Recently I was contacted by a client who was interested in commissioning a wild dog sculpture. He had just returned from safari. He was staying at Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, where we base our art safari workshops. The game viewing around Mfuwe is always superb, so I was not surprised to hear my client had enjoyed some incredible encounters with the park’s many wild animals.
Wild dogs, or painted dogs as they are sometimes known, are among the highlights of South Luangwa. These rare and elusive animals move quickly and are hard to track. But my client was lucky enough to encounter a pack of wild dogs. He was struck by the extraordinary markings on these particular animals and he wanted me to use his photographs as a reference.
Wild dogs are some of my favourite animals, so I was delighted accept a commission to make a wild dog sculpture. Better still, my client was keen to capture the dog in its hunting pose, ears cocked downwards, eyes focussed, scouting for prey. This is a dramatic and intimidating sight and, in the wild, prey species immediately flee when the dogs adopt this position.
As always with my animal sculpture commissions, I sent my client regular photo updates of his wild dog sculpture. It gives the client a unique input into the creative process and provides me with valuable feedback. We both enjoyed watching this dog come to life, his every muscle primed for action, his intense stare announcing his intention to hunt. During the Raku firing, I took this photo of the dog glowing at 1000C, which only made him look even more intimidating!
The finished wild dog sculpture was safely delivered by specialist courier, so my client now has a permanent physical reminder of the experience. One of the things I enjoy most about sculpture is the physical presence of the piece in the room. Somehow I think this particular sculpture will make its presence felt more than most.
If you’d like to join me on my next art safari, you’ll find more information on my workshop page. Or if you’ve just returned from safari and would like to commission an animal sculpture of your own contact me for full details and pricing.