My new Red Squirrel sculpture…’Rowan’

red squirrel sculpture

Here, at last, is ‘Rowan’, my new Red Squirrel sculpture!

Rowan is sister to George and the second ‘off-spring’ of Charles and Willow, my other red squirrel sculptures in the series.

I began sculpting Rowan some time ago after demand for my red squirrels began to grow and Charles, my first red squirrel sculpture sold out completely. Willow, my second, is also very nearly sold out with only around a dozen pieces remaining unsold from the 150 piece limited edition.

Rowan is also a limited edition of 150 pieces, some of which will be made in cold-cast copper (copper rather than bronze because Red Squirrels are red and everybody else does bronze and I like to be different!)….and some will be in hand-painted resin. I’m afraid if I painted my sculptures they’d be brown blobs, so I hand that job over to a company called ‘Glenfirra’ of langholm in Dumfriesshire. There, Tricia Little transfoms the white resin casts and brings Rowan to life! The copper version is cast for me in the Lake District by a company called ‘Lakeland Mouldings’. I receive the raw casts from them and so polish them by hand with firstly, wire-wool then a polishing compound on a bench grinder, and then with Cherry Blossom liquid wax shoe polish (it has to be Cherry Blossom and it’s made in the UK). Finally, the eyes are enamelled and the bases are felted, and they are packed in locally made boxes for dispatch. I also make the polystyrene packaging inserts so that they arrive at their new homes in one piece!

I think it’s important to use companies which are as close to me as possible, and all of the above are within a 25 mile radius of my workshop…nothing here has been made in China!

When I sculpted Rowan, I decided to make her a mischievous and determined juvenile female red squirrel, and I’ve set her amoungst newly fallen Rowan leaves, conkers and fungi. After a lot of thought and referencing, I decided to give her a dark red tail to contrast with her sleek russet-red body, She also has the just-emerging ear tufts of a youngster and a glorious tail…

My sculpting of both George and Rowan was helped enormously by the beautifully detailed photographs of Red Squirrels taken by Norman Scott at the National Trust property; Wallington Hall, in the North East. Norman sadly died in 2014, so never got to see the finished Rowan, however, I gave his widow, Ailsa, my artists copy copper version, and she now has a painted Rowan as well. Ailsa recently told me that Norman was so thrilled and proud that I was using his photographs…
Since I first made Charles in 2010 ( have I mentioned that I presented HRH Prince Charles with number 1 of that edition??! That was so exciting!)…any way, since I first made Charles I have donated a percentage of my profits from each squirrel sculpture sale to Red squirrel conservation projects. This money has gone towards research into various viruses which affect red squirrels, the purchase of special FLIR infrared cameras, and most recently towards the development of a vaccine to protect our native red squirrel against the Squirrel pox virus which is carried by the greys, to no ill effect, but is deadly to the reds. The total donated so far has just reached £1,700…

I am busy getting through the orders I have received so far for Rowan, but if you’d like details on how to order one, either as the painted or the copper version, then please contact me for details via the email addrees or phone number at the top of the page.



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Kirsty Armstrong Sculpture