Second commission for Gloucestershire Constabulary

11 October, 2018 – 11:14 am

After my success with the police shields I created, I was asked to design a retirement gift for a senior officer.

The brief was to incorporate stone from 5 districts; Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The design I came up with was a layered bowl. Unfortunately I hit a brick wall in terms of getting a piece of stone from each area and staying within budget. One quarry had a minimum charge of over a £100 + delivery and VAT.

I decided to use what I had in my workshop and the bowl from then on could only be 5 x 8 inches at it widest.

I was struggling with the Wiltshire stone and decided to make up a layer using the Jesmonite, which once formed and sanded I would cut holes and put flint in to represent a chalk layer. 

In order to keep the cost down I cut the stone on my tile cutter, hollowed it out as best as I could using my drill and then glued each layer together.

I was able to sand the outside and some of the inside with my angle grinder and my dremel, finally finishing off with my diamond sanding pads. I had previously tumbled the knapped flint pieces so that there weren’t any sharp edges. I cut the holes out with my dremel and glued them in.

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this unique bowl and hope that the recipient it is really chuffed.

 

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Commissions for Gloucestershire Constabulary

4 October, 2018 – 8:31 am

I was approached last year about designing and creating awards for Gloucestershire Constabulary Police Officers.

This was a very interesting proposal and obviously there was a restricted budget to take into consideration. We settled on the Gloucestershire Constabulary shield which is instantly recognisable. I soon realised that this would have been virtually impossible to carve in the size needed and to the budget.

I had recently been experimenting with a casting material called Jesmonite and decided to present a clay model of the shield which I would then cast.

The process was tricky as I needed to stamp the letters Gloucestershire Constabulary around the centre with letters only 5mm and not centralised on the stamp itself. I hadn’t actually been given the commission so didn’t have the budget to get the stamp professionally made.

Thankfully my sculpture training stood me in good stead and I was able to produce a lovely clay model. The design was approved but I still had to figure out how to make a mold to cast multiple copies. At college I’d only ever used hot rubber molds and I had the equipment so this is where I started.

The molds pulled away, bubbled and were just not creating the results I needed by this time I had some ok casts but they were by no means presentable and if I had to create multiples this way, I would have to re-carve each one making the commission financially impossible.

The clay model had been essentially fired in this process but was beginning to crack and there was no way that I could continue this method. I chose the best cast and re-carved it using my scalpel.

The master copy was perfect, next I had to research the best method to create the mold. I had a chat with my suppliers, South Western Plasters who I have been buying from for over 10 yrs. They were incredibly knowledgeable and very helpful. They recommended their Smartsil cold cure silicone rubber. It would be suitable for at least 50 casts and was reasonably affordable.

The cast and mold as you can see are just what we were looking for and so far I have produced 18 as awards for our hard working heroes.

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Commission to carve a sculpture

1 October, 2018 – 12:53 pm

I had been given an indication of what my customer wanted and so I made a few sketches, this drawing is the one she settled upon. It is called Mother and Child.

I chose to carve in Lepine limestone, it is a very dense, fine stone and a joy to carve. Click on the link to find out more about this beautiful French limestone.

The base is a piece of Oak that I have oiled to bring out the colour.

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Commission to carve a bowl of wild flowers

26 September, 2018 – 12:34 pm

This commission was quite difficult but it incorporated the creativity that I have and the stonemasonry element of my training.

The brief was to carve a bowl of flowers that could be put onto a memorial. It will be cemented into the vase hole in the base, which is why it has the cylinder at the bottom but this won’t be visible. It will look like a bowl of flowers on the grave but will never die, blow away or fade. It will change colour and blend in, hopefully it will look beautiful in situe.

There are so many traditional flowers that I could have carved but I chose wild flowers as that is what inspired me on my walks to work each morning.

I used Portland limestone as this is a good hard wearing stone but it it also very hard and brittle in places so I had to be careful of the undercutting.

I am very pleased with the final result and look forward to doing another one.

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What a busy time.

30 July, 2018 – 1:32 pm

Sorry that it has been such a long time since I last wrote a post, I have been busy organising my stone carving festival which is only a month away now.

I have been developing my paintings and drawings and I have just finished 3 paintings of my Arthur Bell Rose which are all available to buy in my shop at Taurus Crafts.

Last weekend I had 2 students carving Tetbury limestone for the weekend, here are a few photos

My Summer activity programme has just started and I hope to see some budding young carvers over the next month.

My commission list is growing so if you would like to commission a special carving for your home, a new house sign or something as a gift please be aware that I now have a 5 month waiting list. 

I am currently working on some letter carving commissions and a sculpture in French limestone, I hope to have some more photos of my latest pieces to show you soon.

Thanks, Carrie.

 

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