My latest dog commission was from a family who had recently lost their beloved Shar Pei dog. Piggy was very much part of the family, very affectionate and loved meeting people, with her tail always wagging. My client had a lot of photos of Piggy so I could get a good impression of her. Her personality was clear to see so I was keen to capture it in a sculpture.
We decided a lying down pose would suit her best. I noticed she slightly tilted her head in a quizzical way, which I thought was an important aspect of her personality. The wrinkles on a Shar Pei dog are entirely unique so I had to carefully observe and record all these fine details. Shar Pei dogs also have very unusual ears, which lie flat to the head with the ends curling up.
Thank you so much. Piggy arrived home safely and as soon as we took her out of the box I was overcome with emotion and burst into tears. I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect. Everything from her ears to her wrinkles, and her teddy, are perfect. I cannot thank you enough for your amazing work.
Everyday I emailed photos from the studio so my client could see how the dog sculpture was progressing. Working in this way, with invaluable feedback from the client, I was able to make subtle adjustments to the dog sculpture, in order to capture Piggy’s likeness and personality as accurately as possible.
One unusual detail was Piggy’s toy. Piggy was rarely seen without her cuddly lion toy. She even took it to bed with her each night. So we agreed Piggy’s toy should be part of the sculpture, nestled between her front legs!
I chose a matt finish so her eyes would shine out. Although I was pleased with the result I find posthumous dog sculptures take me on an emotional journey. With the hours I spend in the studio closely observing these beautiful dogs I become aware of the joy and love they have brought into people’s lives.