I’d like to share with you detailed images of my completed Peacock Sculpture. It was four years in the making, with at least a solid year of long days to create this one of a kind piece! My vision was to make a detailed piece that would look like something you might find in the basement of an old Natural History Museum; lots of texture and detail, but not too clean… I don’t really ‘Do’ clean, I prefer ‘Gritty’
I started working on this when I was invited to a show in Doha Qatar in 2019. Then “covid” happened and the show was postponed. By that point, I had completed the body and one wing. So it sat for a while until I got word that the show was back on – and then the race began! I will be taking this to the show in Doha in February 2024.
This was an idea I had had for a while, and it began when I started a copper project and saw the many colors I could get. The vibrant blues and greens reminded me of a peacock’s feathers. I knew I wanted to build one, but it would take FOREVER! Once the Doha Exhibit was planned and I knew that I would have a huge audience for it, I started work. Along the way I learned some new techniques and expanded my knowledge on the many materials that went into it.
The bird is about 6′-5″ (195cm) with about 5′ (152cm) wingspan. It stands on a base with retractable wheels.
Here are some photos of the complete piece:
Below are few detailed images of the piece:
Starting at the top, you can see the head, neck and body, which was built on a metal frame, covered in copper mesh, with the final copper feathers soldered on. I’ve added a patina to get the rich hues needed to match these stunning birds. I made the eyes in my glass studio.
The back of the wing is made from a mix of materials and techniques. The red feathers are carved from padauk wood. This is the natural color of the wood and matches the real flight feather color. The rest are copper and brass with a range of patinas added from ‘gun bluing’ to ammonia to heat treating.
The feathers on the lower back are made from copper, hand cut to shape, and given an enamel finish which I then soldered to the mesh body.
The legs and feet (as well as the supporting branch) are made from scrap metal steel pipe and rebar. I MIG welded the texture on and used a grinder to get the final effect.
The tail feathers are made from stainless steel, and yet another heat patina was added to get the color and texture I needed.
When people think of a peacock, the first thing that comes to mind is the magnificent train feathers! I made 170 of these with varying lengths. I started with a rod of stainless steel and soldered fine copper wire to the shafts. The eyes are hand-cut copper sheets with a cloisonné enamel added. I used a vinegar patina to get the copper to turn to a more natural green color.
The base is made of many components. The log is made from an old propane heater I had in my shop. It is surrounded by grass and flowers made of copper and enamel. The solid base is made from a steel frame covered with stainless steel sheeting. Scattered on the ground are hundreds of hand formed copper and brass leaves. I added copper mesh to the sides and back and added a patina to age it. The front features an engraved wood sign with a short description about the sculpture. The two long copper rods/handles are used to raise and lower the retractable wheels under the stand.
If you look a little closer at the base, you’ll find a small long eared jerboa in the log. He’s made from scrap metal and is a fun touch added to complete the sculpture!
(and if you look really hard, you’ll find his friend hiding inside)
Thank you for viewing, and if you have any questions about this piece, please email at: Cindy@CindyChinn.com