Carving a face

4 December, 2016 – 10:53 am

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For me as a sculptor in stone I strivevto become better with each carving.

Although I do make clay models to practise and understand in a much technically easier way, the final sculpture is stone.

This is a practise portrait of no one in particular. I am carving directly with no drawing or maquette to work from.

As you are probably aware once I remove the stone I can’t put it back so by searching for the best way to carve an eye ball with eyelids or a mouth that looks like it will open eventually I will get it just right.

This is a very exciting journey, as I look back at previous carvings I can see how to improve them for next time.

The various types of stone make a huge difference, the amount of detail obtainable depends on how course the stone is.

This is a piece of Sandstone from St Bees in Cumbria. It is very dense with fine particles making it suitable for a greater amount of detail.

There are no fossils to intefere with the detail but at the same time it is not fine or dense enough to polish. I would need marble to achieve that type of finish.

As you can see this is still very much a work in progress but without this type of developmental carving I would not improve.

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What’s for sale in my shop at the moment

26 November, 2016 – 8:55 pm

I took some photos before I left today of my beautifully full shelves, I hope this gives you an idea of how hard I have been working to bring you some unique gift ideas for you and your friends and family.

The Noël in the 4th picture with the bookends is a reversible 3 tea-light holder, I have carved the word home on the other side and painted it silver.

I have put a few close up pictures in this post, The Faith, £65, Hope, £57 and Charity, £81 are carved in beautiful lilac Forest of Dean sandstone and finished with 23 & 3/4 carat gold leaf.

In the first picture I have a lovely piece of very hard Blakeney red sandstone, carved with acorns and oak leaves on 3 faces & drilled to create a pillar candle holder this costs £75, in pictures 6 & 7 there are some more examples of The Forest of Dean sandstone some with decoration and some left plain. I have carved an oak leaf on the four faces of a single tea-light holder in Blakeney sandstone this costs £42.

I hope these pictures tempt you to visit and perhaps buy one of my treasures.

I am happy to chat about commissions if you don’t see what you are looking for. I already have a pretty full January and I am currently taking commissions to work on in February.

Thanks for looking hopefully and if you would like any more help please get in touch.

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Final photos for Art Nouveau Style Memorial

25 November, 2016 – 12:51 pm

I hadn’t realised that I haven’t posted the final photos for the Art Nouveau inspired sculpture memorial that I carved for Highgate Cemetery in London.

Portland limestone is a very fine stone and ideal for this type of carving, I would love to attempt something similar in marble one day but need to practice with that stone as it is harder and more difficult to work with but the final finish can be much finer and smoother leading to a greater amount of detail.

I was terrified when she was lowered onto the pallet-not because I didn’t trust the men moving my sculpture but because my sculpture was finished and was leaving, no more tinkering she was off to be a poignant reminder of a loved one’s life.

I am very proud of this sculpture, it represents a culmination of the training, hard work and dedication I have towards my work but it is also as with all my carvings a stepping stone towards the future. My carving will continue to improve and I look forward to this journey with anticipation and excitement.

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Christmas gifts

21 November, 2016 – 12:55 pm

At this time of year we are all trying to buy our friends and family beautiful and thoughtful gifts for Christmas presents.

I have been hard at work in my workshop at Taurus Crafts designing and carving especially for you. I have a very wide selection this year as I have been carving furiously to make sure I have enough-last year I sold out of so many of my stone carvings. I have come up with many different creations for you hopefully to suit all pockets. Some with Christmas in mind and some that will grace any sideboard, shelf or occasional table.

I didn’t have time to photograph everything before my short break so I will add some more when I return to my shop.

I have been exploring casting as a way to produce small creations and I have included a couple on here, I either carve the original in plaster or model it in clay, then I pour molten rubber over to create a mould which I can take duplicate casts from. They are never exact copies as I always carve them a little once they come out of the mould. I use a material called Jesmonite, an acrylic based plaster, weather proof and non toxic. I have been painting these up as you can see the red calf and the gold roundel grotesque. I will be exploring bronze powder which is mixed with the jesmonite before pouring. This technique allows me to make more than one of a creation, still unique to me but as a more affordable alternative to my stone carvings (of which there will only ever be one)

I’m afraid that I can no longer guarantee commissions taken now for Christmas presents will be ready by Christmas but sometimes what people do is have a small piece of random stone to give as the present to tease the intended until the carving is ready, just a bit of fun….

I look forward to showing you more of my creations when I return to my workshop on Saturday 26th November.

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Commission to carve a Brown Bear

15 October, 2016 – 1:50 am

My sculpture of a Brown Bear is coming along well, the limestone has a lot of fossils and hard veins of calcite through it so it is hard to progress quickly.

As you can see I am working to identify where the forms are before I carve too much detail. Although the face is pretty much finished that was my primary goal as this is the most important feature and if it didn’t work I would need to make changes to the whole carving.

Thankfully I am really pleased with how he looks and his focus is definitely on the salmon that he is eating.

The next photos will be of him finished.

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