I've always loved Painted Dogs, or as they used to be called African Wild Dogs. They are on the endangered list and are threatened by farming, habitat and human interferance.
I decided to create this one for the Artists For Painted Dogs competition. I was delighted to be shortlisted and my Painted Dog was placed on thier website for an on-line exhibition sale. My Painted Dog was the first to be sold! The competition, Artists For Painted Dogs is is an annual event run to help support the work of the Kalahari African Wild Dog Conservation Project (KAWDCP). The event not only highlights the plight of these and other endangered species, but the proceeds help to fund all the work undertaken by them.
You can read more about their work on their website
I wanted to create a Painted Dog on the move, as they are known for running many miles in pursuit of their prey. In-keeping with the conservation work, I even create a radio collar.
This Painted Dog now lives in America.
I love watching Guide Dogs work. Such amazing dogs to be able to give a completely blind person their independence and life back.
This one is a Labrador and I have made her harness complete with reflective covering and metal harness handle.
Who knew this funny little pose was called a "Sploot?"
I didn't! I felt I ought to make a Corgi for the Jubilee celebrations. I'm pleased with how he turned out.
Meet Azzy, a mixed breed. Azzy was created using the reverse felting technique, which after layering the colours, the different shades and markings are achieved by reverse felting from underneath, up to the surface. This mixes the colours and can also simulate long fur, on Azzy, this is around the neck. His eyes are created using my own technique and his nose is felted, sealed then waxed. Nails are polymer clay and his collar is bespoke with polymer clay lettering. Azzy looks a gentle soul.
This handsome boy was a commission. He was a show winner of his breed and a very fine example of a German Shepherd.
He took many hours of needle felting and giggery-pokery to create, including his handcrafted eyes and nose.
German Shepherds are such beautiful and noble breeds.
I hope I shall make many more.
I always loved the Lassie films as a child and was lucky enough to have a dog similar to Lassie called Waif, because she was a stray.
This Lassie has a Merino hand-blended coat of four main colours to produce various shades of that typical Collie colouring. The original Lassie was based on the old Scotch Collie, which was a hard working farm dog. There are a few people trying to revive the breed.
This noble German Shepherd was made in a slightly different way to my normal dogs, this time made as separate parts and not my usual all-in-one method. This time I made a simple wire armature, gave the first covering of wool, then cut off the limbs and continued making them separately. I have to say, I didn't enjoy this process as much as I would have liked, due to the constant need to pair up, assess and adjust sizes, proportions and shape, not to mention the actual exact fit needed to join the limbs to the body. But as you can see, I did have some fun in the process. Smonks thought the collection of limbs were very strange.
I had to keep reassessing the limbs to the body by attaching them with pins. The head was also made separately which I did find easier to work on without an attached body being in the way. The eyes were made using my own secret method (to be shown in detail in my book) and the nose was felted, then sealed with glues and painted.
The body is Merino core wool and the top coat is a hand-blended coat from 4 colours of Merino Tops, which is the most time-consuming part of the creation, getting the coat pattern right and graduated colour gradients. In all, I'm pleased with him. I think he's a favourite.