The moon was full, and lit up the lower slopes of the old volcanic hill, to reveal a troop of swans, asleep in the snow. A light dusting of snowflakes was falling, and we felt as if, somehow, the swans were more 'real' and larger than we were, and we might be tiny beings whom they would carry on their backs to another realm (it was past midnight, and we'd had a few...)
I wanted a slightly more homely feel to the piece, so I chose to make a fantastical goose-like bird, rather than the more etherial and majestic swan.
The clay features of goose and rider are handmodelled and the facial details are painted with the tips of a feather to enable very fine detailing. The body is knitted in tiny stitches on a pair of hatpins and incorporates kid silk wool and carded silk. Feathers and metallic, wire wool are stitched in to the wings, tail, the riders boot spurs and epaullettes and her hair is a skein of uncarded fleece with silk inclusions. the gooses' legs are encased in uncarded silkworm cocoons and each figure has a little, beady eye.
She is happy as a freestanding model, but was placed inside a replica victorian glass dome for this commission.
I love making birds and riders, and commissions are always welcome.