David Cooke has been a professional wildlife artist since graduating in 1992 from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in 3D Design. David creates a sculpture that is true to the anatomy of its subject but he also infuses his pieces with a character of their own. At the same time he avoids sentimental anthropomorphism. His pieces are an affirmation of the strength and beauty of these animals.
From his studio at Meltham Mills in West Yorkshire, UK, David Cooke creates a wide variety of wildlife sculptures in varying styles and media. David tries to create sculptures with life and character. He produces large sculptures that are suitable for a life outdoors, and a range of small indoor pieces.
His primary technique when constructing a clay one-off sculpture is to work with a sheet of clay that is bent and shaped to form the body of the piece. Usually one hand works inside the hollow form, and the other outside, and so access holes need to be left open until the piece is near completion.
These clay sculptures are fired to 1230 C and glazed with a wash of metal oxides and a satin feldspar based glaze. As they are stoneware sculptures they will survive a life outdoors.
In 2011 David began bronze casting, and now has a range of limited edition bronze pieces. Today is making more bronze work and cold casting it too.
David ‘s sculptures are much in demand and has worked on a number of commissions for centres open to the public, such as a giant mole and beetles for 'Creatures of the Underworld' at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. In 2009 he created Belemnites and a dinosaur skull for the Great North Museum, Newcastle. He has exhibited at some of the major UK ceramic and wildlife art shows, such as Art in Clay at Hatfield House, Potfest in Park, Penrith and also at the annual Society of Wildlife Artists Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.
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