Carving an Elephant

I was asked by a client to make a necklace for his girlfriend's 21st birthday. Sure, I said, no problem, I said, expecting them to ask for maybe an initial necklace or a diamond solitaire. Can I have a silver elephant hanging from an umbrella, they said. I love it when I get to do something challenging and fun, so I said let's do this! Now, whilst I love wax carving and am taking every opportunity to practice it, it's not something that initially came naturally to me. My poor little brain does not like working in 3D!

This is how it starts, with a small block of wax. I stared at it for a really, really long time, wondering how on earth I was going to turn it into something elephant shaped. The boy reminded me of that stupid business jargon phrase - something to do with the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (why on earth anyone would want to eat a poor elephant is beyond me) so I drew an elephant onto the wax and started hacking bits off with my saw.

I realised this was going to take some time...

Here I'm starting to get into the rough body shape of the elephant, although he does appear to have one too many legs at this stage! I decided I was going to add on his trunk at the end, as it's the most fragile part.


And this is it ready for casting. I like to refine the details in silver after the first rough cast is done.

And this is how he turned out!

I was so pleased - I didn't think there was any way I could turn a lump of wax into the elephant in my head. The birthday girl was also happy!