Where did you train?
Was a pretty late starter to the world of sculpture. Did various short term courses, such as portrait sculpting, glass fusing, casting and mold making then eventually in 2003 took myself off to The Frink School of Figurative Sculpture and learned the whole works – followed by a year at Stafford University Fine Arts department concentrating on more sculpture.
What is your main style?
I make mostly figurative sculpture – trying to simplify and refine the form and retain the essence of the piece. At present, I am concentrating on sculpture for the country home, such as grouse, fish, and pheasants.
How are the Bronze Sculptures created?
My originals are usually made with clay. So the original clay of Efay would have been built up, refined, changed, viewed from every angle for months until I am completely happy with the piece. A mould is made in Hot Melt Vinyl and a cast made in soft plaster to allow me to be sure of the whole and refine it a little more. Again this will be molded (the negative) and wax positive of the original created and taken to the foundry. The foundry then makes a ceramic shell around the wax original which is signed and numbered in a limited edition of no more than 9. The ceramic shell is fired and the wax melted out – the Lost Wax Process – then 1200c melted bronze is poured into the ceramic shell mold. After cooling the mold is chipped/cleaned/sand blasted off the bronze, all runners, risers, and sprues cut away and the whole is chased, polished and patinated. You now have a bronze copy of the original clay sculpture, but as you can see each sculpture is individually made and finished.
What is patination?
It is the surface colour. It is created by heating the bronze, splashing it with chemicals while using a blowtorch to heat and dry, producing and stabilising the colour. It is then waxed to protect and set the patina.
How do you ship your sculpture?
All bronze sculptures are packed/crated and sent by courier. I prefer to know that my work is delivered into your hands.
How easy are they to break?
The bronzes are almost impossible to damage – just think of the detail on 5,000-year-old bronzes.
Do you do commissions?
Yes, I shall create a portrait bust of a loved one if you wish.
I have just finished a really lovely commission of a Terrier named Crumble.
What are your Opening Hours?
The little Gallery next to my home is officially open every afternoon during the Summer, but if I am home the Gallery is Open.
You can also see many of my works on Artparks – here’s the link – https://gilly-thomas.artparks.co.uk