From billionaires to celebrities and even Saudi Arabian royalty sculptor Mark Stoddart has seen his work snapped up and shipped all over the world for his exclusive clients.

He has earned a reputation as someone not afraid to break the mould and his distinct hippo pieces are much sought after with a hefty price tag to go with them.

The Ayrshire sculptor, known for his glass topped coffee tables which can fetch thousands of pounds at auction, is now marking his 30th anniversary and wants to give something back after a career which has brought him much success.

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Knowing how difficult it is to get a break as a sculptor, he decided he wanted to work with a young up and coming artist and was linked with one he has something in common with.

Mr Stoddart went through his early school years being passed from establishment to establishment before he was eventually assessed as being dyslexic.

Affecting his confidence growing up, he knows what it is like to live with dyslexia and has been a long-term supporter of charity Dyslexia Scotland. Through their careers programme, he was introduced to Angus Hepburn – a sculptor trying to make a name for himself.

Frankie Dettorri with bronze horse coffee table

Frankie Dettorri with bronze horse coffee table

And that’s not all he has planned to mark the milestone in his career as he is in the process of making a piece to be auctioned off with100% of the funds raised being split between Dyslexia Scotland and Race Against Dementia, set up by triple Formula world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who is also dyslexic, following his wife, Lady Helen’s dementia diagnosis.

“As part of my 30th anniversary I was looking to create a special piece and came up with a bespoke piece using Scottish gold. It will be an oxpicker bird sitting on a hippo made into a large coffee table with a piece of glass laid on top of the bronze. It will then be auctioned off for charity. I am certainly hoping it will fetch as much as possible as everything that is raised will go to charity.”

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At 4ft x 3ft, there might not be many people who could place it in their living room, but given the calibre of Mr Stoddart’s clients there could be a few takers. Among his celebrity fans are Sir Elton John, Madonna, and former champion jockey Frankie Dettori.

“I designed a hippo dining table and I can remember at the time people saying to me ‘it will never sell’ or ‘who would want that’ but it soon sold,” he added.

Hippo coffee table by Mark Stoddart

Hippo coffee table by Mark Stoddart

For Mr Stoddart creating his latest piece isn’t just about marking his 30 years as a sculptor, but also about raising awareness for charities which are important to him. He also wanted to give something back.

“I know how hard it is to get a break and I felt I wanted to help someone with their career,” added Mr Stoddart whose late father Matthew was a businessman who founded create K/L Pharmaceuticals, latterly the UK's sole supplier of easy-to-use kaolin poultices, in his 60s. “So I made the offer to pay for something to be cast in bronze and through Dyslexia Scotland was linked up with Angus Hepburn. When restrictions ease we will be able to meet at the foundry in Edinburgh to see his piece come together.”

Angus Hepburns design will be set in bronze

Angus Hepburn's design will be set in bronze

Mr Hepburn, from Angus, wasted no time in getting to work on the piece which will be produced. It is called A desirable disadvantage and is about Dyslexia, interpreted through the story of David and Goliath.

“I have been completely blown away by Marks's generosity and it's been such an uplifting surprise in these somber times,” said Mr Hepburn. “I'm really appreciating his guidance and knowledge and looking forward to seeing the process within the foundry first-hand. Going forward I'm remaining flexible but quietly hoping that this will open up future opportunities for myself so I can work solely as an artist. It's early days yet but with Mark's recent help it's made me feel a great deal more optimistic.

“I'm actually fairly new to sculpture as an art form so it's important to me that the final piece be the very best it can be.”

Angus Hepburn is hoping Marks help will boost his career

Angus Hepburn is hoping Mark's help will boost his career

Katie Carmichael, Dyslexia Scotland’s Career Coach, said: "When Mark suggested to us that a way to mark his 30th anniversary in business would be to mentor an emerging artist, we knew that Angus was the perfect match. Angus epitomises dyslexic strengths and challenges: a brilliantly creative thinker and talented artist who hasn't had the opportunity to flourish within traditional work and recruitment pathways. We're delighted that he's exploring dyslexia as a theme within his sculpture work and hope that this collaboration with Mark helps springboard his career."