This is Harriet Hare, my latest sculpture. I’ve been thinking about sculpting a Hare for quite a while now, and once I started she was immediately named ‘Harriet’! She is just about the life size of a juvenile female brown hare and I’m sculpting her in modelling wax which, when finished, will be moulded and then converted into cold-cast Pewter, bronze and copper…
I started with a small wax maquette, which is really just a quick 3D sketch in wax which allows me to decide on the composition of the piece before moving on to sculpting the actual larger piece. I decided to change the head position from looking backwards over her shoulder and down, to looking out to the side at the viewer.
Using an anatomical guide, calipers and a ruler, I made the piece to scale and in proportion; Mother Nature always amazes me with her proportions, and once again the exact same measurement kept cropping up during this phase of making up the sculpture!
Once the proprtions were in and I was happy that everything was the right size and length, and that the ‘lines’ of the composition were flowing and smooth, I then fleshed out the bones of the armature with Plastilene (French modelling wax). I use a thermostatically controlled melting pot to keep the wax at the right temperature and consistency to be able to work quickly when adding ‘bulk’ to a piece. Later, when I’m sculpted the fine detail, it’s enough just to have a small amount in my hand to keep warm and to use as I go.
I find that by getting the eyes in place (I use ball bearing) and then adding some sculpted detail to the face, the sculpture then comes ‘alive’ and acquires a personality…It also allows anybody who sees her to get a better idea of how she’s going to look when she’s finished, rather than it just being kept in my head.
I want Harriet to have a mixture of stylised ‘fur’ and large areas which are smooth and texture-free. Having polished hundreds of my red squirrel sculptures I know what shapes polish well and which ones don’t, and I’d like her form to also be on show in this piece. Harriet will have a link to another object subtly hidden within her, which won’t be revealed until she’s finished!
At the moment then, I’m working on the finer details (my favourite part of any sculpt)…but it’s also the most time consuming phase and I’m fitting it in around making up orders from my Etsy shop and other commissions, so I’ll post further updates as she changes.
As well as being produced in cold-cast copper, pewter and bronze she will also be cast in white resin and hand painted. I haven’t decided on the exact number of the limited edition yet, but it will probably be around 50 pieces.
Please do get in touch if you’re interested in this limited edition piece. I have not yet been able to set a price, as the production costs are not finalised, but by being on the list there is no obligation to buy later.