Growing up in East Anglia, without a television, Colchester zoo was the closest I got to wildlife.
That is until when in 1986, I was asked to go to Zimbabwe, I found myself in another world canoeing down the Zambezi amongst hippo and crocodile, sleeping in tents on the river bank, lion huffing as sleep came, glimpses of cheetah, warthog, enormous elephant and elegant impala. I left my clothes behind, determined to return, and to sculpt the animals of the wild to portray their tension, movement, and the excitement of their life in the bush. I then spent 6 months of each year in Zim, I learned from other foundries and then started my own foundry on a friend’s farm, and with Killion cast lost wax bronze sculptures for 10 years.
I work from life whenever possible, I take wax into the bush make hollow shapes filled with wet newspaper and keep cool boxes of cold water. I rode a horse amongst a herd of wildebeest sculpting as they went.
I made 5 waxes over several days to make “Over the Top” a wildebeest bronze sculpture.
Another time I rode up to a Kudu group in the shade, beautifully camouflaged, and made 4 waxes for “Bachelors Away” a Kudu group lost wax sculpture.
I no longer cast bronze myself, but I send it to Castle Foundry in Wales, but I still spend 3 months a year in my second home.