Hi everyone, I need some R&R so I will be closed from the 1st to the 15th September.
My largest commissions to date, a 3ft tall by 18 inches square piece of Forest of Dean Sandstone from The Birch Hill Quarry.
The customer gave me a brief and to start off it was a dollop of ice cream!! I was a little concerned that it would look like something else so i used some of the other ideas that she liked including two of the other pieces that she liked, ‘inspired by Fern’s and ‘Shells waves and smugglers caves’ However she didn’t want as many holes!
Once they were happy with my sketch I made a clay model to get an idea of proportion and to finalise the shape.
The first part of the carving was to start rounding off the stone by cutting chamfers.
I could then start drawing on the form in order to remove the necessary stone.
As you can see there is plenty of work to do and I will publish more photos and images of the preparatory sketch and model once the carving is finished.
In between my commissions and the scheduled activity days I have been busy carving some new items for my shop, rather than take lots of individual shots I decided to show you what’s on the shelves. Hopefully this helps with the scale of the items as well.
Although I do repeat some of the words that I carve no two carvings are the same so if you see something you like and it sells before you snap it up I can re-carve but it won’t be exactly the same.
I sold ‘smile’ and the Welsh slate tea-light holder in front of the green man carving today and obviously the carved initials are always changing as I sell them and re-carve in the various stone that I have.
I try and be as creative as I can with the bookends so again while I might repeat motifs such as the musical notations and acorn/oak leaf designs they will always be slightly different than the previous incarnations. The pieces of stone are always different for a start!
You will be pleased to hear that I discovered a small piece of the red/grey Mitcheldean sandstone while tidying my workshop and so there will be a few more of the carved initials in this stone but be quick, these are very popular. I have also upgraded my dice, they now have red dots-if you want a different colour just let me know and my key-rings come with or with out a clip so you can attach them to your belt or your handbag if you want.
Please be aware that I am working to about an 8wk waiting list at the moment so if you want something made especially then please give me as much notice as you can to avoid disappointment.
I was invited to have a display at a school in Cheltenham for their careers and inspiration week. Talking to young people who are embarking on the next step to ‘big’ school. Hopefully seeing that maths and drawing, art and building can all be used to forge a career will spark something in their minds for their future choices!
This week sees the start of my HAGS short for ‘Have a go at Stonemasonry’ children and adults alike can come and try their hand at carving stone.
I offer two choices either to have a 20-30minute go where you can try your hand at carving-this activity gives you only the experience to take home and costs just £5.
For the more adventurous there is the £15 option, I give you a quick go on the larger pieces of stone and then you can design something and carve it onto both sides of a 4inch square piece of stone. This activity takes about 45 minutes and you get to take your carving home with you.
Here are a few ideas from previous participants; hearts, butterflies, cupcakes, cars, robots, dragons and crocodiles.
The stone comes from Veizeys Quarry nr Tetbury in South Gloucestershire, it is my favourite Cotswold stone with a honey colour.
I must advise you to wear sturdy shoes or bring some to change into. I can’t allow you to carve in flip flops or sandals. I will provide you with safety goggles and I have eyebath on standby-just in case.
I look forward to meeting you and seeing what your imagination brings.
I have decided to design a tracery panel in the shape of an ellipse with 4 angels flying around the centre.
It is important to flex my technical drawing ability and show you the other side of my creativity.
I have started with the compass method to draw the ellipse but I didn’t like the way the ends curved so I decided to use the trammel method which gives a much more satisfactory shape and is pretty straight forward.
Once I had the outline in place I was able to put in the extra lines to identify where the levels will be and ultimately drop down to create the shapes.
The Angels follow the shape of the ellipse and dead eyes naturally appear.
I have created the section (imagine a slice of cake) which gives me the various layers.
This is a project that I will be working on between commissions but I will update with more photos when I have something to show you. The stone is Portland limestone-ideal for good crisp edges.