What I need and where I am now
I currently have a solid bronze prototype of my snail, sculpted originally in wax and then invested in ceramic shell, burned out and cast in solid bronze.
Once a production mold is made I will be able to create more solid bronze snails using the centuries old lost wax casting process.
I would love to add this to my list of sculptures available to collectors, and with your help I'm looking forward to that.
What's in it for backers?
Get one before everyone else, and at a discount.
Once the mold is made and I can start producing bronzes, these snails will sell for $125 each on my Etsy store, Critterville.
By pledging $100 you can help get me up and running, and get yours first, and for 20 percent less.
Oh, I put the word TURTLE in the reward instead of SNAIL, so ignore TURTLE, it's for SNAILS!! Silly me!
What if I want more than one?
If you want multiples for gifts, or simply to create your own snail army, all you need to do is adjust your pledge amount accordingly.
So if one snail with shipping is $108, two would be $208, four would be $408, etc. The shipping fee for one snail will cover the shipping on all additional snails, so you'd just pledge an amount as a multiple of $100 and the single shipping charge is added automatically.
How big is it?
About 3 inches long from tip of tail to eyeballs.
Is that a real shell?
Since I couldn't find any snail shells around our house or garden, I asked my parents back in England to send some from their garden. I grew up in the house I was actually born in (breach birth, so it was lucky I even came out alive!), and my parents still live there now. Thanks to me and my childhood obsessions it now has a thriving community of frogs.
Anyway, when the shells arrived I sculpted a snail's body to match an existing shell. So my sculpture is part actual snail (the shell), and part sculpted from scratch. It was for a decorative piece I made of a snail on a long elegant leaf, which could be used as a shoe horn if you so desired, but I never really expected it would be!
From the snail-on-leaf mold I pulled a wax to melt off the leaf and make a stand alone snail. I had to re-sculpt the snail (although I was able to use the shell from the wax) since it wasn't originally sculpted to stand on a horizontal surface. The eye stalks were very thin on the larger sculpture, so I made the stand alone snail's eye stalks a hair thicker. It's more robust. If you really wanted to break them off you could bend them back and forth to achieve that, but it wouldn't happen by accident.
The newly sculpted wax snail was then cast as a bronze, to serve as a prototype for a new production mold.
Once I have the mold made and start casting a few, I'll send the prototype back home to my parents so it can return from whence it came (from where the shell came from at least).
How long will I have to wait for my snail?
Once I hit my funding goal I'll order the production mold made. Then it should take about 2 months until I'm ready to deliver your snails. Maybe sooner.
What's an animalier?
Antoine Louis Barye (1796-1875) was a French sculptor who was the first in his era to consider animals to be worthy subjects of sculpture in their own right (rather than, say, playing a supporting role in an allegorical piece).
Scorned at first, he popularized their appeal and led the way for many other sculptors who just happened to enjoy sculpting animals. Barye, and other animal sculptors following in that tradition are known as 'animaliers'.
I have attempted to make the finest actual snail sized bronze snail available anywhere.
Sculpture-wise I'm an elected member of the National Sculpture Society, having shown in several of their annual shows in NYC, and a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists having shown in several of their annual shows in museums across the country.
I've also shown in several MPSGS (Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington DC) annual shows, winning awards on a couple of occasions. They are the oldest active organization of miniaturists in the United States.
I've participated in several of the prestigious National Museum of Wildlife Art (Jackson Hole, WY) shows.
My sculpture sells in over a dozen galleries from California to Massachusetts, as well as on my Etsy store, Critterville.
Click this link for a more complete listing of other museum shows, as well as galleries and public installations.
Non-sculpting-wise I've made my living with a pencil for longer than I care to remember, drawing storyboards for advertising agencies while living in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and now Santa Fe (although these days I work at home for folks in numerous states across the U.S, just about everywhere except where I live it seems!).
Making sculpture is a way I can express my love of nature.
Another reason I enjoy creating bronzes is because they'll stick around for a while.
No matter how good I try to make my storyboard work, once used for its intended purpose it is destined for the trash!
My sculpture on the other hand could be enjoyed for hundreds or even thousands of years! So I'd better make sure it's good!
Here's just a few:
LOVE this little mouse! Have purchased from this artist before and will do so again!
As an artist myself, with a strong affinity for rabbits, I am very fussy about the rabbits I add to my collection. Tiny Bianca is an absolutely perfect little bronze. I would recommend Steve's work to anyone. Also, arrived quickly. I am thoroughly delighted.
This is a lovely frog - very happy with him and his "bottle opener" feature! Gave him to my husband for Christmas - great gift! Thanks for shipping this to me so quickly. I am looking forward to purchasing one of your mice in the future!
beautiful sculpture. Cannot wait to give it for Christmas. Thank you so much.
One of my favourite artists, another hassle free transaction from this amazing store! A+++
The moment I saw Pugnacious, it was love at first sight. what an adorable little character! CritterVille is my favourite Etsy store; it's full of such outstanding creations. They take my breath away.
Once again Love at first sight! Better than pictured! Thank you again
Sprightly has so much character. Every time I look at her I just have to smile. What a talented fellow her creator is. She's so real... I expect her to rush off looking for something to nibble!
Extraordinary work of art. Feels lovely in the hand, an exquisite piece.
THE BEST gift for a beer drinking guy!! Beautiful work.
Chubby mouse makes me happy. He sits there, nibbling away, with his fat body and perky little ears, and then i find myself smiling. What more could you ever ask of art?
One more mouse is in my house, and he is quite a character. I adore these little guys. They make me smile.
beyond gorgous; he sits on my desk at work and brightens my day
I've placed Steve's work on my dining room table. My new additon to the home does double duty as a beautiful piece of art to be admired and a conversation piece for visiting guests. The perfect blend of whimsical pose and detailed, life - like art.
Gorgeous and full of character. Definitely the big hit of dad's stocking! Thank you so much, Steve - you're the best!
Love him! He now resides in my pocket.
Awww, he really is a cutie, even more so than in the photo! Adorable little mouse looking right at ya! He has a place of honor on my night table where he makes me smile.
Thanks Steve for getting her to me quickly! She was a birthday gift and my friend thought she was wonderful. Thanks again.
Sprightly is great! and amazingly life-like. He really brings a smile. I've got him on the credenza by the desk: he sits next to a display piece of pyrite that he can duck behind if he gets shy. Thanks for the quick delivery, the decorative magnets and my new friend.
It's always a thrill to learn how much collectors enjoy my work, and to find out what it means to them. Nothing fuels the ego of an artist like a healthy dose of positive feedback from all kinds of fine folks with impeccably great taste!
More of my sculpture:
Risks and challenges
There are no risks and challenges that I can see, since I regularly cast bronzes and have made a metal prototype from which to have a mold made.
However, if any SNAFU's do arise, you will be the first to know.
- (15 days)