I thought that, since quite a few people may just visit my blog and not my website, I'd put a few images on this blog of some of the pieces that I've made. It certainly isn't an exhaustive list, as the number of carvings done since 1994 (when I really got into carving properly) is well into the hundreds by now. These are not all of my favourite pieces either, just some of the ones that have sprung to mind - often because of very personal reasons such as the time and place where they were made . I hope you enjoy seeing them!
These are two views of the first carving that I made as an adult , which was the start of all of this. It is a walking stick which was carved in Ironbridge, Shropshire in 1994.The timber is hazel, from the woods in nearby Benthall Edge. The stick is carved most of the way down and took two months to make. It came in very useful when scrambling around on the steep slopes surrounding Ironbridge Gorge. The knife used was a number 10 Opinel knife. I still use the same knife to this day.
This flower was carved in 1998,whilst staying at Onekaka, in the South Island of New Zealand. The wood is a shard of walnut from a broken shotgun butt. The blue crystal is kyanite, which I found in a nearby stream. The whole piece is about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
This pipe bowl, representing the green man, is carved from a special kind of stone called meerschaum. It was carved on and off over a period of several years from 1997 to about 2002. Hidden in the foliage are birds and fruit.
This carving was made on the 1st January 2000 on the beach at San Pedro in Andalucia, Spain. The wood is azinho (holm oak) from Portugal and the stone is calcite from the valley, rubbed down with an old whetstone. The tangled shape of the carving could refer to my uncertainty about what the coming year would bring, or the state of my head after a very big party the night before!
The bowl shown above, like most of my work, was made from found wood, in this case from Fernworthy Forest on Dartmoor in Devon. The textured and smooth surfaces are wonderful to touch. When carving it in 2004, I was studying the work of the artist Richard Long, who can condense the tale of a walk of a thousand miles into a picture of a spiral which traces the path. The text carved onto the bowl tells a little about where the wood came from, so hopefully beginning the process of holding tales which the bowl was made for.
The piece shown below, called 'Velocivenator satiei', was shown in the second of these 'Meta' shows. To find out about the odd places that I picked up some of the timbers used and the meaning behind that strange name, click on this link: V. satiei
It was a real privilege to be given the opportunity to repair and restore this beautiful and interesting work. It represents a shaman in the process of transforming between a man and a fish form.
A commission in 2010 saw me carving in Leigh Woods again, putting a memorial inscription onto a bench. One of the highlights was when the two young sons of the person being commemorated came to visit and had the opportunity to help carve some of the lettering themselves.
Also in 2011, I was commissioned to make a shop sign from solid oak. The design was worked out through discussion with the client and the finished sign measures 3 feet by 3 feet (90 cm by 90 cm). The project was a joinery one, a little different from my usual line of work, but I was very happy with the result:
And finally, I have to include working at the Boiling Wells site for St Werburghs City Farm in Bristol. Since 2009, this role has covered all kinds of things, from running green woodworking courses to renovating hazel coppice to working with young people who are out of education. It has been a chance to meet some incredible people and to work in one of the most beautiful secret places in the city.