The Making of a Masterpiece
“Whenever I make a new animal, I always need to begin with some idea in my head of what shape it will be – so, what position the cat, or hare, or dog will be sitting, standing, or lying in.
All of the My Hares and Graces animals begin as a lump of clay. I actually keep the clay in a bucket and reuse it whenever I’m creating something new, so there’s no wastage there.
While I’ll already have some idea of what I want the end result to look like in my head, I use all sorts of bits of information to feed what I’m making – from my own experiences and observations, to many photographs that I use as references. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with someone who actually owns a hare and who shares lots of pictures with me. I really believe that I need to be able to touch an animal in order to recreate it as a sculpture, which is why I don’t create wild animals or anything like that. It’s so important that it really captures the essence of an animal.
As I’m working with the clay, I’ll refine it further and look at it closer to make sure that things like the eyes and proportions are correct. It might not be an exact copy, but I like to think that it captures a quiet moment of stillness.
Once I’m happy with the clay sculpture, I let it get leather hard, after which my master mould maker Petrus Daluka makes a silicone mould of the sculpture that gives the mould rigidity. From this, we can create multiple versions of the same animal, but with each one being unique in its finer sculpting and details.
Each animal is cast in an acrylic resin blend with metal powder or marble dusts and different pigments, and of course it receives its individual microchip, ready to go off into the world and bring joy to its new home.”
To view the full My Hares and Graces range and purchase one for yourself, visit Carol’s website over at www.myharesandgraces.co.za and keep up with their adventures on Facebook and Instagram at @myharesandgraces