– BLOG –

19th February 2024

Zaandam Studio, Netherlands

The sculpture is complete! I have now photographed the finished bronze and the images are up on my website. This has been a wonderful piece to work on, and I’m delighted with how it has turned out.

15th February 2024

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

The final (and most exciting) part of the whole process… the patination! Through the carefully controlled application of heat and chemicals, the surface of the sculpture is transformed with complex copper carbonates, copper oxides, and other compounds, permanently altering the colour of the metal. It’s always a beautiful and fascinating process to oversee. I’m delighted with the result and I’m looking forward to photographing the finished piece in my studio and uploading the images soon!

14th February 2024

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

Everything is now coming together – we have now welded the completed whale onto its base. Right from the beginning, when I first started work on this sculpture, I envisioned the whale ‘hanging’ above the base, connected by a couple of small points where the pectoral fins touch the base. And it works beautifully! It gives the whole piece a weightless feeling, evoking the sense that the whale is buoyed up by the water around it.

13th February 2024

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

The fins are back on! Once I was happy that the main body of the whale was perfect, we welded the pectoral fins back onto the sculpture. I have been busy working on these welds and making them disappear by replicating the original form and texture of my sculpture.

12th February 2024

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

I am now busy working on the bronze stage for my new Humpback Whale sculpture. The sculpture has been cast in several pieces – I will be welding on the pectoral fins once I have cleaned up the main body of the whale. The casting came out great, but there are always little corrections to be made, so I will be working away with my metal grinding tools to get everything perfect!

22nd January 2024

The Netherlands

I am now home from a wonderful time in Antarctica, and it’s time to get back to the studio and the foundry. The Christmas period is always a busy one and this year has been no exception. Lots of sculptures need to be completed, carefully packaged and shipped to their new homes around the world. Next month I will also be completing my brand new Humpback whale sculpture – the piece had to wait until I returned from my travels, and now I’m very excited to complete it! More images coming soon…

13th December 2023

Antarctica

Hello from Antarctica! I am currently on the beautiful expedition cruise ship the Seabourn Venture in Antarctica. I will be lecturing and sharing my passion for Antarctica with the guests on board, as well as getting inspiration for new sculptures. I already have a new piece in mind… and the clue is behind me. In the meantime I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to sharing images of my upcoming sculptures in the New Year.

21st November 2023

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

I am now at the great foundry that casts my work in Friesland, the Netherlands. My original clay sculpture of the Humpback Whale has been used to create a silicon rubber mould, and this has been used to produce a hollow wax replica of my sculpture. I have been checking and making minor repairs to this wax replica in preparation for using it for the casting process. The fins are going to be cast separately and welded to the body in the bronze stage. There are also a few additional wax tubes that have been added to the tail end for support, and to permit the proper flow of bronze; these will be removed once the piece has been cast. I’m very excited to work on the next stage – the bronze – when I’m back from my next set of travels in February.

9th November 2023

Silver Whisper, Gulf of Thailand

Just a couple more days remaining of this excellent voyage on board the Silver Whisper. It’s been a pleasure to travel through this beautiful part of the world, and to share my various lectures with such an engaging and interested group of people – thank you to everyone for their kind comments over these past days. Soon I will be packing up my Rhino clay sculpture and returning it (safely) home to the Netherlands for the finishing touches before moulding and casting in bronze.

5th November 2023

Silver Whisper, Sulu Sea

I have removed the Rhino from its base in order to check the silhouette against the beautiful, calm sea that we have today – I think it looks good! It’s always worth thinking of a sculpture as a series of silhouettes – you want all of the key angles to ‘read well’, meaning that the forms don’t overlap too much and mask the overall structure. I think I have achieved a good separation of forms here (legs, head, ears, tail, horns) which gives a strong, pleasing silhouette from many angles. I’m happy.

4th November 2023

Silver Whisper, Sulu Sea

After several busy days in the Philippines we are now back at sea and heading south towards the big, beautiful island of Borneo. I now have more time to sculpt again, and the Rhino is coming along nicely. I’m happy with the general form (for now) so I’ve decided to start working on the base – it’s important that the size, shape and texture of the base compliments the main subject, without distracting from it.

3rd November 2023

Sandakan, Borneo

Today I had the great pleasure and excitement of seeing orangutans in Borneo. We visited the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and had great views of orangutans in their natural environment. I could have spent all day, or even all week, watching these remarkable primates as they climbed and swung through the trees. I definitely think that an Orangutan sculpture is on the horizon!

30th October 2023

Silver Whisper, Manila

Just a short walk from where the Silver Whisper is moored in Manila is the ‘Rizal Park’ – a large and impressive public park featuring many statues commemorating various heroes of Philippines independence. Most impressive is the large set of bronze sculptures (more than 20 in total) that tell the story of José Rizal – a Filipino doctor, writer and nationalist who was executed by the Spanish for trying to lead the Filipino people to independence.

28th October 2023

Silver Whisper, South China Sea

We are now en route to the Philippines and I’m working on my latest sculpture – a White Rhino – inspired by my safari trips to Africa where I have been lucky enough to observe these beautiful beasts in the wild. I’m aiming to capture the heft of this giant animal, whilst also retaining the surprising lightness of foot that they display when trotting along, with their head held up.

27th October 2023

Silver Whisper, Hong Kong

I used to visit Hong Kong regularly, but it has been many years now, and it’s great to be back! I’m on board the beautiful Silver Whisper and tomorrow we set sail on our cruise that will take us to the Philippines, Borneo, Vietnam and end in Bangkok. I’m sure it’s going to be a great voyage, and I’m looking forward to presenting my various lectures, and introducing many new people to the esoteric art of creating bronze sculptures. Soon I will be sharing photos of the sculpture that I will be working on during this voyage… watch this space!

25th October 2023

Zaandam, Netherlands

I will soon be flying to Hong Kong to join the Silversea ship the Silver Whisper for a two-week cruise through Southeast Asia. I would normally chose to sculpt a wildlife subject that is local to the area, however, even though I have travelled fairly extensively in Asia, the animal that would be most appropriate for this voyage is the Orangutan (which we will be seeing in Borneo). And whilst I have had the pleasure of observing these amazing apes in captivity, I choose to only sculpt species that I have observed in their natural setting… so that sculpture will have to wait until next time. So for this voyage I will be sculpting a White Rhino, inspired by my various sightings in Southern Africa. I’m really looking forward to this piece!

24th October 2023

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

My brand new sculpture of a Humpback Whale is now being moulded by the great team at the Flassh Foundry in Friesland. I’ve worked with this foundry for many years now and it’s always a pleasure to be there and working alongside such a great team. I’m looking forward to working on the wax stage of the sculpture soon…

23rd October 2023

Flassh Foundry, Netherlands

Today I delivered the sculpture to my foundry in Friesland, and whilst I was there I made the final preparations for the moulding of the piece – removing the aluminium wire supports. These ‘legs’ projecting from the belly of the whale were used to secure the sculpture to the base and they enabled me to manipulate the sculpture in many different directions. But now they have served their purpose and can be snipped off so that they don’t appear in the wax stage of the process.

20th October 2023

Studio, Zaandam, Netherlands

I’ve just been putting the finishing touches to the clay sculpture of my Humpback Whale. I’ve been working on several projects in my studio back home in the Netherlands, and I’m now happy with the look of my whale sculpture. This is the exciting time when we start the process of transforming the clay sculpture into a finished bronze artwork… soon the sculpture will be at the foundry for moulding!

24th September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, North Atlantic

The Seabourn Pursuit is a beautiful ship, and they have put a lot of work into the selection of artworks that adorn the entire vessel. Some are modern, some are abstract – they have paintings, sculptures, and photos… And I was particularly delighted when I entered my suite on board and found that two of the artworks on my wall are of whales! Including a fine painting of a Humpback Whale in a pose quite similar to my own sculpture. What a lovely coincidence!

23rd September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, North Atlantic

I have been giving various lectures during the course of this voyage and it has been great to have received such kind feedback. I love sharing my knowledge with others – whether it is about Zoology, Art, History or Photography – I always try to make the subject as interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable as possible. I had some particularly nice comments following my ‘Animal Navigation’ lecture, which is a fascinating subject and an area of science that is rapidly advancing thanks to new technologies and ingenious experiments. I’m delighted to have opened people’s minds to an amazing, but sometimes overlooked aspect of animal behaviour!

21st September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, North Atlantic

Today I have been working on my Humpback sculpture outside, enjoying the sound of the waves against the hull of the ship. We have been very fortunate so far with the weather – it’s been warm, sunny and very calm. The perfect weather for ‘Sculpting At Sea’. I am now refining some of the finer details and anatomical features of the whale, and trying not to get too distracted by the flying fish which keep erputing from the sea beneath me. It is reminding me very much of my previous ‘Sculpting At Sea’ project!

20th September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, North Atlantic

We have seen quite a few flying fish since we left Madeira and today I got my camera out to try to capture images of a few. It’s not easy… but eventually I got a decent one! I have always been fascinated by flying fish, and they inspired my last ‘Sculpting At Sea’ project – please have a look at the ealier blog posts to see the various stages of sculpting and casting work that went into my ‘Flying Fish’ bronze sculpture earlier this year.

19th September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, Madeira

This is one of the many public bronze statues that I came across during the several hours that I spent strolling the streets of Funchal, Madeira’s charming capital. This large sculpture depicts a local man using a cow-drawn sledge to transport a barrel of Madeira wine along Funchal’s cobbled streets. I think the artist (Pedro Anjos Teixeira) has captured the pose and posture of the man and the yoked animals very well!

19th September 2023

Seabourn Pursuit, Madeira

I joined the beautiful, brand new cruise ship the Seabourn Pursuit the other day in Lisbon, and now we have arrived at Madeira. I have visited this charming island once before, in similarly wonderful weather. I am greatly looking forward to exploring the town and checking out some of the public bronze statues that I didn’t have time to examine during my previous visit.

[The Seabourn Pursuit is the smaller, more beautiful ship in the bottom of this image!]

23rd August 2023

Seabourn Ovation, North Sea

We are getting closer to Iceland, and this afternoon I had a great opportunity to give a public sculpting demonstration to the Guests on board. It was wonderful to see so many people and answer lots of great questions whilst sculpting, and showing my various tools, methods and techniques for creating my artworks. Thank you to everyone who attended!

22nd August 2023

Seabourn Ovation, North Sea

It’s another day at sea, and so I’ve had more time for sculpting. The weather isn’t quite as beautiful as it previously was, so this time I’m sculpting indoors! The Humpback is really starting to take shape now – I’m happy with the general form, anatomy, and pose, so now I’m starting to work on some of the details, such as the so-called ‘ventral pleats’ that line the underside of the whale’s throat and belly, allowing it to extend massively when ingesting huge quantities of water.

14th August 2023

Seabourn Ovation, Norway

Today I gave a lecture entitled ‘Making Money; How Coins Changed the World’. Numismatics – the study of coins – is a topic that I have been fascinated by for many years. I have been fortunate enough to have been commissioned to design and sculpt several coins over the years, including a £2 coin that is in circulation in the United Kingdom. It’s always fun to talk about this often overlooked subject and change the way in which people think about these every-day objects!

13th August 2023

Seabourn Ovation, Norway

Today I gave a public sculpting demonstration, whilst working on my new ‘Humpback Whale’ sculpture aboard the Seabourn Ovation. Thank you to everyone who came to watch me work and for the many great questions that I received. It was a lot of fun to be able to demonstrate my working methods first hand, and to see so many people enjoying learning about the whole bronze casting process!

11th August 2023

Seabourn Ovation, Norway

I am now on board the beautiful Seabourn Ovation and we are sailing up the coast of Norway. After some quite bad weather during the first couple of days, we are now experiencing some stunning conditions – calm seas and a great sunset. It’s the perfect oportunity to sculpt outside; taking in the seascape and keeping my eyes peeled for whales!

26th June 2023

Studio, Zaandam, Netherlands

I am blocking out my armature with Chavant oil-based clay – yes, it is indeed a Humpback Whale! I have been fortunate to have seen a great many of these amazing animals in the wild and I have been inspired to sculpt them several times before. I have previously sculpted the whale’s fluke – depicting the way that it lifts it out of the water when it dives – as well as a relief sculpture showing a full breach. But this will be the first time that I am sculpting the whole animal… and I’m really looking forward to it!

I will be doing the rest of the sculpting on board the Seabourn Ovation in August.

19th June 2023

Studio, Zaandam, Netherlands

I’m now preparing the armature for my next ‘Sculpting at Sea’ project. This will be beginning on the 6th of August when I am back on board the beautiful Seabourn Ovation for a cruise up the coast of Norway and then across to Iceland. Here you can see the brass templates that I have prepared for my sculpture, and the ‘blocking out’ that I have begun using aluminium wire and tin foil to get the general shape before I start with the clay. I imagine that you can already tell what it is that I’ll be sculpting!

Summary of the Flying Fish Sculpture Process

For more information please see the blog posts below, or the Instagram account.

10th June 2023

Studio, Zaandam, Netherlands

The Flying Fish sculpture is now complete! I am delighted with how the sculpture has turned out, capturing the magical way in which these remarkable fish erupt from the water, beating their tails against the surface with incredible speed and lifting their bodies up with those huge, wing-like pectoral fins. Here you can see the gallery page for this sculpture.

8th June 2023

Flassh Foundry, Friesland, Netherlands

The patination is perhaps my favourite stage of the entire process of creating a bronze sculpture. This is the moment that the piece is transformed from a shiny piece of metal into a beautiful, finished bronze sculpture. An almost infinite range of colours, patterns and textures are possible when patinating a bronze. It takes careful consideration and highly skilled application in order to achieve the desired result – one which compliments the style and subject, whilst drawing the eye to the key features of the work.

6th June 2023

Flassh Foundry, Friesland, Netherlands

I have now welded the flying fish to its base – the sculpture is finally coming together! I have always envisioned this piece with the fish ‘hanging’ in the air, mounted to the base by just a minimal contact at the tip of the tail. I’m delighted with how it is turning out – it truly gives the impression of the fish gliding above the calm sea, at the moment just before it starts to extend its pelvic fins and separates from the water completely.

5th June 2023

Flassh Foundry, Friesland, Netherlands

I have been busy with various other projects during these past few months, but finally I am back at my foundry and working on the bronze casting of my flying fish sculpture! This involves using various metal grinders to make little repairs and to work back any welds so that they are invisible.

25th January 2023

Flassh Foundry, Friesland, Netherlands

I am working at my foundry this week and we are busy moulding the Flying Fish sculpture. Here you can see the process half-complete. The sculpture is first divided into two halves with a wall of clay, and silicone rubber is poured on top of the sculpture. Once this rubber has set it is then encased in a hard ‘jacket’ (green resin) that will hold the correct form of the white rubber layer once it is peeled from the sculpture. The sculpture is then flipped over and the clay is removed so that the same process can be performed on the other side, which you can see about to take place in the photo. The result – a perfect negative impression of my original clay sculpture, which can be used to create a hollow wax replica for casting in bronze… images of that stage to follow soon!

5th January 2023

Zaandam, Netherlands

I returned home to the Netherlands on the 28th of December, with my clay sculpture safely wrapped up in the heart of my luggage.

I have since been working again on the sculpture in my studio, putting the finishing touches to the piece. It is now ready for the next stage – moulding! I will be visiting my foundry in Friesland soon, at which point we will be taking a silicone rubber mould of the flying fish so that we can create a hollow wax replica for casting in bronze.

I will continue to document the entire process here – keep following!

26th December 2022

Bequia

This 10-day voyage has almost come to an end, and so has my clay sculpture!

I’ve sculpted the fish, and the base, and I’m very pleased with how it is looking. There will be a few finishing touches to be made once I have the piece safely home in my studio, but soon it will be ready for the moulding stage – the first of many processes that needs to be carried out before the sculpture is in its finished bronze state.

Keep following this Blog, and my Instagram in order to continue following the process!

25th December 2022

Caribbean Sea

Merry Christmas!

As it’s another ‘sea day’ I have had another chance to set up in public and answer questions whilst sculpting. An interesting question that I received today was regarding how I chose the subjects that I sculpt. It’s something that has changed for me over the years – when I was just starting out with my wildlife sculpting career at the age of 18, I sculpted whichever animals I was most interested in at the time (often inspired by my Zoology studies). But now I always sculpt animals after having spent a prolonged period of time observing them for myself in the wild. This way I can immerse myself in the behaviour and characteristics of the species before deciding how best to capture them in bronze.

With some animals I can almost immediately ‘see’ the sculpture that I want to create, and then I’m itching to get into the studio to begin work. But for others it takes time (sometimes years) of considering, going back-and-forth, and considering different approaches, before I get out my clay and begin sculpting.

24th December 2022

Bonaire

This is the photo that inspired my sculpture – it’s a shot that I took a few years ago from the deck of a ship in the Caribbean. The water was incredibly calm, as you can see, which made it perfect for both spotting, and photographing, the flying fish. We were sailing through a particularly good area, and flying fish were leaping fro the bow wave of the ship every few seconds. They travel at up to 40mph though, so it was still tricky to get a photo of one as it sped away. After about an hour of trying I got this image, my favourite from the day – as you can see the fish is still beating its tail against the water in order to pick up speed. A second later it extended its pelvic fins (a second set of ‘wings’ behind the main pair) which lifted the tail out of the water, and it started gliding, just inches above the silky waves.

This is the beautiful scene that I am attempting to capture with my sculpture!

23rd December 2022

Aruba

The flying fish sculpture is progressing nicely. I’m happy with the pose and anatomy – I’m now working on the base which will be the surface of the water on a very calm day, which shows the splashes on the water as the flying fish beats its tail against the surface in order to gain speed before going into full ‘flying’ mode (actually gliding!).

22nd December 2022

Curacao

Today I presented my lecture entitled ‘Making Money – How Coins Changed the World’ in which I discuss the fascinating history of how coins were first developed and then spread throughout the world, with a particular focus on this part of the Caribbean that we are now travelling through. I have been designing and sculpting coins for more than 15 years (keep and eye out for my £2 coin design when you are in the UK!) and so I love shedding light on the process behind the creation of new coins. They are often overlooked, but coins feature some intriguing artwork that can offer interesting insights into a place, it’s history and its culture.

21st December 2022

Caribbean Sea

Today we are crossing from the Leeward Islands (St Kitts) to the Leeward Antilles (Curacao). This has given me more time to sculpt, and I was able to work in the public area of ‘Seabourn Square’, which gave me an opportunity to demonstrate how I work, and explain some of the techniques and methods that I use to create my bronze sculptures. Thank you to everyone who came to watch and ask questions – it was great to see you!

20th December 2022

St Kitts

I had the chance to get in the water today and do a little snorkelling. There were plenty of beautiful fish, but the animal that caught my attention the most was this red cushion sea star (Oreaster reticulatus). It had such an eye-catching colour and an incredible bumpy texture covering the entire upper surface. It was certainly a very ‘sculptural’ creature, which got me thinking… is it time to sculpt a star fish?!

19th December 2022

Guadeloupe

It was great to see some brown pelicans again! And I had my Pelican bronze sculpture with me, which I sculpted the last time that I was on board the Seabourn Ovation, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take some photos of my sculpture with some real life pelicans in the background.

These pelicans were behaving in exactly the same way as the ones that had inspired my sculpture – hanging out on the shore-side, preening and sunning themselves as they waited for the right time to fly off in search of some more food. There were five birds in total hanging out on this mooring platform, with a few others flying around, occasionally diving into the shallow waves by the beach to catch some fish. I could happily watch these birds all day!

19th December 2022

Guadeloupe

I always enjoy spotting bronze statues when I’m exploring a new place. If you keep your eyes out you will find them everywhere! I came across this statue just 10min walk from where the Seabourn Ovation was moored. It is a larger-than-life sculpture of Gerty Archimède – a Guadeloupe Lawyer in and Politician the 1940s and 50s who made important contributions to French politics and the rights of women.

Unfortunately we often fail to celebrate many great women in our public spaces, so it’s always good to see a statue of an inspirational woman – and I think that this one is a particularly fine and engaging sculpture.

19th December 2022

Guadeloupe

Today I have given the first of my lectures – this one is entitled ‘From Nature to Bronze’ and is all about the art of creating bronze wildlife sculptures. I have been creating sculptures, inspired by my observations of wild animals, for more than 20 years and it’s always a pleasure to share my knowledge and insights with new people. The techniques and processes involved in sculpting, moulding and casting a work in bronze are quite esoteric, and so I’m always delighted when someone comes to me at the end of my lecture and tells me ‘I had no idea that is how bronze sculptures are made’ – it happens quite a lot!

18th December 2022

Saint Lucia

We are now moored alongside in the port of Castries, Saint Lucia – that’s what is forming the beautiful backdrop for my sculpting session…

I’m now working on the first stage – adding the first rough layer of Chavant clay to my template to build up the shapes for the body and ‘wings’ (pectoral fins) of the flying fish. There are actually more than 60 species of flying fish found in tropical and temperate waters around the world – this one will be the ‘four-winged flying fish’ (Hirundichthys affinis) which is common in the Caribbean.

Once I’m happy with the general proportions and volumes I will start refining the shapes and adding detail.

18th December 2022

Caribbean Sea

Here is the sculpting equipment that I brought with me for this voyage and the tools that I shall be using to create my sculpture on board the ship; it’s a very paired-down set compared with what I work with in my studio.

Before joining the ship I had already decided that I wanted to sculpt a Flying Fish – I have been observing and photographing these amazing creatures for many years and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to finally sculpt one. The island of Barbados, where we are starting and ending our 10-day voyage, is famous for flying fish – they are a staple part of the local diet and the main constituent of the national dish; ‘Cou-cou and flying fish’. So, in addition to bringing my oil-based sculpting clay and my metal sculpting tools, I also prepared a template for the flying fish sculpture (made from a thin sheet of brass) and a catalogue of reference images to inform my sculpting.

I’m looking forward to getting started!

17th December 2022

Barbados

The pelican has returned!

This sculpture began life earlier this year on the Seabourn Ovation as just wire and clay – now I can finally unveil the finished bronze sculpture on board the ship where it was created. It’s a great feeling. Now I will be working on my second ‘Ovation Sculpture’ which I’m excited to begin sculpting… what this space!

17th December 2022

Barbados

Today I am re-joining the beautiful Seabourn Ovation for a 10-day cruise visiting 8 different Caribbean islands.

During my time on board I will be giving various presentations as well as creating a brand new sculpture, inspired by the wildlife of the region. I will be sharing photos of the sculpture here, as it develops.

NEW ‘Sculpting At Sea’ Project

17 – 27th December 2022

I shall soon be re-joining the beautiful Seabourn Ovation for another cruise, this time in the Caribbean. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled many times in this region, and I’m greatly looking forward to returning. And yes, I do have a Caribbean sculpture in mind! I shall be lecturing and sculpting on board the ship, and I will be posting images and explanations of the sculpting process here on this blog, as well as on my Instagram account… Watch this space!

Summary of the Pelican Sculpture Process

For more information please see the blog posts below, or the Instagram account.

FINISHED!

4th October 2022

The Pelican sculpture is now complete, photographed, and uploaded to my website.

I’m delighted with how the sculpture has turned out. It has been quite a journey from beginning work on this piece during an Atlantic crossing on board the beautiful Seabourn Ovation, to the finished bronze sculpture. I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the entire process and all of the work that goes into creating an original bronze sculpture.

I will begin working on another ‘Sculpting At Sea’ project later this year… watch this space for more details!

23rd September 2022

Flassh Foundry, The Netherlands

My favourite part of the entire bronze process – the patination.

Here you can see how we applied chemicals to the surface of the heated bronze sculpture, triggering various reactions that change the colour of the metal. The sculpture is soon transformed from a shiny piece of metal into a finished artwork!

I will be sharing photos of the finished, waxed sculpture shortly.

20th September 2022

The Netherlands

The first bronze has been cast and now I’m at my foundry in Friesland working away on the sculpture. There are always some minor corrections that need to be made, and of course joining the separate parts together and ‘chasing’ back the welds, so that the bronze matched my original clay sculpture. It’s coming along nicely and will be finished soon!

20th July 2022

The Netherlands

The moulds have now been used to make the hollow wax replica of my original sculpture and I am now putting the finishing touches to the wax – repairing any minor imperfections and seams from the moulding process. Soon the wax will be ‘invested’ in plaster for the casting process.

3rd May 2022

The Netherlands

Here you can see some of the stages behind creating the silicone rubber mould for my new Pelican sculpture. The top two images show the mould for the pelican itself, along with the post that it will be standing on – the top right image shows us making the second half of the mould. The bottom two images show how I made a ‘wall’ to surround the base of the sculpture before pouring the silicone rubber over it. Once the rubber was set I was able to remove the original clay sculpture and use the mould to create my wax copy, which you can see me beginning to do in the bottom right image.

29th April 2022

The Netherlands

The first pelican sculpture is almost ready for moulding. This pose was the one that appealed to me the most, so this is the one that I will be casting in bronze. Follow for more images of the moulding and casting process!

25th April 2022, Netherlands

The Netherlands

Since very early in the design and sculpting process I knew that I wanted to mount the pelicans on top of a row of mooring posts – many times I have seen the birds resting on these tall wooden posts, projecting from the water near jetty… and I think it looks great! I’ve just been working on the size of the post, making sure that it is in the correct proportions with relations to the bird, and creates a well-balanced sculpture.

12th April 2022

The Netherlands

My very enjoyable voyage aboard the Seabourn Ovation came to an end; I carefully packed my bags, with my sculptures wrapped in bubble-wrap inside hard plastic boxes, and they all made it back safe and sound to my studio in the Netherlands. I will now finish working on the clay stage of my pelican sculptures, at which point I will then pick one for moulding and casting in bronze. I will be sharing all of the images of the production process here, so please do follow this blog to see the entire process, from start to finish!

8th April 2022

North Atlantic

The pelicans have come along nicely! I will be refining the sculptures and adding the final details once I get them safely back home to my studio in the Netherlands, but I’m very pleased with the general forms and poses – I think they are going to make beautiful bronze sculptures. I will mould one of these sculptures and cast it in bronze, with the option to add the other sculptures to the series at a later date.

Stay posted for more images of the whole casting process!

8th April 2022

North Atlantic

My seventh and final lecture aboard the Seabourn Ovation. This one was a little different – I shared stories and insights from my many years of travelling the world, photographing strangers. The talk included lots of tips and advice, which should help others to engage in this challenging and highly rewarding type of photography.

7th April 2022

North Atlantic

Today we had stunning weather – perfect for sculpting outside!

5th April 2022

North Atlantic

Today’s lecture was all about the amazing world of Animal Navigation, in which I discussed the incredible array of senses and techniques that animals use in order to navigate huge distances with great accuracy. It’s a topic that I’ve been fascinated with ever since my days of studying Zoology at University, and I’ve been following the research ever since!

2nd April 2022

North Atlantic

It was very nice to see my biography on the cover of the Seabourn Ovation’s daily newsletter; the Herald.

1st April 2022

North Atlantic

It’s not all about sculpting and lectures on board the ship – there is also Team Trivia! This is a daily event on board the Ovation, and one which is very well attended… and competitive! After several near misses, our team finally won today – well done to everyone in the ‘Ironic Experts’!

1st April 2022

North Atlantic

Today I was sculpting in the ‘Seabourn Square’ on deck 7. This gave me the opportunity to show my work in progress as people came by and asked questions about the sculpting process. I enjoyed it a great deal!

31st March 2022

North Atlantic

I have been giving several presentations about the art of creating bronze sculptures, and the history of wildlife art, which have been well received on board the Ovation – it’s always a delight and pleasure to share my interests with others and help spread the word about these fascinating subjects!

29th March 2022

North Atlantic

We are now well on our way from Miami to Madeira. We have nice calm seas and sunny skies. Perfect weather for doing a bit of sculpting outside. My pelican sculptures are starting to take shape…

27th March 2022

Port of Miami

I am now aboard the beautiful Seabourn Miami, getting ready to set sail! I will be sculpting on board, and giving various lectures on a range of Artistic and Natural History subjects. Here’s to smooth sailings and an enjoyable voyage!

22nd March 2022

Zaandam, The Netherlands

It’s just a few days before I fly out to join the Seabourn Ovation in Miami. Can you tell what I will be sculpting when I’m on board?…

As you can see, I have used my armature wires to create the skeletal structure of a particular subject. I think that even at this very early, rough stage, it might be possible to determine the species that I will be sculpting!

16th March 2022

Zaandam, The Netherlands

More essential equipment for me to pack for my upcoming voyage!

For smaller works, and when working away from my studio, I like to use Chavant plasteline. It is an excellent oil-based clay that doesn’t dry out and it comes in several different degrees of hardness. This is useful for creating different effects, and working with different levels of detail.

2nd March 2022

Zaandam, The Netherlands

Later this month I will be packing my bags and flying to Miami to join the beautiful Seabourn Ovation! I will be bringing lots of equipment in order to be able to design and create a new sculpture (or sculptures) on board the ship. This will include cameras, sketchpads, pens, pencils, metal wire, pliers, sculpting tools and clay… the list goes on…

One of the most important pieces of equipment that I will be bringing is my wooden sculpting board. This board has lots of pre-drilled holes in it which enable me to slot in my armature wires for a stable support, whilst still enabling me to quickly adjust and remove the armature when needed. I made this sculpting board about 15 years ago, and it’s still going strong!

Upcoming Atlantic Crossing

27th March – 9th April 2022

The beautiful luxury cruise ship, Seabourn Ovation, which I will be joining on the 27th of March for her 13-day Atlantic Crossing from Miami to Lisbon. I will be joining the voyage as a Seabourn Guest Conversationalist and giving various lectures and presentations.

I will also be sketching, designing and sculpting new artworks during the course of the voyage. Once I am back home in the Netherlands I will mould these sculptures and cast them in bronze. Follow this website for images of the progress of these works as the develop from the initial inspiration to the finished bronze sculptures!