Located in Santa Ana , Calif., Sandicast, Inc. is the premier manufacturer of hand-cast animal sculptures.
The company was started in 1981 when artist Sandra Brue realized her dream of creating a business that combined
her God-given artistic talent and her lifelong love of animals.
Challenged to bring home $10,000 more a year Sandra, a graphic artist for 12 years, started sculpting animals.
Initially, she began selling her sculptures through gift shops in Southern California. Little did she know, in a few short
years Sandicast animal sculptures would be available and collected around the world.
With four animals, Sandy started Sandicast in her garage. The first piece released was a bunny she sculpted while
observing him in her own backyard. Thus a bunny is part of the Sandicast company logo. She then created a fawn,
squirrel, and Cocker pup.
In the beginning, to find out which were the most popular dog breeds, Sandra called pet shops across the United
States. As more retailers carried Sandicast and consumer interest soared, shop owners began to overwhelm her
with customer requests. Consumers begged for more dogs, cats, and wildlife. Today, Sandra determines what to
sculpt by reviewing consumer requests, breed rankings, other decision-making factors and her "gut."
The Sandicast Pedigree
Artist Sandra Brue has a unique style and ability to capture the personality and inner spirit of each animal with
Sandra studies and works with live models. She observes and bonds with her subjects at breeders, zoos, and in the
Sandicast sculptures often take months to complete. Sandra's passion for perfection requires countless hours of
painstaking attention to detail--her Jack Russell Terrier Original has 65,358 individually sculpted hairs!
Recognizing Sandra's talent, Disney commissioned her to create The Lion King collection in 1994.
Sandra Brue's work can be found in the homes of former United States Presidents, the Queen of England, and discerning collectors worldwide.
Sandra has been featured on countless national television and radio shows and has been a guest speaker for a
number of groups around the world. Her captivating success story and unique management style have resulted in
her being honored as "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year" and recipient of the "San Diego Women Who Mean
Creating the Unique and Recognizable Sandicast Look
Studying and Observation
Artist Sandra Brue works with live animals. To truly capture the realism and individuality in her work Sandra visits dog
breeders. She observes and plays with the dog in its own setting to learn about different breed characteristics and
get to know their unique traits. Accuracy is very important. Sandra strives to create a true representation of each
animal. She never compromises their integrity for the sake of being commercially "cute."
For more exotic animals, she is allowed to go behind the scenes at the San Diego Zoo. There, Sandra usually gets
face-to-face with elephants, koalas, lions, and pandas. At the zoo, she met her 2 1/2 month old Tiger Cub model,
"Chuffer." He was constantly batting his paws at Sandra and it took a few assertive "no's" to keep from being mauled
by his sharp teeth. Visiting before park hours so she could catch them out of the water, Sandra sculpted her African
Collection Hippopotamus while actually inside its enclosure. Standing a mere six feet away from tons of muscle,
Sandra says, "I felt an instant respect for these magnificent beasts."
Turning to North American wildlife, Sandra continues to work with the live subjects. When sculpting North American
wildlife, such as wolves, bison, moose, and bears, Sandra visits Bear Country USA in South Dakota. There she can
observe North American mammals as they roam freely over 300 acres of natural environment. Her personal favorite
was a black bear cub she named, "Gus," who nuzzled in her lap for a nap. Later, Sandra learned that bears, unlike
cats, don't retract their claws--and had the scratches to prove it!
After experiences like these, going to the local cat shelter to sculpt is tame stuff! When sculpting cats, Sandra may
visit a breeder or use a friend or neighbor's cat.
Sandra uses an oil-based clay that never hardens to create her original. Its softness allows her to painstakingly
recreate the fine detail of hair and fur that has become her hallmark. After making several trips back and forth to the
breeder or wildlife park, and only after knowing the piece looks just right, will she begin to put the hairs on the animal.
Sandra doesn't take any shortcuts by using a rake or comb.
Etching each individual hair, one at a time, is an extremely time-consuming process and can take days to complete.
“When I start talking ‘doggie talk’ to a clay sculpture, I know it’s time to put down my tools.”
When the clay original is ready to be cast, Sandra carves her name, "BRUE," on each piece. Be sure to look for her
name and an official Sandicast copyright decal. This will ensure that you are acquiring authentic Sandicast
sculptures by Sandra Brue. Sandicast and Sandra Brue are registered trademarks of Sandicast, Inc. In addition,
Sandicast animal sculptures are protected by both United States and International copyright laws.
A casting mold is made from Sandra Brue's clay original. Next, a special cast stone mixture is hand-poured into the
molds. Hand-casting is a slow, methodical process that produces a piece free of flaws and bubbles. Every intricate
detail is captured--be it a bulldog's furrowed brow, the velvety texture of a Siamese cat's ear, or a West Highland
Terrier's little, curled tongue.
Following casting, each Sandicast sculpture must pass strict quality control before it can be painted. Our artisans
use both bristle and air brush methods of painting. Multiple painting steps and techniques take longer, and cost
more to produce. Sandicast creates the highest quality, most realistic, and lifelike sculptures on the market today.
The final step is the insertion of specially crafted eyes. The eyes give more sparkle and many are custom made for Sandicast. Often people comment when looking at Sandicast animals, "It feels as if they're staring right back at you!"
Commitment to Animal Lovers
The Sandicast Collection includes dogs, cats, and wildlife. Sculptures are available through retail dealerships around the world.
Sandra loves to spend time with the animals, play with them and get to know their unique personalities. Her artistic goal is to always capture the realism and inner spirit of each animal. She never compromises the integrity of an
animal for the sake of being commercially “cute”.
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