In 2019 I was approached for this special project to make a retirement present. The background for the project was immediately engaging. The couple who the present was for had, back in the 1980's as farmers wondering how they were going to pay their children's school fees, diversified and started up a Christmas hamper business. Now, 30 years on, their 3 children had taken over the reins of an extremely successful business and wanted to thank their parents for everything they had done in setting it up for their education.
As a starting point, we used the company's first-ever Christmas card which depicted the 2 youngest children as models, piling into a hamper with excitement. Apparently, during the photoshoot the youngest sister was not that terribly engaged in the event so an imaginary mouse was used to excite her - I loved this detail and we agreed that the mouse should make an actual appearance in the hamper!
We also included their elder brother who was not in the original photo but who is now director of the company. Adding him retrospectively to the scene added such fun, engagement and warmth, and completed the need for it to come with love from the three of them to their parents. It is a sculpture that celebrates family love, sibling unity, tenacity and resilience.
The photos below show the process from initial sketches through to modeling in clay, casting and working on the wax, and then finally into bronze.