Thursday, 6 October 2016

Swift Statue available to touch and see

    The message for the need to conserve and celebrate the Swift (Apus Apus) in our nations is being taken to exhibitions and events in the form of the Swift Bronzes by JOEL.

Bronze Swift by JOEL - Captured above the Roofs

    "It is so important that the message for action to help this and so many species reaches out to people who may not be aware of the bird that zips over their heads each year, or the creatures that are so often hidden from our view. By having the Bronze of the Swifts, captured in detail and available to see, study and touch and feel - I hope that our hearts are moved to want to do something more to keep our planet diverse and protected.  

"The provision of homes for Swifts is one action so easily achieved as we design, build and renovate our buildings." says Joel.

 The display of detailed portraits of birds is available to experience at venues during the next two years.  

Follow the Sculptress JOEL on Facebook Twitter  and through her website.

The Swift Bronze was selected for the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust 60th Anniversary Exhibition at the Guildhall Leicester. It was enjoyed by visitors and they were invited to  "Gently Touch" the birds.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Swift Conservation Award Appeal

Help make the Swift Conservation Award happen - to donate 
  call the Tenon Studio 01664 454 987

photo by pau.artigas
Swift numbers are falling rapidly 
and their nest sites need protection

What the Awards will do

Raise awareness of the need for the conservation of the Swift

Raise support for  Swift Conservation in Cities and Counties 

Celebrate the heroes of Swift conservation

Encourage  Swift conservation stories in the media

Friday, 5 August 2016

Swift Conservation at Countryfile Live

'Flying' at the Wildlife Zone - The new Swift Bronzes by JOEL helped to draw people to discover more about this special bird and Swift conservation projects they can support.

Swifts in Bronze by Sculptress JOEL at BBC  Countryfile Live 2016

Visitors could discover the differences between Swifts and Swallows and to find out how carefully siting Swift boxes helps these birds to breed.

Thanks are given to the Swift Action Group, the folk at BBOWT and staff of CountryFile Live for all their help during the show.

Find out more about Swift Conservation and the Swift Conservation Award
Contact the Tenon Studio  01664 454987

Swift First and Last selected for Sculpture Exhibition

The first Bronze Swifts are sited at Doddington Hall Gardens in August 2016 - and already have started to raise awareness for the need of Swift Conservation.

Swift First and Last

Swift Bronze wing feather details

Numbers one and two have flown off ! but numbers 3  and 11 are available in the GALLERY

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Swift Conservation Award

Plans are unfolding to make the Swift Sculpture come together to form part of the Swift Conservation Award. The first waxes have been made to be cast into Bronze and funds are being sought to cover the costs of the casting and of the design and making of the stone base for the award.

The design may include the characteristic nesting slot entrance  of the Swift nesting boxes...more news soon.
Please contact the Tenon Studio to make funding support and donations
01664 454987

Friday, 24 June 2016

First Swift Bronze Exhibitions Summer 2016

The first of the Swift Bronzes will be on show at various events and exhibitions this Summer 2016. Designs are being drawn up and suitable bases are being sourced to display this special bird portrait sculpture to its best advantage.
The order - book is now open for the first and early numbers of the edition...prices will reflect their number and the amounts they will raise and donate both for the cause of Swift conservation and its publicity.

Here is one design which may include carved surface of the world, highlighting our Swift's epic journey from Britain to Africa.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Serious Decline in Swift Numbers in the UK

    Swifts are astounding aerial acrobats, and they are extraordinary birds for other reasons – 
they spend almost all their lives flying.
They feed and sleep on the wing, and normally only land at the right sort of sites to nest and rear their young.

    Their nests are out of sight in buildings, under the roof tiles or in cracks in walls.

Swifts in the Sky by Keta

    Sadly the number of Swift is declining dramatically in the last 20 years and one reason for this is the loss of nest sites as buildings are repaired or demolished.

The RSPB is one organisation identifying this issue and drawing up a series of projects to achieve support for the conservation of the Swift. Further updates will be brought as to the status of these projects.

For practical information and links to other local groups working for Swift Conservation see
Action for Swifts

Swift Conservation  provides an additional platform for the sharing of information and further links.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Last images of the Swift clay before the mould is made

Last glimpses before the Swift sculpture is cast into wax, and then  to Bronze

Amazing face of the Swift, with the small beak and feathers along the face - the mouth has a tremendous gape, ready to catch the insect food in flight.

There we are then ... next Sculptress  JOEL is aiming to make a juvenile Swift about to fly for the first time

Thursday, 19 May 2016

More details and refinements made to the undersides of the wings.

The Top surfaces of the wings are also worked on to bring out the details of the feathers.

This is much less noticeable here as the birds usually  keep the tops of their wings as sleek as possible to aid lift in flight.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Swift sculpture progress of second underwing

The Swift project continues...with more research and work on the underside of the other is a slow process to understand and represent/reproduce the wonder of the feather pattern and character of these marvelous birds.

The two wings need to be similar, yet not exactly the same.
The leading edge of the wings are being gently shaped, and refined, though they must be able to bear the weight of the sculptures and not be hazardous to touch and feel.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Clay Profile of Swift Sculpture Developes

Armature covered and wing profiles developed

Details of the head and face also added and refined

Work on the details of the feathers of the undersides of the wings begins

Monday, 4 January 2016

Swift Sculpture first development of body form

Streamlined excellence in one bird species - JOEL has applied  the first layers of clay to achieve the shape of the body
It is noticeable that the angle of view affects the appearance of the wing and body  contours

The eye is in its initial site to help with the proportions.

After more detail to the head and shape of body JOEL will be making more research and will then start to apply the feathers to the wings.
The Long Journey continues

Swift Sculpture Armature

Sculptress JOEL has taken the time needed to make the armature to support the clay  for the Swift Sculpture.

Materials need to be strong enough to hold the weight of the clay and yet keep within the sculpture profile

Key Reference for Swift Profile

After consultation we have a key reference image for the flying Swift Sculpture
Swift Apus Apus in flight      photo by  Tom Lindroos

Wing measurements and research

JOEL has already started to receive help from supporters of the Swift.
She has also benefited from the collection at Leicester Museum - thanks particularly to Mark Evans for all his assistance just before Christmas.

" I was expecting to have to take another trip to the British Museum collection at Tring...but am delighted to find such a rich resource of  Bird form and feather references at Leicester Museum"
Close up of  Swift wing detail             photo J. Walker

Seeing live birds in the hand is a great way to study them  - but longer time and more images and measurements can be taken from preserved individuals.

Thanks also to Jake Allsop, Dick Newell and Edward Mayer  for the help with contacts for the Swift Sculpture Project and information and links on Swifts and their Conservation.

Swift (Apus Apus) Conservation

The start of a project to help the  conservation and its publicity of the Swift (Apus Apus)
  Study  and research of this lovely bird is being undertaken by the Sculptress JOEL.

Swift Wing Shape captured against a blue sly