Sculptor Georgie Welch brought four months of detailed work to a successful conclusion on January 4th with the final acceptance of her original maquette of Valegro by Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Alan Davies. In a short interview featuring Valegro and the maquette Carl described it as a “most beautiful piece of work” and went on to explain how the whole team at Oaklebrook Mill were delighted with Georgie’s work and couldn’t wait to see the final half-life sculpture installed in Newent Town Centre in order to “keep Valegro’s memory and all his wonderful wins alive in our area”.
Acting on feedback from Charlotte and Carl during previous visits Georgie had made some small adjustments to the maquette as well as adding a signature plate in the arena sand featured at the base of the sculpture. A limited edition of 12 bronze maquettes is now being produced by Georgie for fund raising and to act as a reference for the half-life sculpture.
The plastiline and wax maquette has been safely handed over to the Talos Art Foundry in Hampshire to create the first three editions of the bronze maquettes. It is aimed to have one of the maquettes available for display at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury (3 to 7 April 2019).
The trust are delighted to announce that maquettes 1 and 2 are now sold. Maquette number 1 has been reserved by Valegro part owner Anne Barrott with Mindy Hammond reserving number 2. These sales, together with keen interest in numbers 3 and 4, mean that if people are interested in owning one of these unique and stunning sculptures of Valegro there are only 7 chances left before the raffle.
Committee member David Robinson explained that the team have worked hard selling prints of Georgie’s design drawings however having people being generous enough to put deposits down on maquettes and original drawings had made a significant increase to the campaigns funds. “There’s a lot of love out there for Valegro; people have been extremely generous and trusting.” David added that while it has been helpful to have photographs of the plastiline maquette to illustrate progress it will be seeing the model in bronze that will really make people sit up and take notice.
The People’s Maquette
At Georgie Welch’s suggestion maquette number 12 is being made available by raffle to give everyone the chance of owning one of these unique celebrations of Valegro’s achievements. The tickets, which will be just £10 each, will go on sale in April 2019 with the Grand Draw taking place just before the half-life sculpture is unveiled in late 2019/early 2020. It is hoped that the lucky winner will be able to receive their prize from Valegro, Charlotte and Carl.
Developing the Mould and Casting the first Bronzes
Having completed the first phase of the project Georgie has now taken the original maquette to the Hampshire based Talos Art Foundry to produce maquette’s 1, 2 and 12. Georgie explained that she was “tremendously relieved he’s now at the foundry in one piece” adding “the mould is going well and it is in safe hands; all good!”
The bronze maquettes will be produced using the very precise lost wax technique (cire perdue) with some of the tack designed to be cast separately. In order to produce the wax model of the maquette a silicon rubber mould is first created from Georgie’s plastiline maquette. These processes require time and attention to detail such that the first cast will not be available until early March with the next two following a couple of weeks later.
These dates should make it possible to have one of the bronzes available and on display at Hartpury University for the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships (3 to 7 April 2019) to publicise the campaign and mark the launch of the raffle for maquette number 12.
Each bronze is numbered and at the end of the edition the silicon rubber mould is destroyed to ensure that the run is truly limited; so if you want one you have to act now!
People can keep up to date with progress through the Foundry via Facebook and Instagram. As well as making use of David Robinson’s “Harveywetdog” video channel the campaign have been very fortunate to have Rose Lewis of Daydream Equine Art & Photography on hand to record some of the significant stages of the project. Part of the benchmarking of the design was to recreate Rose’s iconic black background shot of Valegro at Olympia during his retirement but this time with the maquette. One social media comment suggested that “Valegro deserved to be knighted – if not by the Queen then by the FEI!”
Long Term Goals
The Trust remains keen to hear from serious sponsors and Valegro enthusiasts alike who would like to invest in one of the remaining nine limited edition maquettes which are priced at £6000 each (plus shipping costs). Sales of the maquettes will govern the speed at which the project moves forward.
The aim remains to have the sculpture in place in Newent to coincide with the 2020 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors at Hartpury University.
For more information please visit www.newentvalegrosculpture.co.uk
Watch the video – https://youtu.be/tAfygjEOhrc