Throwback Thursday #5 - Giant Hares in my living room...

in art •  2 months ago

Many years ago I worked part-time as a sculptor for a bronze casting company. Sadly, I had to leave that role but, for a while afterwards, I still received some commissions from them. In fact, these were the largest sculptures I'd ever worked on...

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Boxing hares, not quite finished...

So, how did I end up with giant hares in my living room? Let's rewind a bit first...

I never planned to get into sculpting. In fact, it had never crossed my mind. At the time I was working part-time in a museum and, to supplement my wages, I took on a warehouse job for this company. They heard I was artistic and one day, when business was slow, they asked me if I wanted to try my hand at a bit of sculpting.

My first efforts were quite bad but they must have seen some potential there. A couple months later, after their main sculptor left, I was asked to take over while the position was vacant! Needless to say, I jumped at the chance.

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One of my smallest sculptures - around 6 inches tall

The company wanted me to work in the 'company style' and produce more designs like those it already sold - so it wasn't looking for an original style from me. To be honest, that made my job a whole lot easier as I had the 'company style' to work from.

I worked using the 'lost wax method'. It is an ancient casting method dating back several thousand years. Click here to find out more if you're interested. Essentially, you sculpt in a soft material (like wax) and then coat the finished sculpture in a ceramic mould. You then melt the wax out, leaving the hollow mould (hence 'lost wax'). This then gets filled with molten bronze and left to set. Each foundry applies this technique in slightly different ways but the basics are essentially the same.

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A running hare - this commission led to the next...

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The original small bronze that I was enlarging...

So, as I got better and better, I started getting more challenging work, including sculpting my own designs - different from the 'company style'. We would also get commissions for making sculptures by other artists - larger versions, or bronze versions of ceramic sculptures...

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You can see the original bronze under my 'medium- sized' version (for scale)...

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The finished piece, ready to send to the foundry...

After about 3 years working these two jobs (museum and sculpting), seven days a week, I sadly had to part ways with the company (for financial reasons). However, work still occasionally came my way...and this brings me to the giant hares...

The photos of the boxing hares above show the largest sculpture I had yet attempted. After I had finished these I was told that a private commission had come to the company for an even larger version and asked if I would like to work on that! I just had to say yes, even though the thought of it was very daunting.

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And so, for a few weeks, my living room was turned into a mini studio with two giant hares at it's centre. It was so large that I had to sculpt it in two parts so that it could fit through our doorways - which made the whole thing more complicated, as both parts had to fit together precisely.

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Finished!

Sadly though, this sculpture was never cast because the commission fell through. I don't know what happened to these giant hares. I know they gathered dust in the warehouse for some years but I've not heard about their fate for some time. On the plus side, my wife was glad to get the room back...

Adam.

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Wow, you have captured them scrapping perfectly. Boy, can those hares go at it!
Sorry you lost your commission. This would have been a fine piece.

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Thanks @joe.nobel - i can't take the credit for the original sculpture, my job was just to enlarge it. As for losing commissions, that's just how it goes sometimes. The experience of working on it was priceless however - that was the best part for me at least. Thanks for your comment and support my friend :)