Frequently Asked Questions
How are the sculptures made?
All of Eddie's sculptures start their lives as a sketch which are done in the field. The sketches are quite simple, he add's little notes from visual observations. This gives him a general feel for the subject, he see's it as the birth of a sculpture. He enjoy's the sketching and studying every bit as much as the sculpting.
The next stage is to visit one of the museum stores, where he has permission to draw and accurately measure the mounted specimens. He then combines all of the information that he has gathered and does a few life size drawings in various posers. He also does some detailed drawings of heads, feet and beaks etc.
Now for the sculpting. The starting point is an armature, this is a structure that resembles a skeleton. It needs to be sturdy and strong to withstand the weight of the sculpting materials, which can be resin, wax, clay, plaster or several other materials. The choice is usually determined by the size and complexity of the subject, usually the piece will be refined, many times before it is considered finished. The very last thing to check is the eyes, they can be very problematical.
Once regarded as finished, the precious piece is sent to a long established, reputable, fine art foundry in Birmingham, where it will be cast in bronze.
The casting process is known as the 'lost wax' process, and it was discovered over 6000 thousand years ago. This ancient method is still widely used today.
The first stage at the foundry is to cut the original sculpture into several pieces to make two-part moulds. Eddie dreads seeing the moulder do this after all the trouble he has taken to create it. The moulds are used to make separate wax replicas of the original piece. The replicas are not cast solid but are cast hollow. The thickness of the wax is approximately 5mm thick. The centre of these replicas is then filled with a type of plaster of paris. The replica is then covered in a further mould made from clay material and then left to dry. When dry, the mould is put into an oven and the wax melted out, hence, 'lost wax'. The space left by the wax is then filled with molten bronze metal and cast at over one thousand degrees.
The second mould then has to be broken open with a hammer, and the bronze pieces go to the finishing shop to be 'fettled', a term used for giving the castings a good clean and smoothing look, and made ready for all the various pieces to be welded together.
The completed piece is then ready to be patinated using a mixture of heat and chemicals, which gives the sculpture its colours. Finally, the sculpture is waxed to give it its tactile finish.
How long has Eddie been sculpting?
For 30 years. He started sculpting age 54.
Can I visit Eddie's studio?
Here at Wildlife Sculptures we are a very small team; Father and Daughter to be precise, although we are keenly backed by the rest of the family.
Being a very small outlet, we are not able to open the gallery on a regular basis, but, we do welcome visitors outside exhibition periods. I have always thought that buying or even considering buying a sculpture, should be a special occasion, so it makes sense to arrange a visit when I will have more time to give you lots of information about a sculpture, without obligation.
I don't like the phrase 'by appointment' it does not suggest the friendly welcome that you will recieve here.
To arrange a visit please telephone or email.
Can you tell me a little more about Eddie?
Eddie is an artist; a biology graduate; an award-winning nature reserve warden and a former wildlife park director. First and foremost, however, he is an active and passionate wildlife conservationist. An outdoor countryman through and through, he is never happier than when in remote, wild places studying and watching wildlife.
Although widely travelled, his favourite places are the outlying islands of Scotland. He feels particularly privileged to have spent an entire month on the inaccessible and uninhabited islands of St Kilda where he was able to observe and sketch the massive seabird colonies. It was this particular expedition which fuelled his desire to sculpt a range of seabirds and have them cast in bronze.
Although Eddie had previously spent many years carving birds, he found that sculpting gave him greater flexibility and freedom than working entirely in wood.
Although he generally prefers to concentrate on British birds and mammals, he has sculpted a Spannish lynx – a beautiful but highly endangered species. Through his artwork Eddie hopes to promote interest in wildlife and foster support for its effective conservation.
How did Eddie get into sculpting?
From being a small child Eddie had become totally fascinated by all kinds of wildlife. He set his heart on becoming a wildlife conservationist.
On leaving school at 15 he studied hard at evening classes to get enough qualifications to go to university. He enrolled at university to do an honours degree in Biological Services. It was at this time that he realised that he had also entered the art world through a back door.
To become a top field biologist, it was essential that you could sketch quickly, accurately and proficiently, for both recording and identification purposes. It was also a long-standing tradition that good biologists were often good artists.
He found he loved sketching, especially in the field and he has carried on sketching throughout his life, and to this day he is rarely caught without his sketching bag.
Eddie also became an active wildlife conservationist for many years. In or around, 1990 he visited a gallery in Suffolk and saw an exhibition by Nick Bibby featuring his wonderful wildlife sculptures. The following week Eddie started buying pieces of sculpting kit and then he was on his way. From his biological work he knew he had a good knowledge of anatomy, feather groups etc and it all seemed to come together very quickly. Eddie had his first bronze sculpture cast within months of starting and he has now been sculpting for 30 years.
Which payment menthods do you accept?
We accept payments electronically, by credit card and PayPal. Your payment information is encrypted and confidential.
All prices quoted on this site are in UK pounds sterling and include VAT.
Which shipping methods do you use?
We ship using Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm with Saturday Guarantee for items under £2,500.
Items over +£2,500 will be sent via courier.
When will my order be shipped?
Once an order is received, in stock sculptures will be dispatched within 24 hours.
Please note you can purchase an out of stock sculpture if it allows you to. You will only be able to add a sculpture to your basket if it is still within Limited Edition numbers.
However, once you have ordered an out of stock sculpture we will contact you within 48 hours to advise the timescale for delivery. This will usually be 8 to 12 weeks depending on foundry production timescales.