TURTLE DOVE COMMISSION
One of my more recent commissions was for a bronze turtle dove. The bronze is to be a trophy for a golf club, whose emblem is a turtle dove on a branch.
As with all commissions the process started with a chat with the client. It is important to establish what kind of sculpture the client is looking for – style, size and finish all have to be discussed. Once we have agreed on a basic design, I then decide upon a medium for the model. If I am going to produce the model for the bronze in wood, then I will produce a maquette (model) in plasticine or clay, as I have here.
The medium I use depends very much on the sculpture. I used wood for this sculpture as it gives a good, clean finish for feather and beak detail. Once the maquette has been approved by the client, and any alterations made, the model goes to the foundry for moulding and casting. This is a complicated process and you can read a basic description here.
The final process is the patination (colouration) and sealing of the bronze. When bronze is turned out of the mould (and has been chased/fettled to the artists satisfaction) it has a bright, brassy finish (shown left). The bronze has to be patinated, using chemicals and heat, to achieve the colour which the artist and client require.
Patination is quite a specialised process, and often the foundry will work with the artist to achieve a particular finish. In this case I knew what I wanted and was quite confident I could achieve it myself. I have to say I was very pleased with the final result – and I think the client was too.
You can see more photos of the final sculpture here.
To find out more on how to commission a unique sculpture by Bill Prickett, please click here.