The Creative Process
The starting point:
The choice of subject, when not a commission, is usually sparked by a special sighting or particularly close up encounter with a species and the desire to recreate the moment and enable others to share in a fascinating study of the intricate and beautiful designs of the natural world around us.
First hand knowledge of the species to be produced is an advantage, supported by drawings and the gathering of data, measurements, structural details and images to work from. The finding of specimens, unfortunate casualties at the roadside or birds that have unwittingly flown into a window, can provide a valuable source from which to work.
Each work is created on an armature of wire and/or shaped Styrofoam to provide the underlying form and positioning of the main structural features such as the wings, tail and legs.
The elements comprising these structural features are then variously constructed: feathers and wings are produced using different grades of paper, card, textile, styrene, pvc and acrylic sheets; legs, feet, beaks, other appendages and surface detail are carved in wood or sculpted using polymer clay and epoxy putty; for birds, mammals and other vertebrates, taxidermy glass eyes are used.
The final stage is the addition of colour by careful hand-painting using acrylic paints.
Flight models are suspended using clear nylon fishing line while other subjects can be free standing, set in appropriate habitat surroundings or mounted on wooden bases, with the addition of protective glass casing if required.