He Sculpts Pets From Horseshoes

With 50 to 60 horseshoes in them, you might call Tom Hill’s Labrador sculptures “Lucky Labs.”

It’s lucky for Hill that his parents own a horse livery farm in the UK so that he has plenty of horseshoes to work with. His first horseshoe sculpture was a pony that Hill created for his parents’ anniversary.


   “Someone saw the pony, asked if I could make them a heron, and then it snowballed from there,” Hill says.


   After making a Labrador, requests for other dogs poured in. He’s created sculptures of many breeds from dachshunds and beagles to pointers and retrievers, to Great Danes and Dobermans. Long-haired breeds like spaniels are the most challenging to replicate.


   “I start with a life-size 2D sketch on plywood, which I use as a guide, and start to build the sculpture from the ground up. I use a gas forge with hammer and anvil, and a MIG welder. The completed sculptures are sandblasted and either left to develop a natural finish or powder-coated to a color of choice,” Hill says.


   He enjoys the sculpting part but admits sorting through old horseshoes and removing nails is tedious. He recently began sculpting with stainless steel and other metals.


   His most challenging horseshoe sculpture was two jumping horses decorating the final cross-country fence at the 2012 London Olympics. Through social media photos, Hill is known mostly for his dog sculptures.


   Prices start at £325 (about $400 U.S.) for a horseshoe dachshund and he is working on setting up the best shipping method for U.S. and Canada orders. Send him an email or private message through social media for more information. During the summer he helps his parents on the family farm and exhibits his sculptures, so it can take a few months to complete an order.


   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Hill Sculpture, Tewin Hill Farm, Tewin, Hertfordshire, AL6 0LL (ph 01438 717336 or Mobile: 07886 928789; tomhillsculpture@gmail.com; www.tomhillsculpture.co.uk; Facebook: Tom Hill Sculpture).