After creating a number of poppies for the village’s memorial garden, I was approached to make a sculpture of a WW1 Soldier to stand watch over the site. This was quite different from my usual style of work but, always happy to take on a challenge, I accepted.
And what a challenge it proved! Figurative sculpture is really hard as we all know what a human body looks like, and it is easy to tell when proportions are wrong-even slightly. With hindsight, I should have made a scale sculpture and worked from that. A lesson for the future! But, with a lot of welding bits together, looking, cutting them off and rewelding them in a slightly different place, a realistic figure emerged.
This project required a fair amount of research, from the size and shape of his rifle and backpack (someone will ALWAYS know when you get it wrong) to the exact design of his helmet. I watched far more videos of WW1 enthusiasts than I ever expected to and have to thank a good friend of mine for sharing his wealth of knowledge with me. It’s not always what you know but who you know….
To provide the best protection against rust, the finished sculpture was galvanised. I then used T-Wash, an etching solution, to create an ‘old lead’ finish. This will weather but protect the steel for decades to come.
The completion of the project was delayed by the arrival of COVID and the country going into lockdown. But he was finally installed and should stand guard over the village for many years to come.
My client said.
Our beautiful soldier is amazing. We all love him!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work, which I know is completely over and above….. we are so grateful, and he will be an amazing feature in Bednall for many years to come.
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