about the artist
I suppose I've been sculpting, in one form or another, even since infancy - the usual egg-box monsters and such that probably most kids go through - following on with things made from Das-clay - animals, people, dinosaurs (etc.) - that my mum always thought very much of, however bad they actually were. This all carried on to some extent through the 'formative years', when an interest in role-playing games of various sorts led to some experimentation with the adaptation of existing 'miniatures' for my own characters, - as well as trying my hand at producing some original small-scale models for the same purposes: so really, I guess I've always been doing a little bit here and there, gradually improving with practice and continuing to develop my 'eye' through studies in art, design, and modelmaking - following the much-travelled route of supposing such practises could lead to special-effects work in films.
As it happened, there was precious little work in any field when I actually left college, so I ended up unemployed for a considerable length of time, and it was during this period that I started experimenting with creating reproducible sculptures for gift-markets, to follow the examples of several companies promoting collectible wildlife statuary - for some of whom I had in fact previously produced such subjects.
I theorised that with such an established market, it ought to be worth having a go - very naive of me of course, because that particular market exists pretty much around those companies that did the establishing - and most of the people interested in buying that kind of thing were only really interested in buying the recognised name-brand items from those established makers: nevertheless, I did manage to sell through a good number of quite an extensive range of my own bird and animal subjects, where those with somewhat greater appreciation for the personal touch - as applied to my particular works - were willing enough to part with the requisite pounds, dollars, or deutschmarks(etc.) needed to gain ownership of something not quite so factory-finished as all that other bog-standard stuff; I did in fact get quite busy with it all, but really there was no competing with the markets already in existence - I was working ridiculous hours to try to make things as cheaply as possible and basically running myself into the ground, and no longer getting any kind of enjoyment from the work.
Though I did have a small number of choice craft shops stocking some of my works, they are nowadays only available directly from myself as signed and numbered editions: I do still make some of the smaller pieces from the moulds I've retained, but I sell fewer of them now because I can only part with them at the sort of prices they should fetch for a work finished personally by the artist who created them in the first place - no factory-finished collectibles can boast such a background, where each piece is finished in production line by anything up to ten different people applying one colour each, none of them having any other connection to the making of the finished work: my works are all my own work, from start to finish. Most of the wildlife subjects I've done can be seen in the Crittercraft Gallery.
I later discovered there was a great demand for 'memorabilia' after working for a couple of the companies responsible for such subjects - superheroes, cartoon characters, film icons, and so on - but of course I wasn't about to try that on for size, not least because of all the legal ramifications involved around copyrights and permissions: in the meanwhile though I have had some degree of success from making figures for role-players and their ilk, wanting particular creatures or characters made purely for their own appreciation and enjoyment. For the most part these have been just one-off creations, from 25mm miniatures up to the more impressively-sized l/8 and 1/6 scale models that some customers have asked for.
Perhaps the largest commission quoted on thus far was for a client who had decided that he needed a life-sized velociraptor for his garden, following on from the popularity of Jurassic Park - ordered after he saw the rather dated photograph shown right of a model at 1/8 scale of just such a critter - well, a Deinonychus anyway, same general family - that I'd made several years previously - since which time, if I can get away with saying so myself, I have improved somewhat - it's still a pretty good picture of the thing all in all, but both the model and the photo would be more impressive if I'd done 'em a bit more recently: it would've been better still perhaps if I could've taken a photo of his larger counterpart on site, but I guess you can't have everything - hopefully the rest of the pix around here of all the other stuff I've done will do justice to whatever my abilities might be - and in the meanwhile, I'm working on a life-sized 'raptor head that I'll be able to mould and cast, as well as entertaining the idea of a smilodon head at life-size for similar purposes.
Commissions have always ranged widely in theme - wildlife subjects of course are always popular, whether of domestic or more exotic species: these are followed closely by favoured or remembered pets, copied from owner's photographs wherever possible. Otherwise, dragons have always been a very common request, as have other such mythological species - centaurs, goblins, gnomes ( getting into garden ornament territory there ), dwarves, and so on.
Some subjects I'm also considering for translation to the larger ornament size-bracket, for the lately-begun joint project currently underway between my father and myself, which sort of began about two years ago when I was asked to produce a sculpt or two for one of the first of several garden ornament companies I would come to work for - firstly just to see if my style suited their methods of production: from that start I created perhaps twenty different subjects ranging from cute puppy dogs to wildlife-inhabited water-features, learning along the way how best to create a piece to suit the processes involved; these pieces were a lot more elementary in form than some of the other work I'd done, but executed at what I'd call a nice big size, just a bit more like the 'proper' sculpting that all them famous folks get up to. Or something like that, anyway.
During the course of all of these doings, I produced a number of particularly choice pieces for an up-and-coming company which suddenly went down-and-under, disappearing without trace from the end of the 'phone line and everywhere else - and leaving me with several dirty great lumps of fancy-looking sculpture that looked like being of no earthly use. However, my father came forward with the suggestion that we ought to have a go at this garden ornament lark ourselves, and after a quick burst of rope-learning we got into production with our first four items under the name of Wyrmcast. We now have a range of at least forty entirely original ornaments ( one of our painted bird-baths shown at right ), and more to come: so if you're after some garden ornaments, take a look at the Wyrmcast website.
For further information on commissioning an artwork, go to the commissions page. To see some of the other bits and pieces I've been up to - commissioned or otherwise - take a tour of the Miscellaneous Galleries.
Another fairly sizeable project I undertook was the model of Terry Pratchett's Discworld shown here (I think I can get away with showing it, since I'm not making any attempt to sell the thing, it's simply an example of my work) - the main piece for my end of year / diploma show for the final grading on the modelmaking course I was on: to give you some idea of the size of the whole thing, the turtle alone is made at just about life-size - or maybe sub-adult for the species - with the remaining details following suit to fit the appropriate scale of this imagined world. I got a bit of extra kudos on this one for the fact that I sold the piece to the author himself - I'd taken it back to my folk's home at the end of college, which was relatively local to a bookshop in town having a book-signing day by the author: a couple of phone calls later, the shop had asked if they could borrow the model for their window-display, and then the man himself came and bought the thing after he'd finished autographing all feeling from his wrist. Last I heard he was working out how to have the piece displayed in his office. If you have a little click on it, there's a slightly bigger pic and a bit more blurb...
Some of my other all-time influences have come from the work of the Froud family - you may well have seen much of their art, books, sculpture works or ventures into film, but it's always worth taking a wander in the World of Froud: take a trip through the magical faerie-portal below. Banner imagery © copyright the Frouds.
- but anyway, enough name-dropping for now: many of the remaining works you'll see on this site are borne from another world yet - Wyrdworld - a parallel reality that's almost in the vein of Beatrix Potter or Brambly Hedge, with the whole walking talking animals thing going on - but really it's much more like Beatrix Nutter, since the little fluffy bunnies in Wyrdworld are likely to be wielding swords, guns, and magik; there's a bit of an insight through the tunnels of the creation caverns:
...and then of course, there's Snuurg, without whom you wouldn't be reading all of this.....
I'd like to say that all of this stuff is the way I make my living, but unfortunately not - it's strictly a spare-time, extra pocket-money kind of business at the moment, but well, who knows? In the real world though I am otherwise gainfully employed with architectural modelmaking - lots of little intricately-detailed houses and building-site proposals - with the company MC Modelmaking - let me know if you want something from that direction and I'll pass the word on.
Anyway, with this blurb and these pictures, I hope it's clear enough for those that might be interested, that I'll consider pretty much anything in terms of subject matter: otherwise, take a look through some of my galleries - obviously I can't give the best show over the course of just one page, so follow your mouse.
CLICK HERE TO COMMISSION A SCULPTURE
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Fenris Games © copyright Ian Brumby 1984.
* The character, name, and design of Mett-aa the Fox are © copyright Merrick Durling 1989.
The Discworld is the copyright property of the author Terry Pratchett: the Discworld model shown is also the property of Terry Pratchett, quite literally.
The artwork depicted in the 'World of Froud' banner above is © copyright the Frouds.
The name, character, and design of Snuurg are copyright Jon Brumby 1980. 'SNUURG' is a registered trademark.
All original artworks, drawings, sculptures, models and photographs, and any names, terms, or phrases originating in the text or logos appearing on this page or any other page throughout this website are © copyright Jon Brumby 2002 unless noted otherwise.