I’ve been a sculptor for more than 30 years and in that time I’ve made all sorts of things! I’ve sculpted animals for figurine manufacturing companies… I’ve designed and produced the annual awards for ‘General Electric’ in the USA … I’ve made Spitfire sculptures, one of which was given to the squadron leader of the Battle of Britain memorial flight… HRH Prince Charles even has one of my copper red squirrels!
However, in September last year I was given my biggest commission yet; I was chosen to sculpt a rather special spaniel called Max. Max the miracle dog. It was to be a life size bronze sited in a public park in Keswick, in the heart of the Lake District.
As Max is now almost 14 (and ‘required’ to be at the unveiling) I was asked to sculpt him as quickly as possible. This meant I had to virtually shut down my business including my JustKirstySculpture British Craft House shop, and to close my books to any Christmas orders!
As I live and work in Cumbria I was able to work very closely with Max and his owner, Kerry Irving. Every stage of the project was broadcast to Max’s huge following all over the world via his ‘Max out in the Lake District’ page. I have to admit that at times this proved extremely stressful, for both me and Kerry! And so at Christmas I had to withdraw from the glare and get back to just ‘sculpting’ and enjoying that ‘process’ rather than worrying about people’s reactions.
Two weeks ago we drove the finished sculpture through the snow over the Pennines to the bronze foundry where he’ll soon be converted into bronze.
For this camera shy sculptor there are now unnerving rumours that ‘royalty’ may be coming up to Cumbria to unveil Max sometime in the spring!! Curtsying may have to be practised and nervously performed!!!
Little glimpses of my work have been shown to Max’s adoring fans, but the whole piece won’t be seen until the day of the unveiling. So far, people seem to particularly like my sculpting of his paws and his ‘chops’, so here are a couple of shots of ‘Max’ in the modelling wax in which I sculpted him.
Meanwhile, I’m nervously waiting to hear when the unveiled will take place, and working on new pieces to produce for my shop! An otter cub is first on the list!!