It’s always exciting to see a hare in the wild; spotting those distinctive ears, the large frame and noble face. Here in West Devon, South West UK, we are treated to regular sightings of hares. I watch them bounding along country roads with no particular haste to get out of the way of danger. At this time of year things are hotting up in the hare community. Amorous bucks are pursuing does, who in turn are boxing off their advances if the males are deemed unattractive or she is not yet ready to mate.
I enjoy making hare sculptures and they are a regular feature in my studio. But before I start any sculpture I do a significant amount of research. Observing hares in real life as well as from film footage helps me to get a feel for how they move and communicate. Exploring their anatomy through sketching is another way to understanding them and to appreciate their beautiful shapes.
All my sculptures are slab built around screwed up newspaper which acts like an armature. It later combusts in the firing leaving a cavity. I make the legs and head separately and then add them to the body. The hare’s ears are added once they are strong enough to stay up. I define the body shapes and muscles and then slowly work in a furry texture. The most important element of any of my hare sculptures is for them to look alert and ready to make a dash at any moment.