Recently I was contacted by a client from the United States about a pet cat sculpture commission. I know from personal experience that losing a much loved family pet can be one of the hardest things to endure in life. I still think about all my dogs. I see their influence in many of my animal sculptures, and it can be a great comfort to have something tangible to remember them by.
I was very sad to hear that my client’s beloved cat, Gertie, had been killed in a road accident at just 1½ years old. However, I could see from the photos and video footage of Gertie playing with autumn leaves and a Christmas bauble that she was full of character. I discussed with my client what pose would be most suitable, and we decided she should be sitting and looking upwards.
As with all my animal sculpture commissions, I emailed my client with regular photo updates of his pet cat sculpture commission. This allows the client to see how the work is progressing and affords a unique input into the creative process. Thanks to the wonders of modern internet access, my client was even able to keep up with Gertie’s progress while he was doing conservation work in Africa.
When discussing the colour and glazing that would be most appropriate for Gertie, my client mentioned that they often compared her colouring to that of an African wild dog, an animal I know very well. I therefore adapted the glazing I typically use on my wild dog animal sculptures.
The eyes are always the most important part of an animal sculpture. The colour and complexity of the eyes are very distinctive and can make all the difference. I knew it would be essential to get these details right to bring the client’s pet cat sculpture commission to life.
It is my wife’s birthday today, and I gave her your Gertie. It was a very lovely, bittersweet moment with lots of tears, but the upshot is she loves it. We agree you have absolutely captured Gertie’s essence, especially the upward gazing look. My wife has just called me again from home, saying how often she has looked at the piece today and it fills her with love. Thank you for all the care you took to make her. It is a beautiful, permanent reminder of our little pet.
Please contact me if you would like to commission your own pet sculpture or animal sculpture.