You may have noticed my output in the studio has been a little slow of late. My charming new puppy Rufus is probably part of the problem (he is very demanding) but I’ve also been busy processing no less than 72 animal sculptures from my animal sculpture workshops.
Having recently returned from my Borneo Art Safari, I had eleven workshop animal sculptures made by the workshop participants to fire and finish. I also had to finish the wild dog pup sculpture I had started during my workshop demonstration. This sculpture was auctioned along with a Bornean horned frog sculpture I had brought with me from the UK, which between them raised £1,700 for orang-utan conservation.
My workshop participants chose a wide range of subjects to sculpt, selecting either animals they had seen during their visit, such as a Komodo dragon and binturong, or creatures they had seen on previous wildlife trips. We used local clay for the workshop, which took a bit of getting used to but, thanks to the 100% humidity, at least we didn’t have to contend with the usual problem of the clay drying out. Once home, I checked over all the workshop animal sculptures, making sure they were safe and sound following their flight, before firing them to a high temperature to bring out the lovely terracotta colour of the Bornean clay.
I then had to process another batch of sculptures were from my twins’ village school. Every year I visit the school and treat them to an animal sculpture workshop. I generally like to link the workshop with whatever topic they are studying. This year we made a Californian seal colony to support the youngest class’s sea life project.
The middle classes were studying mini beasts, so I decided to make dragonflies with them. They used various found objects to create patterns on the bodies and wings of their dragonflies. After the firing I mounted each one on a stick so it can be displayed in a plant pot at home. The oldest children were studying endangered species, so we decided to model a group of pandas. I encouraged the students to think about the story behind their sculptures and how the animal is feeling, as this always makes for more interesting and engaging work.
All the animal sculptures are now safely packed ready for despatch and the children’s workshop animal sculptures will be home in time for the summer break. I should probably get on with some of my own work now! If you are inspired by what you see here, you can always book yourself a place on one of my animal sculpture workshops.