I have been fortunate enough to have been asked to sculpt several pieces on commission. These have included an Elk, a Moose and a Mongolian Argali sheep. Also a Red Stag at the Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Illinois. In 2013 Safari Club International commissioned me to sculpt a Norman Rhino to be presented to the Hall of Fame award winner. Another commission was a special piece for an award with an edition of 50, to be given once a year to one person who best exemplifies Courage and Perseverance. Some examples below; click / tap on the images for more views.

The Hyena Club

Three young Americans attended Oxford University in England and while they were there they dubbed themselves The Hyena Club. Now some years later and scattered across the USA and obviously successful career people they commissioned me to sculpt a trio of Hyena and to name the sculpture The Hyena Club. I have occasion to ponder just why they called themselves ‘The Hyena Club’. Perhaps the title was appropriate to whatever their pursuits were; extracurricular or otherwise, all those years ago… read more

The Hyena Club view 1The Hyena Club view 2

Clash of the Titans

I have called these big boys Clash of the Titans and they have recently taken up residence in their new home on the James River in Virginia – on a bar counter being built specially for them I might add. This was such a great commission to work on simply because it was one surprise after the other. Richard and Audra have collected an interesting ensemble of my work and last year felt ready to commission another piece and when I asked them in return what interested them, Hippo they said! What?… read more

Clash of the Titans view 1Clash of the Titans view 2Clash of the Titans view 3The artist with Clash of the Titans

The Markhor

My friend Don Wall made a trip to Pakistan in 2018 in pursuit of a Markhor goat in the mountains of Kashmir. He told me he had undertaken this odyssey while we were at the SEWE show in Charleston this year in February before the Chinese virus hit and changed the world. I have known about the Markhor for many years – the reason being that many of my African hunting clients over the years were also Sheep Hunters and for those of you that may think that these guys are just another group of hunters you are rather mistaken… read more

Markhor view 1Markhor view 2Markhor view 3Don Wall with Markhor

Lady Justice

My good friend Walter Bundy dropped one on me when he asked me to sculpt his interpretation of the Goddess or Lady of Justice. If you study a picture of the Lady of Justice you will see a slender blind folded lady holding the scales of justice in her right hand and a double edged sword in her left hand. She is depicted standing on a large book and her left foot is placed on the head of a snake. I am told by Walter that the statue depicts the fact that Justice is blind… read more

Lady Justice view 1Lady Justice view 2Lady Justice view 3Lady Justice view 4

Mountain Monarch

I doubt that I would have ever sculpted a Moose if I had not have been commissioned to do this animal. Having little or no knowledge of the moose, I discovered that it has a very interesting mouth and nostrils. I conclude that this is due to its feeding habits whereby it apparently likes to feed on aquatic plants below the surface water in the lakes and ponds that it frequents. I can only hope that you enjoy my attempt to recreate this huge, iconic animal.

Mountain Monarch Moose view 1Mountain Monarch Moose view 2Mountain Monarch Moose view 3Mountain Monarch Moose view 4

Fighting Talk

How about this one! I was pretty certain in my mind that I would never sculpt an Elk let alone a bugling Elk. Along come two very nice folks at SEWE in Charleston and they bought ‘Mountain Monarch’. “BUT please sculpt an Elk, a bugling Elk!” So what did I do? Why, I sculpted an Elk, a bugling Elk. I really hope you enjoy him because I had a wonderful time sculpting this wonderful North American animal. Never say never!

Fighting Talk Elk view 1Fighting Talk Elk view 2Fighting Talk Elk view 3Fighting Talk Elk view 4

Mongolian Argali

I found myself in unknown territory when I took on the sculpting of the Mongolian Argali. When doing animals that are not familiar to me I find myself trying to come to terms with the incredibly harsh environment in which they live. Here then is the Argali as I depict him with his massive coat of quills and in admiration of his ability to live in harsh terrain at high altitudes.

Mongolian Argali sheep view 1Mongolian Argali sheep view 2Mongolian Argali sheep view 3Mongolian Argali sheep view 4

Red Stag

I spent a good chunk of 2015 sculpting a life-size red stag and an accompanying bust. The stag now has pride of place in the Deer Path Inn garden and the bust hangs in the English Room. A visit is highly recommended – a stunning setting, excellent cuisine and top-level service. Many thanks to the team at the Inn for their support and enthusiasm for the project.

Red stag view 1Red stag view 2Red stag view 3Red stag view 4

There have been a few others, and I find the challenge of doing these exclusive pieces very rewarding. That sometimes the subject matter requires me to step out of my comfort zone is all for the better. I must track down images, but it’s also worth mentioning a Longhorn Bull called ‘Jake’ for its owner, an Andalusian Shepherd for a dog judge and owner of that breed, plus a medallion I was commissioned to sculpt for the International Professional Hunters Association titled ‘The Klineburger Award’ which is to be awarded annually to an individual deemed by the association to be deserving of such an award for services rendered to the hunting fraternity.

John Tolmay in the studio

Future Work

I am always interested to look at any ideas you may have for a commissioned piece. Come and have a chat at one of the shows or get in touch with me directly.