UK-based Niki Firmin is a self–taught artist who has displayed a passion for art since an early age. Recently Firmin’s focus is on wildlife art. Her latest project, a mixed media portrait of a rhino produced with a 3Doodler pen, has just hit ebay, and Firmin will be donating all the funds to Save the Rhino International, a charity that works to save this critically endangered rhinoceros species in the wild through fundraising and making grants to conservation projects in Africa and Asia.
Inspired by World Rhino Day on September 22, 2014, celebrating all five species of rhino: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan, Firmin’s piece is another moving show of support for these innocent animals under siege for their horns.
“I am really hoping for support for my latest 3Doodled piece for ‘Save The Rhino.’ It has just gone up for auction with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to save these most Iconic animals,” says Firmin.
Rhinoceroses are still found in the wild in central and southern Africa, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Indonesia, with a horrific poaching epidemic in South Africa. World Rhino Day was a global event again this year, celebrated by conservation groups, zoos, and people all over the globe. Efforts to save the rhino were celebrated by talks, walks, fun events, and charity auctions in many different countries.
Firmin’s artwork was created using the world’s first 3D Pen, the 3Doodler, a 3D printing pen developed by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue. 3Doodler began funding in February 2013 on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter, and has been making headlines ever since. The 3Doodler is a very interesting and enticing medium of choice for an artist, as they don’t need software or a computer, and it can create a wide range of objects, varying in complexity. The 3D drawing pen simply plugs in and allows the artist to create, quickly and affordably—making objects for jewelry, art, models, and more. The simple technology of the 3Doodler allows it to heat and cool plastic as it passes through the pen.
“This latest 3Doodled piece was inspired by World Rhino Day. I have worked on a conservation piece in the past, but that was in 2D. I had the idea for the rhino piece back then but wasn’t sure I could make the same impact with it in 2D so the idea got shelved,” Firmin told 3DPrint.com. “Then, in working with the 3Doodler, the idea for the rhino came back to me and I knew it would work much better in 3D.”
World Rhino Day, an annual event, was founded in 2010 by WWF-South Africa, and has grown into an international success, with events worldwide bringing attention to the plight of the rhino, with 26,000 rhinos left in South Africa, seeing the most intense poaching in Kruger National Park. In 2013, a record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa, and so far this year 769 rhinos have been killed for their coveted horns.
The name rhinoceros is of Greek origin and is derived from two words; ‘rhino’ for nose, and ‘ceros’ for horn. Consumer demand by humans for the rhino’s horn has led to its extreme loss of population and near demise. While science shows that the rhino’s horns have no medicinal value and are composed of keratin, mainly, which is the same as your hair and fingernails, poachers from criminal organizations like cartels and other syndicates are well-funded and even able to track the rhinos with helicopters. With the horrific practice of poaching on the rise, World Rhino Day and artists like Niki Firmin are doing their best to draw more attention to this serious–and heartbreaking–wildlife issue.
“World Rhino Day was the perfect opportunity to get this artwork out there and auction it off to raise funds for Save The Rhino International. It took about 48 hours to complete,” said Firmin.
So make a bid and help raise funds to save one of the world’s most iconic creatures, while acquiring a unique piece of art created with this revolutionary technique. All proceeds (minus ebay costs) from the winning bid will go towards Save the Rhino to help with their critical conservation projects. To bid on Niki’s rhino art, click here. Will you be bidding on Niki’s art or contributing to this charity? Let us know in the ‘Save the Rhino’ 3D print forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the images below showing the steps that Firmin took in the creation of this amazing piece of work.