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This piece was my sole commission, for the late Alastair Bradley Martin, who had previously purchased Misha, the gilded hawk head (who like all the rest was made on spec). Mr. Martin and his late wife Edith were among the most prominent collectors of art, furniture and antiquities in the world.

A.B. Martin

She's named after a mischievous woman who reincarnates as an otter and proceeds to wreak havoc on the lives of a typically clueless, stuffy Edwardian couple in a short-short story by Saki, who loved skewering the pretensions of English High Society during that era.

Laura, 2006
22KT red and 23.75KT rosenoble gold leaf
26 gauge 14KT gold-filled wire
White quartz
Epoxy putty over a wood frame
Acrylics and acrylic modeling paste
Half life-size, around 18" measured around the curve from nose to tip of tail

There are sixty wire whiskers, each curved by hand and glued into tiny holes. The two different shades of leaf show better in the pic without them. In the closeup shot I had yet to brush off all the excess leaf on the head after faulting (regilding any missed spots).

The quartz was collected by my sweetie Robin at an abandoned mica mine not far from our tiny house in Grafton, NH. One of her hobbies is mineralogy and before the invasion of the ticks she used to enjoy searching these places out. Usually they're deep in the woods. White quartz is associated with mica and is often found at such mines.

laura glossy.jpg




Laura left full 2018.jpg

Laura turned out to be my final piece. Too bad, I was really getting somewhere. My work was what it was not least because I half killed myself getting it that way. Just a bad break I got RA.

Thanks again to everyone for the compliments.
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nice to see this work again, I love it very much, it is amazing like every piece of yours and it looks so beautiful, and adorable, I am very sorry that it was your last piece, your works are among the most beautiful I have ever admired , masterpieces that come to life.
I have not seen this one here, but maybe I have seen it in the past elsewhere. I LOVE IT! I love otters! I love this otter. I love your work. I love you. You kill me with how great an artist you are. It's beautiful and classy, organic and exciting at the same time. Splendid work! ♥️ ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
This is just stunning. It's so lovely.
I'm so sad to hear that it was your last piece.
Beautiful work. Sad that you were not able to continue.
It's beautiful. The pose is perfect and I love how well it sits on the quartz. Seriously well done.
Thanks everyone.

Toughest piece I ever did--I'm used to biped with feathers, not quadrupeds with fur! If I had it to do over again I would change many of the procedures to make it easier, but hindsight is 20/20 and alas, there was no opportunity for foresight.

Love you too, Arty.