The Hare Project

Doddy HareaEarlier this year I decorated a 5ft high fibre glass hare for the Surrey town of Haslemere to auction off later this year.

Haslemere’s former mayor Brian Howard is the brains behind this fund-raising project and last year I decorated a rather large hog for the Haslemere Hogs Parade.

This year I was asked to decorate the hare which is delivered plain white and being made out of fibre glass is fairly easy to manouver.

The finished hare will be auctioned to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association with the brief asking that it be about Doddy Weir, the wonderful Scottish rugby player who was capped 61 times for Scotland, playing position no. 5 and is now sadly confined to a wheel chair. So, with that in mind I used the Weir tartan to decorate the hare.

The making of any piece goes through this horrible stage where you just think it will never look any good and everyone will be cross that you failed to present something worthwhile. This is that stage and the only thing I was happy with were his feet.

But I persevered and once I had started to put the lighter lines of the tartan on the hare, it started to look as if things would get better.

It is not an easy task to draw straight lines on a curvy surface and I don’t have the steadiest of hands.

Painting the ears, eyes and fur, I left towards the end. It is at this point that the personality of the hare started to come through. I did a bit of research into hares and discovered that there is a mountain hare which lives in Scotland and this hare changes colour depending on the season. With Rugby being played during the winter month and the Scottish mountain hare turning white to blend in with the snow, I decided it would be fitting that this hare should display those winter colours. 

But with his Rugby boots and laces on him and a rugby ball with the number 5 placed at the hares feet all that was left was to find a way for the 61 signatures of Rugby players to be added to the piece. It is a little bit Heath Robinson but I made a removable tie, out of cardboard and plastic sheeting, where signature can be added and the tie can then be permanently attached to the finished piece once all the signatures have been collected.

I really hope that this piece will help raise much needed funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease Association. Such a cruel condition for anyone to be struck down by and one which needs our support.

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