I recently discovered that one of the pitfalls of making a silver salmon is my waistline. As I normally work from life (in this case using dead wild salmon), the unexpected consequence was my family and I having to consume hundreds of salmon fish cakes for weeks on end.  I hate wasting food, especially wild salmon, and a fish can only be kept out of the freezer for a day or so. In perfecting this sculpture of the silver salmon, I also ended up with a huge bill at my local fishmonger.


My silver grouse created other issues. As my dead models were only available during the warmth of August and September, the smell of extremely high game warded off those trying to peak at the plentiful supply of very fine female nude models which I regularly use for my figurative sculpture! Incidentally, the great equine painter, George Stubbs’ studio allegedly stank of rotting flesh as he was reputed have carried whole dead horses up the steps to his studio, by himself, to be left and dissected in the following weeks for his anatomical studies.


The perils of modelling for a sculptor
The life size bronzes of a Rhodesian Ridgeback and miniature wired Dachshund, both resulted in the dogs getting very portly. Bribery with dog biscuits, in the case of the Dachshund and expensive chocolate Bath Olivers in the case of the Ridgeback, achieved the necessity of keeping them still and in the room, but their owners were somewhat concerned by their dogs’ expanding girths, which contrasted with their slender bronze counterparts.



The ballet dancer (who modelled for the Wood Nymph) was left with a hugely enlarged leg as a result of two months’ continuous modelling for the clay figure, whilst standing on 3/4 pointe.  As her right hand thigh had almost doubled in size, and almost ruined her career, one wonders what future choreographers must have thought about the unbalanced ballerina!


For further information on David Williams-Ellis and to view his gallery of bronze sculptures, portraits, and glass and silver sculptures, visit