Chinese Zodiac Animals

A set of 4 Chinese zodiac animals was commissioned, each of which would take their place as garden fence post caps.  A dragon, a ram, a rat and a horse, would each represent a different family member.

Because the animals were to live outside, careful consideration was given to the materials to ensure durability, as well as their ability to develop patina and texture with the weather.

As well as many drawings of the animals, three-quarter sized mock-ups were made of each animal, to test the forms before making the final pieces.

The animals are carved from Iroko, a very durable timber, and left untreated so that the timber will turn to silver grey over time.  Secondary elements to the animals; the dragon’s tongue, the ram’s horns, the rat’s tail and ears, and the horse’s mane, are made from copper, and fixed with copper nails.  As the copper is exposed to the elements in the open air, it will eventually oxidise to green.