How We Built Our Giant Animal Sculptures

December 11, 2017

Giant hare sculpture during construction

We’ve worked for several branches of the Wildlife Trust over the years and when we were approached by Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre, part of an extensive development nestled on the edge of Nene Wetlands, a Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust managed site, we were very excited. Amongst many other things, they asked us to build a collection of giant animal sculptures – a swan, two swallows, three starlings, and a giant hare.

Each of these pieces is entirely unique and crafted completely by hand with each animal set in a natural pose and big enough to be sat on by a fully grown adult – although they have been made to look at, not to be sat on!

Making The Framework

We began by choosing poses for each of the animals we would be creating – a galloping hare, two racing swallows, three feeding starlings, and a swan taking flight. We then worked carefully, constructing and welding intricate steel frames for each structure in our workshops back in Norfolk.

Weaving The Willow

Once the steel frame was complete, we then applied willow around it, hand fixing each piece to give natural curves and create wooden sculptures that are both hardy and sympathetic to the natural environment they would be residing in. Each piece was hand fixed with a huge number of metal ties, locking the final pieces together.

Transporting The Structures

Using a combination of machine and human power, we then moved each sculpture onto a trailer for transport to Rushden Lakes. It’s always quite a thrill to be driving down the motorway to see heads turning, wondering what on earth it is that we have on board!

Installing The Sculptures

Once arriving on site, we put each structure in place on large steel pipes where they now sit to be admired by the general public. More pictures coming soon!

In the meantime, take a look at some of our other wooden sculptures and carvings and get in touch if you are looking to commission your own unique creations.

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