frog in progress

… Dorset Uglies, by sculptress Emma Mauger …

As I drove towards the home of Dorset Uglies creator, Emma Mauger, I didn’t quite know how I was going to feel once I was confronted by her collection of ‘Uglies’.  I tend to be drawn towards clean lines and geometric shapes, and although I would say that there is quite a big dollop of quirkiness in me, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the beauty of these creations with their wonky smiles.

After being warmly greeted by Emma and given a very much needed cup of tea, I met the first of the Ugly gang…

… and fell instantly in love.

I was so shocked by my reaction and by how much I wanted to take them all home.

This incredible encounter happened when I met listening bird, whose ear is pressed to the ground listening for the footsteps of its family (gosh, I wish I had taken a photograph of him, he was beautiful).

I then met pairs of pigs, gazing up with soulful eyes and snouty noses. I chatted to wide-mouthed frogs, looking particularly pleased with themselves. I even met horses with rubbery lips – you know the way that only horses can make their lips seem completely separate from the rest of their faces?  Emma had managed to capture this expression perfectly. One particular horse, called Mostyn, apparently likes Scarborough but is not a fan of playing rugby.

That was the other lovely surprise; each character comes named and with a summary of its likes and dislikes. This enables people to quickly connect with the personality of each Ugly as well as choose them according to the way that they look.

man Dorset Uglies

… one of the Uglies at home in the garden …

After asking Emma about the design process, it became clear that a massive amount of talent, love and hard work goes into every one. Each model takes a number of sittings to become complete and a sitting can last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.  She currently sells them from her studio in Stour Provost as well as being a regular fixture at the Swans Yard craft fairs in the warmer months.  Prices generally start at £20.


… Alfonso, the studio mascot …

As if all this abundance of character and charm wasn’t enough, I was introduced to Alfonso, the bearded dragon and studio mascot. Happily wandering around and occasionally snuggling up to the two cats – yes really – he does a good job of keeping all of the Uglies in check! Slightly stern in appearance, he really is very friendly and only puffs up his neck at rather large camera lenses being poked in his face (totally my fault).

I wonder which of the Uglies would grab your heart? Let me know your favourite!

which is your favourite

For more information and to get in contact with Emma you can view her Facebook page or visit her website.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

A tiny note – just to say, of course I don’t get any money for blogging about the gorgeous gems of Dorset – I do it for the love! 


2 thoughts on “Dorset's Delicious Bits | BEAUTY IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER


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