‘Lucky’ Red Squirrel
This is no ordinary squirrel, this is a lucky squirrel! When I sculpted this piece I chose to use a soft wax modelling clay, so the finished original sculpture was pretty delicate. I brought the finished wax in from the studio to show my wife (she is my best critic). She was out, so I put it by a window in our living room, on the shaded side of the house, while I went for a short walk to unwind. I returned about an hour later. My wife was still out, but as I opened the door I heard thumping and banging coming from our living room! I pushed open the door, expecting to surprise a burglar perhaps, but no – two jackdaws had fallen down our chimney and were flying madly around the room, beating at the windows and my squirrel sculpture in their efforts to escape!Read more...
I couldn’t get between them and my squirrel sculpture, so I opened a different window and tried to chase the villainous pair away from my battered sculpture and out of the open window – a process that took a good ten minutes. Hardly daring to look, I went to inspect the damage to my poor squirrel. Miraculously, apart from a few feather impressions, the only damage was one bent ear-tuft, amazing! One lucky squirrel!
The Red Squirrel is native to Britain, and like anyone who has ever read Beatrix Potter’s “Squirrel Nutkin”, I have always had a soft spot for these beautiful, shy, animals. Our Red Squirrels have had a tough time of it since the introduction of the american Grey Squirrel, but I am happy to say that they are making a bit of a comeback, thanks to some stirling conservation work.
I still remember seeing my first Red Squirrel, as a child – peeping around the trunk of a massive conifer, deep in Borrowdale, in the English Lake District. I stood stock still and we watched each other for what felt like an age, before he dodged behind the trunk and ran up into the canopy – such a thrill ! I have seen many of the little chaps since – it always makes my day!