An animal commission, whether wildlife sculpture or domestic, can be a wonderful way to find exactly the right custom animal statue for that spot in your home or your garden. It is also a relatively cost-effective way of commissioning a sculpture – because the editions are more saleable we are able to provide you with a more affordable price for sculpting your idea.
If you are looking for a custom elephant statue, custom hare statue, custom cat statue, custom lion statue, custom pet statue, custom horse statue, or any personalised animal sculpture, I can help with your idea.
Here are some examples of animal commissions that we have done recently, with photographs of clay models and photographs of finished sculptures.
- 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 of an edition 25 sculpture.
- 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. For commissions over £10,000 the schedule is 30% upon commissioning, 40 % on approval of the clay and 30% on completion. We must received final payment prior to shipping.
- All following editions on the sculptures are sold to help raise money for animal charities, and 10% of the proceeds go to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
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.
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.
You may have been inspired by a particular experience, sensation or image, or may simply know what type of animal you’d like sculpted. In all cases, I will work closely with you to find the right concept for your sculpture. I’ll discuss a pose with you that captures what you’d like from your wildlife commission, and will confirm the size of the sculpture.
I’ll then build an armature in my studio, and begin modelling the sculpture of your custom animal statue in clay or wax. 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.
If calling directly:
Tanya +44 7711 340658
Charles +44 7835515610
If emailing directly:
Tanya – email@example.com
Charles – firstname.lastname@example.org