Champion Scottish Blackface Ram, Moortown JJ
Breed Champion & Interbreed Champion – Devon County Show 2008
Breed Champion & Reserve Interbreed Champion – Devon County Show 2009
Breed Champion & Reserve Interbreed Longwool Champion – Royal Bath & West Show 2009
Every May I like to go to to my local Devon County Show. On this occasion as I walked past the sheep pens, I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the most magnificent Scottish Blackface Sheep I had ever seen. A veritable mountain of wool surmounted by a strong noble head – this was Moortown JJ.Read more...
Scottish Blackface Sheep are a hardy, horned breed, thriving in hill country. Medium sized, white-wooled, with black marked faces and legs, they probably developed from a rough wooled, blackfaced, horned sheep that predates modern history. There are several regional variations, from the large framed, long wooled Perthshire to the more refined, lighter framed and short wooled Newton Stewart. JJ is a Perthshire.
Having approached his owners, the Jordans, I arranged to visit their farm, high on Dartmoor, the following week. I arrived in thick fog. JJ, who was still only two years old at the time, looked like an enormous woolly iceberg drifting in and out of the fog. Despite this, with the help of Robert Jordan, I managed to take all the necessary measurements and reference photographs and, after a cup of tea, departed to start my sculpture.
I chose to sculpt JJ in wax. The sculpting went well, though I was surprised by the vast amount of wax needed to correctly model that enormous fleece. The finished sculpture had a charming, almost naive quality, like those 18th C and 19th C paintings of sheep with tiny heads and huge square bodies. I liked it very much.
For the bronze I asked Pangolin to replicate JJ’s own markings quite closely – finally placing him onto a deep bronze base; I really like the finished result.