Commissions are gained either by being a request from a patron that has your work already or a patron that sees you at a show or online, I have a small sign in my booth at shows. Often they have an animal or even a business that they would like reflected as a desktop because of their love of a particular animal or wanting to depict their business in their office.
The commission that I recently finished was for a couple that had a few of my pieces already so we had formed a relationship. This piece, "Gertie" was of a black and tan coonhound and it was easy to fall in love with the subject she was so sweet.
During the next seven months the journey from start to finish was interrupted slightly with my back surgery but usually commissions take that long anyway if not longer especially because there are other entities involved that take at least two months of that time. If you are an artist you always have to remember once your wax is poured and cleaned you have to draw an outline of the bronze for the base and show where pieces extend over like for instance the front feet or neck or tail then you can design the wooden base you are using to place under the subject. This particular one was of walnut but I have included stone in combination of larger pieces such as Refuge in the Wetlands...go to http://www.peggycampbellanimalsinbronze.com to check it out.
Naturally the first step is to view and acquaint yourself with the dog and take as many pictures as possible to give you accuracy and also see the dog move and interact. I took measurements to back up and reinforce the visual references that way you have two sources. I ended up taking over 200 pictures and even returned for more pictures when I got to details like the paws and nostrils and color pattern. A black and tan has a very distinct pattern all over their body and I fell in love with Gertie's ears.
When you begin your clay you need to make sure you are building on a solid armature that will not shift or move after mold is placed. As you work you want to allow patrons access to this piece (it is their piece) so that they can be a part of the creating, they become your best source for details as they love this animal and have lived with this animal 24/7 and know every little detail literally by heart. This is an area where you can not have a thin skin, listen to them not your ego.
not most of the markings were an echo of what the other side mirrored.
The most difficult part of this entire piece was the patina and getting the look that patrons wanted.
|This was an eight inch piece and perfect size, not too small to show details not too large for carrying or desktop|