What a strange year it has been for all of us! However, I have managed to be be very productive, working in the studio and sculpting wildlife that I have wanted to sculpt for a while. I have also been experimenting with the sculpting materials I use. I’ve made a series of cheetah heads, one from mud, one from clay and one from plasticine. They are currently at the foundry being cast and will be available in three or four months. Also coming out next year will be a large and a small wren, a robin and a nuthatch. I’m also making a new sculpture to go outside a client’s work headquarters. It is a very exciting project, but I can’t say too much about it at this stage! So the foundry is being kept busy. It was operating with a skeleton crew during lockdown, but it has been full steam ahead since, catching up with the list.
This year saw many new sculptures come out of the foundry. A new Tiger and a Cheetah, a Tawny Owl and Squid. There was also a series of nude studies including Model in Studio Relief. My two stainless steel skulls, Cheetah Skull and Walrus Skull have also been well-received. And of course, I was delighted to make a new sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill, following the success of the 2017 bust.
Getting back to nature in the countryside has been great with lots of walks which have inspired the new bird sculptures. It has also been a year of gardening and the vegetable patch has come on in leaps and bounds and kept us all in greens! We’ve also been busy renovating the cottages next to our house with the aim of renting them out as holiday lets.
At the end of the first lockdown, we went to Coll in the Inner Hebrides, where I was able to do some wildlife spotting. Back in the summer, we went to see family in Cornwall. It was great to get away and have a change of scenery. During half-term, we spent a week on the North Norfolk coast. I love Norfolk’s long wide beaches. Holkham Beach was recently voted ‘Best Beach in the UK’ in a survey of travel writers. I can see why. We saw seals and went fishing, did a high rope course through the trees and had some fantastic bike rides. At the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve, we went birdwatching and saw the evening murmurations of starlings which were an amazing sight. We were also lucky enough to see the largest UK exhibition of outdoor sculptures by the artist Anish Kapoor. So inspiring to see his incredible sculptures in mirror, stone and marble in the grounds of Houghton Hall.
After my exhibition was cancelled in London, we sent out the new catalogue of work to subscribers. We had a good response from people who are still interested in supporting the arts. Many collectors really appreciate buying directly from the sculptor and of course my studio is open by appointment for socially-distanced viewings. My daughter Otterlie was thrilled to sell out of her bronze Hare 2020 very quickly. She even had to turn people down. It was a shame that she couldn’t exhibit at my London exhibition but she has plans to continue sculpting next year. We have also kept in touch with collectors through our newsletters and social media. Both have become even more important tools for reaching out to clients and showing them sculptures.
The sad note in the year was saying goodbye to our beloved Labrador, Chilli. She had cancer so we had to put her to sleep. Losing a member of the family has been tough and she is very much missed. She really was the dog of a lifetime and will be hard to replace.
We are spending Christmas at home and looking forward to 2021 and all that it brings! Thank you all for your continued support.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!
You can subscribe to Hamish’s newsletter and request a catalogue of available work by using the contact form on the Contact Page. You can also phone on 01608 737859 or 07971 028098 to make an appointment at Hamish’s studio.