Ringer Paul sends us this article from the November 29 edition of The Christchurch Mail about the sculpting work of Anneke Bester.
There and back again
Tireless artist sculpts staffs of legend
By Abbie Napier
Fashioning staffs, moulding sword hilts ad making treasure is nothing out of the ordinary for Christchurch-based sculptor Anneke Bester.
Having worked on the Chronicles of Narnia, Bester was a shoo-in for a role as props sculptor for The Hobbit.
She set off for Wellington more than two years ago, tasked with making whatever was needed.
“It was enormous, and it was basically just me,” she said.
Holed up in a workroom in Lyall Bay, Bester’s 50-hour weeks were hectic.
“Someone would rush in with a design and say they needed this detailed piece for a wardrobe scene by the end of the day,” she said.
She made at least 100 major props in two years, with countless others squeezed in throughout. She finished in May this year.
Gandalf’s pre-Lord of the Rings staff may be her most famous work.
She made the staff in three sizes: regular, over-sized and stunt-double size. Having made the first, she then created exact replicas for every imaginable use.
“It’s one thin to sculpt nature how you think it should be. It’s quite another to sculpt an exact replica of a stick.”
She also made walking sticks for the dwarves, furniture, decorations, and some of the treasure for Smaug’s (the dragon) cave.
“That fortune, literally cost a fortune,” she said. “The size of the actual treasure pile was bigger than most people’s homes.”
Bester went to Wellington yesterday for a cast and crew screening, before the film premiered. Try spotting some of Bester’s work when the movie comes out to the public on December 12.