The leopard sculpture I featured in the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) Artist of the Year exhibition at London’s Mall Galleries was snapped up in the opening hours of the show. The client who bought the wild dog sculptures Time Out had his eye on the leopard sculpture and was disappointed to miss out, so he commissioned his very own.
I sent him a few ideas and after further consultation it was decided to go with a leopard draped over a branch. This is so often how you see them in Africa. I selected the right shaped piece of driftwood and decided on the leg positions. Leopards are incredibly graceful animals, so I sculpted the front leg outstretched in an elegant curve with the head poised on top of it. The pose is, however, relaxed and intimate where we catch sight of her large paws.
Once the leopard sculpture went through the first firing, my next job was to apply the glaze colours. It took a number of hours to paint the correct shaped rosettes in the right pattern. After the second firing I fixed the leopard to the driftwood and it all came together nicely.
Without healthy populations of these beautiful animals I wouldn’t be able to do my job. They are my inspiration. Half of the cost of this leopard sculpture has therefore been donated to DSWF to help fund vital conservation projects with, amongst other animals, rhinos, wild dogs and tigers.