Commissioning a sculpture of your dog

Commissioning a sculpture of your dog is a fantastic way to celebrate a wonderful dog and can look beautiful in your garden or your home. It is also a lovely way to commemorate a much-loved companion after they’ve gone – as your bespoke dog statue will be a long-lasting memorial to remember them by.

 

Sculpture Size Estimated Commission Price
LIFE SIZE BRONZE RESIN FOUNDRY BRONZE
Small dog / animal: Approx. to shoulder 250mm (ed. 25) (£3,750 – £5,000) (£4,900 – £6,533)
Medium dog / animal: Approx. to shoulder 350mm (ed. 25) (£4,200 – £5,600) (£6,450 – £8,600)
Large dog / animal: Approx. to shoulder 550mm (ed. 25) (£5,800 – £7,733) (£10,500 – £14,000)
Extra large dog / animal: Approx. 700mm (ed. 25) (£6,500 – £8,666) (£14,500 – £19,333)
SMALLER
18 cm / 7 inches – largest dimension (open edition) (£1,800 – £2,400) (£2,200 – £2,950)
30 cm / 12 inches – largest dimension (ed. 25)  (£3,750 – £5,000) (£4,800 – £6,400)
Portrait head, life-sized (ed.25) (£2,750 – £5,000) (£4,800 – £6,400)

 

Please Read
  • Where a commission of your dog involves travelling to sittings to take their photos and measurements, it may cost extra, depending on your location. If you live outside the UK, or if your beloved dog has passed away, I am very comfortable working from photos.
  • The prices above do not include delivery of final sculpture. I can estimate these if you tell me your location.
  • All Commissions permit me to take a limited (or open where stated) edition of your sculpture for me to sell afterwards. If you want your commission to be unique or a very short edition, please ask. Unique sculptures (edition of 1) are approximately 4 times the price estimated above.
  • The edition copies will vary in price, and you may see copies of your commission being sold at a much lower price. Later buyers are not purchasing edition number 1 of a bespoke sculpture, and they are not paying for dedicated time spent sculpting their commission.
  • The payment schedule is usually 50% upon commissioning and 50% on approval of the clay models for commissions under £10,000.
  • All following editions on the sculptures are sold to help raise money for animal charities, and 10% of the proceeds go to either the Dog’s Trust.
What's the difference between Foundry Bronze and Bronze Resin?
  • Foundry Bronze sculpture lasts indefinitely and is considered an investment, considered by many to be the premier and most authentic sculptural material. It is much harder to repair than cold cast bronze if it is damaged, but damage is much less likely due to its strength and durability.

    Foundry bronze is the traditional method of bronze casting, using the lost wax process – used by sculptors in ancient Greece. The bronze is melted at extremely high temperatures and then poured into a ceramic mould.

    The lost wax method of casting is a highly skilled, complex, time-consuming and labour intensive process. This, combined with the innate value of the bronze (which is made from copper and tin), gives rise to the comparatively high price of a bronze sculpture.

    Bronze Resin sculpture also known as “cold cast bronze” or bonded bronze, is made of real bronze powder, mixed with polyester, epoxy or another resin and poured into a rubber reusable mould. This is backed up with very strong fiberglass and resin. Because real bronze powder is used over its surface, cold cast bronze can be coloured or patinated (a chemical reaction with the metals in bronze) to look very similar to Foundry Bronze.

    Other powders other than bronze may be mixed into the polyester or painted onto the surface to enable the resin to achieve the appearance of different materials, such as iron, copper or stone. Casting a cold cast sculpture is faster and less expensive than casting bronze. It is also much lighter and is still relatively strong, as it can be reinforced with an internal steel structure.

    Bronze Resin is very robust and can last outside in the garden for over 25 years. Some last between 30 to 50 years, as while some cracking and patina discolouration may occur over time, particularly along seam lines if water sits and then freezes, the material is very easily repaired.

    Displayed indoors bronze resin treated with care can last indefinitely. It is more fragile than foundry bronze and knocking or dropping can break or crack vulnerable parts of the sculpture. However, it is also quite easily repaired and is a fantastic bronze substitute. It’s generally very durable and much more affordable.

Timing

Depending on the size of the commission, the process from start to finish is likely to take from 6 – 12 months. Where possible, I will work to a specific date if you have one, smaller pieces particularly may be easier to fit to a tighter timeline. The lead time for starting will depend on the time of year and what other work I have, so this would be discussed.

Many clients commission a sculpture with a special date in mind, hoping that it will be completed before then. If you had a specific time in mind that is earlier than we can create your sculpture, do tell us, as we can provide a designed card for you to gift on the day, to let them know what you’ve commissioned for them.

The Process

Before creating the sculpture of your dog, I’ll most often come and visit, to see and get to know your pet. If you are commissioning a sculpture of your dog but you are based in another country, or if the pet has passed on, then I can create a sculpture of your dog (or subject) using photos. In both cases you will be invited to show me photos of poses that particularly characterise(d) your dog. In the case of a visit, I’ll spend time with the dog, talk to you about their character and mannerisms, take photos and measurements, then discuss a pose with you that captures him or her, and confirm the size of the sculpture.

I’ll then build an armature in my studio, and begin modelling the sculpture of your dog in clay or wax. When I would like further inspiration, I may speak to you about a second visit, or a sitting at my studio with the sculpture and the dog together. This is not always necessary, and sometimes it can be satisfied by asking for a few more photos where you live outside the UK, or your beloved pet has passed away.

Once I believe the sculpture is complete, I will send you photos and video of the finished clay (or wax). You are also welcome to visit us here in Mid Wales, in the UK. I will make the amendments that you request, and once you have approved the sculpture it will be moulded and cast.

Casting will be done at either a foundry or a resin caster, where the rubber mould will be used to create a resin casting, or with foundry bronze, a wax. With foundry bronze the wax will then be used to create a second, disposable, ceramic mould that can withstand extreme temperatures. The foundry bronze is cast using that second, ceramic mould. In both materials, the finished casting is then coloured using heat and/or chemicals, before it is coated in a protective wax. 

Contact me

    If calling directly:

    Tanya   +44 7711 340658
    Charles   +44 7835515610

     

    If emailing directly:

    Tanya – tanya@tanyarussell.com
    Charles – charles@tanyarussell.com