A Pretty Pig!
Champion British Lop Pig – Liskeard Sunshine 500
Sire: Liskeard General 10 Dam: Liskeard Sunshine 487
Supreme Champion _ Devon county Show 2005
Female Breed Champion – Royal Show 2006
Female Breed Champion – Royal Cornwall Show 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008
Supreme Champion – Royal Cornwall Show 2009
“Sunshine” was the first subject in my series of British Champion Animals. Living in Devon, I felt that my first animal should be a local West Country breed, preferably a rare breed. I like pigs and since the rarest of British pig breeds is the British Lop, a West Country breed originating around Tavistock, I decided to look for a champion British Lop.Read more...
The British Lop breed society describes these pigs as, “Large, long, pigs derive from the old white Celtic pigs of Cornwall, Ireland and Wales. The head is of medium length, wide and smooth, with long leaf-shaped ears, covering the eyes and reaching to the tip of the nose, or just beyond. The back is long and level, wide shouldered; the body deep, with well-sprung ribs; a wide, strong loin, broad, deep hams and medium length legs. The tail is carried high. Skin is a pale pinkish white, covered in fine silky white hair. The breed produces excellent pork and bacon, being well muscled and lean. They are good natured, self-sufficient, hardy and easily managed, the sows being excellent mothers.” What they don’t say is that they are beautiful!
Having decided on the breed, it soon became clear that Julian Collings [a pig breeder and judge of international renown] was the man to talk to about British Lops. Julian lives just over the border from me in Cornwall. I gave him a call and was delighted when he invited me over to see his sow, Liskeard Sunshine 500; winner of over 20 championships. So one day in March that year, my wife and I drove over to see her. Well, it was love at first sight! I spent a couple of hours measuring and photographing Sunshine 500; talked about British Lops and why Sunshine 500 was such a fine example of the breed, over tea and cake with Julian and his family; then drove back across the border, ready to start work on the sculpture in the morning.
I sculpted Liskeard Sunshine 500 in clay; concentrating on her lovely lines and beautiful, characterful head. Clay suited her gentle curves perfectly, enabling me to model the subtle swells and dips of her form, without losing her smooth, classy lines. Her head proved challenging, being half obscured by those lovely long ears, but I was happy with the end result. The rest of the sculpture went well, and by the end of April she was finished!
For the patina on the finished bronze I wanted a subtle, complex, but still delicate patination – one that acknowledged the colour of Sunshine herself, without being a direct copy. Pangolin did a magnificent job; producing one of my all-time favourite patinas; a beautiful blend of soft whites, with hints of pink, grey and gold that compliments the form perfectly!
Nick has also sculpted a small bronze study of Sunshine relaxing with her piglets.