Commissioning a portrait - what to expect
If you wish to commission a portrait sculpture as a surprise, please note that I only work with a real person rather than from photographs.
The first step is to meet and discuss your requirements - how you want the sculpture to look, the position of your head and what the finished sculpture will be made of. I work in clay and this can be fired and finished (included in the cost) or else you may choose to use the unfired work to be cast in a resin or bronze (this would be with a resin casting specialist or a bronze foundry and at your own additional cost. I can advise).
I would then take some measurements and photographs and we would agree on some convenient times when you could "sit" for me. This would normally be at least 5 sessions of 2 hours each, preferably no more than a week apart.
During each session, you will be sitting down in a comfortable position with regular breaks, tea and coffee on tap. We can chat or you can have the radio or some music on. I would hope it is a relaxing and pleasant experience. It will feel a little strange as I will be studying you and taking measurements (without touching your face). I will also be turning the chair every 5 minutes or so in order to see the whole of your head.
I feel strongly that portrait sculpture is a collaborative process and your comments are very valuable. In fact, feel free to ask family and friends to visit the sittings as their comments are very helpful.
At the end of a session I will take photographs so that I can work on the sculpture in your absence. I would prefer you to wear a T shirt or similar so that I can see some of the detail of your neck.