Commissioned art forms a significant part of my portfolio. I’m always happy to discuss crafting a piece that aligns with your vision. To maximise affordability, commissioned pieces are often integrated into limited editions. The first piece naturally belongs to the commissioning client. We can collaboratively determine the edition size and pricing during our commissioning discussions, ensuring a mutually advantageous arrangement. However, if you prefer a unique, one-of-a-kind creation, that can certainly be accommodated.

Use Enough Gun

I was given the unique opportunity to sculpt a charging Cape Buffalo. The prospect was truly intriguing. I couldn’t help but wonder, what exactly does a charging Cape Buffalo resemble? In that precise moment of the charge, I am sure that most people, including myself could not distinctly recall its features. The image was elusive, akin to a fading memory. Here are three simple rules: 1. Consult your team so everyone is on the same page before starting the hunt. 2. Aim carefully, you have time… read more

Use Enough Gun view 1
Use Enough Gun view 2

The Pirate Mermaid

A good friend recently retired to her new home in Florida and commissioned an imaginative sculpture that would serve as a poolside fountain and let’s say, a quirky curiosity. This is what came out of my imagination. Legend has it that Mermaids had a mischievous streak, luring sailors in their wooden ships off-course, onto treacherous rocks. But why, you ask? Well, it’s safe to say they weren’t the nicest bunch. Contrary to popular belief, they were no fish with gills; they were people… read more

The Pirate Mermaid view 1
The Pirate Mermaid view 2
The Pirate Mermaid view 3
The Pirate Mermaid view 4

Nile or Mrs Grey’s Lechwe

Another commission came my way – craft a centerpiece sculpture for a long dining table, a piece that would capture the essence of running antelope in various dynamic poses, creating a sense of movement and life along the table’s length. While the obvious choice would have been the Impala, its charm failed to inspire me. Instead, I was drawn to the enchanting allure of the Nile Lechwe, also known as Mrs Grey’s Lechwe, native to the Sudan and Ethiopia… read more

Nile or Mrs Grey’s Lechwe view 1
Nile or Mrs Grey’s Lechwe view 2

Death Wish! Maybe!

Another request for a new sculpture came in earlier this year – sculpting a lion, not one characterized by anger or aggression, but rather a lion in repose, tranquil and relaxed. Indeed, this majestic creature tends to be more placid than not. Working with feline subjects, I find, is uniquely challenging; they possess a certain enigmatic quality. When I admire sculptures in the vein of Bugatti’s masterpieces, I am consistently fascinated by his ability to capture the very spirit of these animals… read more

Death Wish! Maybe! view 1
Death Wish! Maybe! view 2

The Gwase Bull

This Elephant bull is not a figment of my imagination. I saw this bull with Mike Aldersey when we hunted for a short time east of Chewore Hunting Area in Zimbabwe in what was a tribal area running along the western border of Mozambique. We were billeted in the District Commissioner’s Boma at the base of the Zambezi River escarpment. There were a group of elephant bulls that crossed into Zimbabwe from Mozambique and the locals referred to them as ‘Ndzhou wa Gwasse’. They were serious crop raiders… read more

The Gwase Bull view 1
The Gwase Bull view 2
The Gwase Bull view 3
The Gwase Bull view 4

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 1
The 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 1
Clash of the Titans view 2
Clash of the Titans view 3
The 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 1
Markhor view 2
Markhor view 3
Don 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 1
Lady Justice view 2
Lady Justice view 3
Lady 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 1
Mountain Monarch Moose view 2
Mountain Monarch Moose view 3
Mountain 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 1
Fighting Talk Elk view 2
Fighting Talk Elk view 3
Fighting 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 1
Mongolian Argali sheep view 2
Mongolian Argali sheep view 3
Mongolian 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.

Deer Path Inn
255E Illinois Road
Lake Forest
IL 60045

Red stag view 1
Red stag view 2
Red stag view 3
Red 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.