Sometimes you observe a moment so special you simply have to capture it in clay and there it lives on. On my last wildlife trip to Zambia a small family of elephants walked by in there usual stately fashion. The baby elephant, less than a year old, was preoccupied with mud, trees and everything really when he suddenly realised mum was further on then he had thought.
Initially he tried to keep his composure but panic got the better of him and, with flapping ears and tail aloft, all his body language was shouting, ‘Wait for me!’ The moment lasted only a few seconds but it was such a wonderful intimate moment in a young elephant’s life I felt I had to capture it in clay.
These baby elephant sculptures are large at around 60cm (2ft) long. Structurally it was a challenge to manage such a large volume of clay on four legs. Once the basic shape was there I spent the next few days slowly modelling details, paying particular attention to the ears. I really wanted to capture the flapping of the ears so you could almost hear it. Once finished the elephant sculptures were fired and received a gentle smoking, which resulted in a subtle and natural finish.
Young Thunder (three baby elephant sculptures) will be part of my Solo Show in Beaux Arts Bath running from 17 November until 23 December 2014.