I am often re-commissioned by clients, usually for something very special or specific. Earlier in 2016 one of my clients had commissioned a lying down wild dog sculpture. Evidently this had planted a seed. She came back to me later in the year to commission a springer spaniel sculpture of their beautiful dog, Jack.
I love dogs, and was looking forward to making this springer spaniel sculpture. However, as always with pet commissions, I had to set my client some homework. To capture Jack accurately I would need a series of detailed photographs to enable me to build up a fully three dimensional picture of him.
This was no easy task; just ask any springer owner to try and keep their dog still long enough to take even one photo. I should know. My first dog was a springer spaniel and in all his 14 years I don’t think we ever really got a good photo of him!
Oh my goodness Nick, that is amazing! He looks even better than the pictures! I love it, looks just like him. Just showed friends in work and they can’t believe it! Thank you so much. I know my husband will be absolutely delighted!
However, after a few attempts my client was able to provide enough photos for me to begin work. We decided Jack should be sculpted lying down with his paw curled up and head on a quizzical tilt. Modelling the different thicknesses of Jack’s coat was very challenging, especially around his ears, and required the use of a matt finish (rather than my more usual crackle glaze) to achieve a sensitive treatment.
Thank you for colluding with my wife to give me a wonderful surprise on Christmas morning. The likeness to Jack is incredible.
As with all my commissions, I email regular studio photos to the client. This enables the client to see the sculpture come to life, as well as providing me with invaluable feedback. Many of clients really enjoy this process and, if the sculpture is intended as a gift, some of them even put together a folder of supporting photographs. This was the case with Jack, who was presented to my client’s husband on Christmas day.