I was recently commissioned to make an elephant and baby sculpture for a lady who had just returned from a fantastic safari at The Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia. She had seen my sculptures featured in the lodge and wanted a special animal sculpture to remind her of her wonderful experience. One of the animal sculptures I made for the lodge was of Wonky Tusk and her baby, Wellington, who were among the local elephants that walked through the lobby to feast on the mango tree. I have experienced this a number of times and it never fails to amaze.
I have spent a lot of time observing elephants in the wild. Watching babies interacting with their mothers and baby elephants playing together is truly delightful. Very young baby elephants are rarely further than a trunk’s length from their mother and observing the tenderness between mother and child is very moving.
It takes me around thirty hours to make an elephant sculpture. My initial work focusses on body structure. Then I apply wrinkles and lots of them! I particularly enjoy capturing the interaction between animals. In this case depicting the intimate relationship between mother and baby was very rewarding. I always send my clients daily work-in-progress photos so they can see their animal sculpture commissions slowly come to life. I asked my Facebook followers to suggest a name for the elephant sculptures and Themba, meaning hope and trust, seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
They have arrived! The are just so beautiful they made me cry, in a good way of course! Thank you so much. They are just wonderful. Pride of place now in my new home.