BRONZE PET COMMISSIONS
Commissioning a foundry bronze sculpture of your cat or dog is perhaps the most lasting and unique way to celebrate a wonderful pet and will look beautiful in your home or garden. It will forever commemorate your companion after they’ve gone.
Foundry bronze sculpture lasts indefinitely and is an investment, considered by many to be the premier and most authentic sculptural material. It is much harder to repair than cold cast resin bronze if it is damaged, but damage is much less likely due to its remarkable tensile strength and durability.
Foundry bronze is the traditional method of bronze casting, using the ‘lost wax’ process – used by sculptors and virtually unchanged for thousands of years. The bronze is melted at extremely high temperatures and poured into a ceramic mould which is later destroyed to reveal the metal sculpture within. The lost wax method of casting is a highly skilled, complex, time-consuming and labour intensive process. This, combined with the innate value of the bronze (made from copper and tin), gives rise to the comparatively high price of a bronze sculpture. For more details on each step of the creative process and the foundry she uses, please see Maddy’s blog.
Depending on the size of the commission, the creation time for your order is likely to be 3-6 months. Where possible, she will work to a specific date if you have one, smaller pieces particularly may be easier to fit to a tighter timeline. The lead time for starting will depend on the time of year and what other work the artist has, so this would be discussed.
Many clients commission a sculpture with a special date in mind, hoping that it will be completed before then. If you had a specific time in mind that is earlier than Maddy can create your sculpture, she can design a card for you to gift on the day, to let them know what you’ve commissioned for them.
Before creating the sculpture of your pet, the artist most often will come and visit, to see and get to know them. If you are based in another country, or if the pet has passed on, then she can create a sculpture of them using photos. In both cases you will be invited to share photos of poses that particularly characterise(d) your pet. In the case of a visit, Maddy will spend time with the pet, talk to you about their character and mannerisms, take photos and measurements, then discuss a pose with you that captures him or her, and confirm the size of the sculpture.
Maddy will then build an appropriate armature in the studio, and begin modelling the sculpture of your pet in clay. Once the sculpture is complete, she will send you photos and video of the finished clay. You are also welcome to visit the studio in London. She will make any amendments that you request, and once you have approved the sculpture it will be moulded and cast.
Different colours of bronze can be achieved with different patina – please specify if you would like a darker or lighter finish, for example.
The payment schedule is usually 50% upon commissioning and 50% on approval of the clay.
Please get in touch for some guidelines for commission prices of cats and dogs. These are subject to change. Please note that the price of bronze fluctuates and prices vary depending on the complexity of the pose – for example sitting poses are less complex than standing poses.
The prices given do not include travel outside London to meet the pet (if applicable) or delivery of the completed sculpture. Maddy can provide estimates for these if you confirm location.
Sculpture commissions, due to their high cost, usually permit an artist to take a limited edition of your sculpture for them to sell afterwards. If you want your commission to be unique or a very short edition, please ask. Unique sculptures (edition of one) are approximately three times the price estimated in the pricing guidelines (please contact for these). Maddy never creates ‘open’ editions – whereby the number of editions is unlimited.
As with all bronzes, edition copies may vary in price, and you may see copies of your commission sold at a much lower price. Later buyers are not purchasing the first edition of a bespoke sculpture, and they are not paying for dedicated time spent sculpting their commission. Similarly however the price of bronze may be significantly different at a point in time when each edition is cast, so editions may increase in value.