Events this year so far…

20 June, 2022 – 9:34 am

I am having great fun getting out and about meeting new people and demonstrating my craft

Yorkley Fun day 2021

Last year’s day out at the Yorkley fun day reminded me how much I like to get out and about and meet people. This year I wanted to visit my family in Kent more but this would mean closing my shop so I have joined the two together and booked almost all my events this year in Sandwich in Kent.

My first event over the Easter weekend and was a medieval market in the beautiful St Mary’s Church in Sandwich in Kent. It was organised by the Sandwich medieval trust and it was great to be surrounded by so many other traditional crafts. I worked extra hard in the run up to this event to create a whole new range of carvings. On the way back to the Forest of Dean I visited a quarry near Maidstone in Kent to collect my Kentish ragstone so I could carve a set of my ever popular letters in local stone.

After this weekend I left 5 of my carvings for an exhibition at Ash Church over the May bank holiday and thanks to my parents for delivering and collecting my carvings as I couldn’t return for this events.

I returned on May the 9th for National Mills Weekend and I was at The White Mill in Sandwich demonstrating and selling some of my creations. I am working on a capital featuring 4 medieval type figures on the corners.

What a lovely Jubilee party at the Speech House Hotel in the heart of the Forest of Dean. I wasn’t demonstrating here so took the opportunity to wear a dress, which is rare opportunity for me.

My most recent event was a glorious weekend down at the Sandwich medieval Centre on the historic Quay. I had a super medieval tent and worked on my capital. I have made great progress and the figures are really starting to come to life.

I have met so many lovely people and have new customers to thank for helping to keep my small business successful. My year is still busy and my next two events are coming up so there will be more photos coming soon. Please keep an eye on my events and talks page for all the information.

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Demonstration Carving.

1 May, 2022 – 6:30 pm

I am looking forward to spending some of my weekends demonstrating at a series of outdoor events.

My next outdoor event is at the Whitemill in Sandwich, one of the Cinque Ports in Kent. It takes place on the 8th of May and coincides with national Mills Weekend.

I will be demonstrating my historic craft and I have started a carving of a Cushion Capital, an integral part of historic architecture. This rough sketch gives you an idea of where it would go, the pillar below it and springer stones for an arch above it.

Cushion capital in context.

I have started the carving out of a cube of Tetbury limestone, it couldn’t be too big as I need to transport it between the variety of outdoor events that I will be doing.

I have chosen something that is identifiable as stonemasonry but also allows me the freedom to be creative, I am carving it in such a way that I can incorporate beasties on each corner. This rough sketch gives you an idea of what I am imagining.

Beasties

The first thing I need to do is carve the round shape at the top, this is done by carving a series of chamfers, cutting the corners off then cutting the smaller ones until it becomes circular.

Once the top is shaped then I can carve the bottom ring and start to draw on how the beasties will appear.

As this is something I will be working on over the coming months I will update my website with my progress after each event.

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Unveiling day

25 April, 2022 – 10:03 pm

Unveiling the War memorial

What an amazing and emotional day. When I arrived early the stone had already had it’s box removed which left me to give the stone a quick wash.

After a brief introduction by the mayor the flag was removed by two of the local school children.

A cornet player played the last post and after 2 minutes silence he then played the revaille.

The school children sang, the vicar blessed the memorial, poppy seeds were scattered and wreaths were laid.

There was a wonderful turnout including representatives from the Royal British legion and my family travelled from Kent to see my work being unveiled.

I had put my everything into this carving and everyone loved it.

I don’t think I will ever get over the pride I feel knowing that I created this.

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New carvings

27 March, 2022 – 6:46 pm

Here are some images of what I am working on at the moment and what’s coming up.

Tealight holders are fun to do and the simpler ones don’t take too long, but adding radiating tool marks when it suits the stone can elevate it from just a piece of stone with a hole in it. My Owl tealight holder is more time consuming as I have to swap the drill bits to get through the stone, and make sure the stone is secured safely before I start to drill. All the drilling has to be carried out on my pillar drill with running water to make sure I don’t burn out the diamond core drill. These pieces of equipment can be quite expensive. The photos are from either side so you can see how effective this is. You may have remembered that I have done some in the past with cave painting in them but I need to get some more stone for this type of creation. I decided to carve the beak and tooling around the holes because I thought it looked like an owl.

I still have about 10 hours work on my mermaid carving. This is a piece of Portland limestone and I drew the design straight onto the stone. If I draw a design in my sketchbook, it is very difficult to re-draw it the same, the only way I can copy it over in this instance is to make a template so I often draw straight onto the stone to get my design how I want it.

These are some of the new pieces that I will be carving over the coming weeks. Obviously I need to work on my commissions too but I hope to have these done before Easter.

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Designing word styles

25 March, 2022 – 9:53 am

I have been struggling to concentrate on my commissions and new pieces as the site gets busier and visitors like to stop me to ask questions. Which is fine and part of working from a visitor attraction. However when my flow is interrupted on a regular basis I lose focus and my work flow begins to suffer.

I have decided to close to visitors during the week except by appointment. I am open as normal to the public at the weekend. This means that I can get on with jobs I have been unable to do, simple jobs like cutting stone for some of my new carvings and sitting quietly designing how words are formed.

I thought you might like to see them before I start the carving process.

Obviously once they are carved I will be sanding the stone and then painting the lettering, I have some beautiful blues for the Mermaid…

Like these bookends which were inspired by swimming in an outdoor pool, something I love to do.

As you can see, the tail of the M has a wave crest and the tail of the a is terminated with a mermaid’s tail.

Serendipity is fluid and sing has almost note forms in the letters.

Each word is designed straight onto the stone and I may rub all or part of it off and re-draw it until I am happy that it looks how I want it to.

Obviously the next stage is to carve it and for that I will take the stone back to my workshop and do that there.

I look forward to showing you the finished carving and my next series of designs.

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