Sunshine & Piglets
Having completed my sculpture of Liskeard Sunshine 500, I took it to show her owner, Julian Collings, and his family. Sunshine had recently farrowed and we went over to see her and her piglets. I peered into the stall – Sunshine was lying on her side, a look of blissful contentment on her face, as her litter jostled for position at her milk-filled teats. “Err, Julian. Would you mind if I came over next week and did a small sculpture of Sunshine 500 with her piglets?” I asked. “Course you can” was the amiable reply. “I’ll move her out to the barn, where there’s more light.”Read more...
The following week I arrived at the farm in the early morning, with a modelling stand and wax. I had always intended to include a few smaller sculptures of my British Champion Animals subjects, in more relaxed mood, and this would be an ideal subject. Julian was away all day, so I let myself into the yard, as arranged. Sunshine and her litter were in the barn, as promised – all of them dozing contentedly. Quietly I set up my modelling stand and began work. Since this was to be a more relaxed study, I worked quickly, trying to capture the mood, before they woke. The work went well, and by early afternoon Sunshine and her litter were recognisable. I took a break from sculpting and grabbed my chance to take a few photographs, to supplement my memory once I got back to the studio.
By now it was mid-afternoon. I had left home early, without breakfast, so I was getting rather hungry. I had brought lunch; Sunshine and her litter seemed to be sleeping soundly; so I crept over to my car and unwrapped a sandwich. Big mistake! Seconds later I was surrounded by six hungry piglets. So that was the end of sculpting for that day. I took a few shots of snouts, tails, feet, etc, as Sunshine’s litter scurried around the yard; said my farewells and drove home to continue work on Sunshine & Piglets in my studio the following day.
I spent two more days refining the composition and adding detail, before delivering the finished wax to the foundry.
I chose a subtle, warm, honey coloured patina, that reminded me of how Sunshine and her piglets had looked in the early morning sunshine, as I arrived to sculpt them. I think it works beautifully.