My new website can be found at http://www.quernuscrafts.co.uk/

Wee Ernie (b.23 March 2010)

Wee Ernie

Meet Wee Ernie. Ernie is a rather old, creaky golden retriever, and I was introduced to him (well, a couple of photos of him) by my good friend, Becky. Becky is the powerhouse behind Bright Paws, a wonderful holistic canine therapy business based in the north east.

As you can probably tell by the nature of her business (which she is completely devoted to), Becky is completely in love with all things dog-related, and in particular, the three dogs she owns. She commissioned me to make a Wee Mavis (a Dogue de Bordeaux), as well as a Wee Ernie for her friend, and I'll be writing about Wee Mavis in a couple of days. That's a tale worth telling :)

Ernie belongs to Becky's friend, and she wanted to surprise her with a miniature version of him. I have to say that Wee Ernie is one of my favourite commissions - I love retrievers at the best of time, but there's something very endearing about an old, faithful dog who's going a bit white round the muzzle.

I modelled the body shape first of all out of a pale golden/tan clay I'd mixed up. Then, to get the right effect for Wee Ernie's muzzle, I made up a Skinner blend of white and the golden tan I used for the rest of the fur. After blending the two colours together, I rolled the sheet out as thinly as possible, and then began the tricky task of applying a 2 dimensional sheet to a 3 dimensional shape.

How could you resist this wee face?!
Once his 'face mask' was applied, I tore the clay carefully rather than cutting it, as this makes it easier to blend in without leaving lines. Once the Skinner blend sheet was positioned and blended in, I was able to finish him off.

Whenever I see a dog these days when I'm out and about, I immediately go straight to sculpting it in my mind. It's great to really look at a dog and see it for what it is, rather than just let your mind label it 'dog' and move on. They are lovely animals, each with their own quirks and personalities, and I always love being asked to make up a new wee dog. I'm hoping to make up most of the dog breeds out there, and with time, I believe I will :)


  1. I second that! That little dog has a wonderful expression. Elaine

  2. Thank you guys! Always good to know my wee dogs are appreciated! I'll be posting about the wee West Highland terrier I made a few weeks ago - I actually remembered to take pictures of the process this time :)