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Commission a Sculpture of Your Loved One

Commission a Sculpture of Your Loved One

Here is a gift idea, for the person who thinks he or she has everything. Nothing says “I love you” like a timeless, original, bronze likeness of your beloved. The result is sure to be a conversation piece like no other, but first you need to know how to go about it:

1 Take the time to interview as many candidates as possible; commissioning the right artist is critical. The interviewing process will allow you and your spouse to see the differences in style and technique, and also help define what you are looking for. You may even look into hiring an outside consultant, who has far more resources; to find the perfect sculptor for the job.

2 Contact your artist of choice by e-mail or telephone, to discuss your initial ideas, requirements, completion date, and price. The size, materials, weight, base, and other factors will affect the final price. If the price is too steep, consider emerging artists; they may not charge as much, but may still produce excellent work.

3 Make an initial appointment with the artist, which usually lasts for about an hour, and ask your spouse to attend. Specify to the artist exactly what you want the sculpture to look like, including posture and attitude. The artist will take photos and measurements of your spouse, discuss the angle and mood, and may even create a mask of their head to work with.

4 Draw up a formal commission contract, which the artist will probably supply. The first payment; generally one-third of the total fee; is usually due upon signing the contract. Details such as size, materials, base, completion date, schedule of payments, and sitting sessions, should be stipulated therein.

5 Pay the second installment before the artist creates the mould: At this point discuss colour, if that’s an option, and decide how the piece will be mounted. The artist will then rework the piece with wax for the fine details, finalise the patination, or colouring of the bronze, then place it on its base. In addition to bronze; take a look at stone, onyx, and the many resin castings available.

6 Return to the studio when the piece is being finalised, for any final touch-ups; Most sculptures take four or five sittings to perfect. The sculpture is not complete until both you and the artist are completely satisfied with the likeness and mood of the piece.

Many sculptors are willing to travel, so if you find one with a phenomenal reputation but outside your local area; ask whether the artist will come to you for the project.

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