Jilly has had the privilege of observing wildlife in many corners of the world, either capturing the moment with a lens or sketching the action of the drama unfolding.

She feels very lucky that her hobby and passion as a sculptor has developed into a wonderful career and after all these years is still excited and surprised when miraculously something beautiful appears from a lump of clay.

Jilly usually likes to start a new project with a maquette, this small version helps with the final outcome and then she will build an armature to provide strength and stability to the sculpture while she is working with the clay.

Most of Jilly’s sculptures are cast in her preferred material of bronze, but other metals and resins can be used. The skilled craftsmen at The Crucible Foundry, in Fulham London, have always cast her pieces and this relationship is an important one. The process they use has not changed in over 6,000 years. It is called lost-wax casting, this ancient technique replicates the sculpture into metal. Each sculpture on average takes about 3 months from birth to the final cast.

The survival and preservation of some of the animals that Jilly sculpts is critical, the destruction of their natural habitat and the illegal trade of wildlife products must immediately stop!

Jilly’s sculptures have been shortlisted for DSWF wildlife artist of the year in 2015 and 2017 and she will continue to bring awareness to the conservation of these beautiful animals through her work.

Jilly’s art studio is located in Wimbledon, London.

Jilly Vainer sculpting a dog portrait for a commission