27 February 2011
I'm delighted to introduce Wee Bandit to you - I met the real Bandit in photographic form back in August 2010 when a lovely lass called Gemma (who had just adopted lots of wee cats from my Folksy shop) asked if I could make up a Wee Bandit for her mum's birthday. And could I incorporate his favourite ball, Big Red, as well? Of course!
Bandit's got great bandy front legs, and Gemma was keen for these to be captured if possible. She also suggested that he had his paw possessively on Big Red - this was the first time I had incorporated props into a sculpture, but I was more than happy to give it a go!
I created the body as usual from a single piece of clay, and then I added both front legs which were strengthened with a wire armature. I created a millefiori 'fur' cane, and then cut thin slices from this and rolled them into thin logs which I used to cover the clay body and legs. The cane was made up of a number of different colours, which helps to create a more realistic effect, rather than using a single colour. I then scored the logs using a fine needle to create the fur texture.
Bandit is apparently very taken with Wee Bandit, and he seems to recognise himself and Wee Big Red! And unlike many of my other canine models, he hasn't yet tried to eat Wee Bandit, mistaking him for a biscuit!
Bandit is such a sweet wee dog, and very clever as well. He has his own blog, and he helps his mum run a successful dog walking business in Congleton, Cheshire - you can find out more at The Happy Pet Sitting Service.
I've since got to know both Gemma and her mum, Karen, very well and it's been a real pleasure to chat with them and come up with more ideas - the latest one was Wee Bandit with his nose in a flowerpot, with a butterfly perched on his tail! Many thanks, both of you!