Animal Commissions in either Ceramic or Bronze

Private commissions of animals can be made in either ceramic or bronze - and can be whatever size you would like! The photo here shows a ceramic Norfolk Terrier ('Nelson'), the sculpture measures H22cm W15cm D20cm. When I went to the clients house to meet 'Nelson' we had discussions about his particular characteristics and personality traits and I took lots of photos from all angles. Working in my studio in Lewes I began to make the sculpture in clay, working from the photos and ensured I worked to the approximate measurements the client had requested. I sent regular updates of the sculptures' progress to the client and she also came to my studio to see the finished piece to check she was happy with the result. I then allowed the sculpture to dry and fired it in my kiln, using rich brown oxides. Prices for either ceramic and bronze depend on the size of the pet.

'Our Manchester Terrier Oscar was unfortunately diagnosed with terminal cancer, and in July 2020 we decided it would be a wonderful memory of him to commission a bronze sculpture. I searched on Google and found Susie’s website, saw the fabulous work she does and contacted her via email. I met Susie and her husband Gary, they spent about an hour taking pictures of Oscar (it helped he really like them!) taking measurements and making sure she had all the images and dimensions she needed. Sadly the following Tuesday we had to have Oscar put to sleep, so the timing was very fortuitous under the circumstances. Susie kept me posted with regular updates, initially in maquette form, then the fullsize clay version. I visited Susie to look at the clay before it went to the foundry, just to see him ‘in the flesh’. Susie was kind enough to ask the Foundry for a video of the pouring of the cast and then a few weeks later the sculpture was finally ready for collection. My wife and I both absolutely love what Susie has created, ‘Oscar’ now sits proudly in our study.'

John Chester, Cambridgeshire. January 2021

Making Process

Another example shown here is a black Labrador ('Moolie') who has been modelled in clay from a wide range of photos from all angles. The client wanted a surprise birthday present for her husband - and she requested the sculpture in ceramic. During the making process I sent regular updates of the different making stages to the client who also came to my studio to see the sculpture in progress. When the sculpture was finished it was hollowed out and allowed to dry completely before the kiln processes. A patina (colour) was discussed and the relevant glaze applied before the final firing in the kiln. 'Moolies' measurements are approx H24cm W12cm x D30cm (from her nose to the end of her tail). The finished ceramic sculpture now sits on the clients mantlepiece above their fireplace.

Bronze commissions

Pet commissions are also available in bronze - the clay modelling process is the same as above but this time - on completion of the making stage the sculpture is taken to a foundry where it is cast into bronze. Here is 'Jess' a much loved family pet who was made in bronze. The photo shows him in bronze on the right and on the left is a photo of a small scale model I made to prepare for the large outcome. Initially I went to meet Jess' owners and discussed his characteristics and personality traits. We also talked about poses and I took several photos of him. I worked from these photos and modelled some small scale sculptures in clay and then showed the clients the progress. They were happy to then proceed to the larger scale sculpture. We maintained regular contact and they came to see the sculpture develop on several occasions. Once the outcome was complete I took the sculpture to the foundry where 'Jess' was cast into bronze. The sculptures' measurements are approx: H50cm W24cm D50cm For more information on either a small ceramic sculpture or a life size bronze call 07719 917480

© Susie Hartley 2023