March Hares

Why are hares often associated with March?  The common phrase, 'Mad as a March hare' is said to be derived from their boxing antics around the mating season in March.

Many of us are also familiar with Lewis Carroll's character named The March Hare from his book 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' of 1865. The March Hare was an entertaining guest at the Mad Hatter's tea party. Alice observed;

"The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March."

The hare also features in many Celtic stories, handed down from generation to generation. It was a sacred and mystical animal to the Celts; a symbol of abundance, prosperity and good fortune. Hares were believed to have connections to the Otherworld and they were treated with great respect.

Some legends told of mystical shapeshifting hares who could transform into human form. The great warrior, Oisin was said to have wounded a hare in the leg whilst out hunting. The hare ran off into the undergrowth to escape and Oisin made chase only to discover a woman there, nursing a cut on her leg.

Our bronze hare sculptures took inspiration from the story of Melangell, the Celtic princess who escaped an unwanted marriage. She took refuge in the beautiful Pennant Valley and created a place of peace and sanctuary for animals and people in need. Each sculpture has been created using the ancient lost wax method of casting. Charlie first creates the sculpture in clay and from this makes a mould of the basic form. The next step involves using the mould to create a wax version of the sculpture, adding sprues, risers and pouring points to ensure that the molten bronze can flow fully around the piece. Layers of molochite are built up around the wax. When a suitable depth has been achieved Charlie heats the molochite shell to melt out the wax. The now hollow shell is placed in sand with just the pouring point visible. The sand holds it in place and also provides protection in case the shell breaks during the pour.

Charlie heats the bronze to around 1200 degrees Celsius in a furnace he built himself. It can take months to get a piece of sculpture to this point and after the drama of the pour, there is a wait of several hours before the shell can be smashed open and the final bronze artwork revealed.




At the exhibitions and shows we attend, the hare is always a popular talking point and it is obvious that they still hold a special place in peoples hearts today.  


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