Black Rhino Sculpture

Black rhinos are magnificent and highly sculptural subjects. I never tire of observing and modelling them. They are amongst my favourite wild animals. So I thought I would share the back story of my latest black rhino sculpture, depicting a young calf at rest.

Black rhino calf sculpture

Black rhinos are feisty little creatures. I know this from first hand experience. As a student, I worked a summer placement as a rhino keeper at Chester Zoo. It was one of my earliest opportunities to interact with wild animals at close quarters, even touch them. I can still recall the surprising softness of the black rhino’s prehensile lip, which contrasted so unexpectedly with the surprising coarseness of the elephant’s trunk.

This formative experience turned out to be the beginning of a life-long fascination with animal behaviour. It taught me that all animal’s have their own individual characteristics and personality. Not only the animal’s anatomy, but also its body language, movement and temperament all inform my work as an animal sculptor.

Black rhino calf sculpture

As to the black rhino calf, Emma packed a powerful punch, as I discovered one day when she charged me in his enclosure. Fortunately, the spade I was using took the brunt of the impact. Over the course of the summer, with the help of generous portions of her favourite raw carrots, the young rhino and I managed to work out our differences.

Which brings me to this, my latest black rhino sculpture. This piece was inspired the antics of the baby rhinos in the care of the Care for Wild and their Rhino Orphanage, dedicated to rescuing and caring for orphaned and injured rhino, re-wilding and working with local communities to protect habitat and biodiversity. Please check them out and support their work.

I post daily on social media, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (links at the bottom of the page). Last week’s video post showing the black rhino sculpture being hosed down after his Raku firing went viral on Instagram with 14.5 million views! It turns out many people were watching it twice because they couldn’t understand why the rhino wasn’t moving. I’ve even had to reassure some who feared the worst.

Happily, the young rhino calf emerged unscathed from his firing and is now looking for his forever home. If you’d like to take him under your care, this black rhino sculpture is available to buy now direct from the studio. He can be shipped worldwide and would make a fantastic addition to any home.

Black Rhino Sculpture Making