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Commissioning: Q & A

What can I expect?

With much experience of working with clients, I have struck upon a straightforward approach to commissioning portrait sculpture.  This that ensures that at every stage of the progress all involved are satisfied and that there can be no disasters. Commissioning a bronze can seem daunting as you don’t know what the finished results will be. You may have some questions and I have added the most common. I hope that the following will put you at ease.  Please contact me for further info.

Do I have to sit still and for how long?

No. Definitely not still. Unlike a portrait painting, sculpture requires me to look from every angle. When you move, you are in fact helping me to see more!

Sitting times depend upon yourself and your schedule. I ask for 6 sittings and we can negotiate how long you are able to give. Usually up to 2 hours each time with breaks. Children have a short attention span and shorter, more frequent sittings are necessary.

Do you use Photographs?

Yes. When I need to. However, I can gather more informed and accurate impressions from observation rather than from photographs. It is always possible to see when a bust has been made using photographs rather than observation. For this reason I also have access to 3-D photo software. This combines a series of photos into a 3-D image on my laptop. The blend of modern techniques alongside traditional allows me to reduce your sitting time, without the loss of too much information.

Will there be a contract between us?

Most definitely! As soon as everything is to your satisfaction and before proceeding with the sittings a formal contract is drawn up. If you wish to see a copy of my standard contract (which we adjust to suit your specific requirements) please just ask.  It helps us both feel confident and ensures each stage meets your requirements.

What if I don’t like the bust?

At every stage of the modelling the commissioner will be involved and view it’s progressive stages. This ensures that the work is developing according to all our requirements. At our first meeting I will show you my folio and ask what type of finish you prefer, as this can greatly affect the outcome. Only when we are both fully satisfied with the clay does the next casting stage proceed. In over 24 years of being commissioned, I have only ever had one work rejected. This was early on in my younger days and on that occasion I didn’t invite the sitter’s wife to become involved in the decision making processes! However, I am glad of that instance as I tightened my belt and learned a lot from that mistake!

Can you do the modelling at my house or do I have to come to your studio?

The choice is yours. I will happily come to you. My portable studio is small and I bring a clean new dustsheet on each occasion! If your home is dark I may also bring additional lighting. Billy Connolly sat in the dressing rooms at the Theatre Royal, Bath. The Indian sage HWL Poonja sat in his living room with over 40 devotees telling me that they see him this way or that! If I travel to you, I will ask for my basic traveling expenses. This of course is included in the quote and drawn up in the contract.

How long do you take from start to finish?

Depending upon my current bookings and the foundry schedule this can take approximately 3 month and up to 4 months, very occasionally longer. However, once you have made a decision to go ahead, I will book the work into the foundry which will reduce the waiting time. However, if you have a specific date in mind e.g. a retirement celebration or a birth date, please let me know well in advance, so that I can plan my diary according to your date. I will do my very best to accommodate and meet your deadlines.

I notice that it is also possible to commission you through an agent on the internet. Is either preferable?

The choice is yours. If you commission through the agent, you have the added reassurance that you are dealing with a reputable company who carefully selects it’s artists. That said, the contract we draw up between us is equally as watertight.  If you contact me directly however, I do not have to charge the agent’s commission.  If you have found me via an agent I ask that you use them for the commissioning process.

Please contact me if you have further questions