This solid bronze and Australian made sculpture, 11cm H approx, features a Bilby, about the size of a domestic cat and only found in Australia. With long pinkish-coloured ears and silky, blue-grey fur, the Bilby has become Australia’s version of the Easter Bunny. Unlike the rabbit, Bilby numbers are falling rapidly where they co-existed with Aboriginal people for 60,000 years. Bilbies typically live for about 10 years. They use their strong forelimbs and claws to build extensive tunnels, which provide shelter from the fierce heat and predators. Each Bilby may have up to 12 burrows, with burrows up to 3m long and 2m deep.
Hand made by Louise and Pete Smit at their Queensland foundry, arguably the smallest commercial foundry in Australia. They use the 3000-year-old Lost Wax Process using the traditional foundry casting technique. Every cast is unique with each piece first produced in wax which is then coated in a ceramic slurry to build a shell of 5mm thickness. The wax is then shock eliminated at 1000 C in a kiln, sintering the shell at the same time. The wax is recycled. Molten bronze is then poured into the shell. After cooling, each shell is sandblasted to reveal the bronze which is patinated, polished and clear coated. Enthralled by the majesty and diversity of the wildlife in this magnificent land and captivated by even the smallest of its creatures, Pete’s research for new subjects will never end.