Just lately I have been a Featured Artist on ArtsyShark which follows up and coming artists – cool !
Featured Artist Gilly Thomas
The simple flowing lines and smooth surfaces of artist Gilly Thomas’ bronze animal sculptures invite you to reach out and touch them. See more by visiting her website.
Art is an extension of my life.
Since childhood, I have loved making, playing and building with clay, piling stones, weaving reeds and just being outside and enjoying.
Fast forward a few years. The children are grown and I have time to take myself back to college to study sculpture, basically playing with clay again.
I am now a figurative sculptor creating bronze sculpture for the country home. Living in the countryside surrounded by fields (and my two horses) I watch the wildlife sauntering by, investigating and examining the elegance and serenity of their natural forms.
I try to depict the shape of the animal that you see from afar, including the essence, the shape and its character, such as the grace of the horse or the quiet beauty of a hare or pheasant.
I wish the lines to flow, for your eye and hand to move over the piece with calm gentleness.
I make a complete journey when developing an idea of an animal that I wish to create. I look at many photographs and depictions of that animal and then I start to make a clay representation.
Usually one or two clay forms are made in different poses. These I let dry to be “leather hard” while I make slight changes, looking at them from different angles and in different lights. I then make a mould and cast the piece in fine casting plaster. I let it dry, smooth it and check the line until I am completely satisfied. Is it right? Eventually you have to say to yourself “let go” and move onto moulding it again.
Eventually, a signed wax copy of the original is delivered to the foundry for them to invest the wax and cast it in bronze using the lost wax tradition. I have built an excellent relationship with the foundry, and when the piece is cast I oversee the finishing, patina and the final wax and polish.
It has taken me quite a while to decide what my favourite material is, and I strongly believe it is bronze, with its weight, patina and glow. I feel that when you have a bronze sculpture you have more than a pheasant or hare–you have a bronze.