making their own animal sculpture.
Having hosting many workshops over the years I was struck by how sharp these guests’ observational skills were.
Having the opportunity to watch an inspirational animal that morning on a game drive and/or using the ‘resident’ elephants as a model is so fresh and exciting.
They produced excellent sculptures full of life and lovely shapes! My studio is now home to all their sculptures while they dry out. They will soon be fired and then sent out to be reunited with our guests.