And so The Great White Egret was “born”. It eventually stood nearly 1 metre high.
Of course first I had to make the armature and with the help of my partner , made one using copper piping, which was to support the ultimate shape of the bird. We set the legs of the bird’s armature into several solid blocks of oak so that it would stand alone in a stalking pose.
I enclosed scrunched up paper inside the shape of the Egret which had been made with chicken wire (in later projects I used a stretchable wire crafter’s mesh for sculpting called wire-form ) and secured the chicken wire here and there with masking tape and thin wire.
Once satisfied with the shape, I covered it wholly with plaster- of -paris bandage, allowed that to dry and then did a further covering with white adhesive cement.
When that was dry I sanded the whole form down so that I had a smooth surface on which to place the tesserae. The white diamond shaped “feather” tesserae were cut from 15x15cm wall tiles, which my partner cut easily and accurately with a tile cutter.
I created the ripple effect around the legs with sea green vitreous glass tiles and adorned the sides of the solid base with black pebbles.”