As well as this blog, I also have a website and Instagram page with lots more images of my work as well as a few more stories.
If you like woodcarvings, you might want to have a look.

Monday 24 September 2012

Tutoring, Brisfest and a giant scorpion near Pucklechurch village

A real mix of stuff going on last week. As well as continuing to work on the totem pole commission, I ran a one-to-one woodcarving tuition session for a client at my studio, with all tools and materials supplied. We covered creating a clay maquette to work from, through to roughing out the final carving.

Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to finish the carving in a day, but Francis told me that he felt the session had gone well and he'd learnt a lot about carving and thinking in three dimensions, which was what it was all about! It went well enough that I'm considering running more one-to-one tutorials at my studio in the future, if there is enough interest.

The next day, I loaded my bike trailer and headed out to run a day-long drop in workshop on a new section of cycle path near to the village of Pucklechurch. The day went really well and was organised by the brilliant Rachel Goodchild from Art Express (there is a link to their site here) . The sun was shining and quite a few people had the chance to try their hand at woodcarving, so that the carved board was finished by the end of the day. The plan is to use it as a backrest for a bench, which I will be carving soon. Watch this space!

The carved board shows a scene from a Carboniferous-period swamp, about 300 million years ago. There are coal seams in the area around Pucklechurch, which were formed from material laid down in ancient swamps like this. The animals living in these swamps included giant scorpions 70 cm (about 28 inches) long, giant dragonflies with 60 cm (2 foot) wingspans and Arthropleura, a huge ancestor of centipedes which grew to about 260 cm (8.5 feet) long! Some of these giants were shown in the scene that we carved...

From Pucklechurch, I headed over to 'Brisfest', a two-day music festival held in Ashton Court, Bristol. I'm a member of the Forest of Avon Wood Products cooperative, which promotes local, sustainable timber use. We had a stall at the festival and it was great fun spending time with other woodworking friends.
Sunday at the festival was pretty wet, as you can see from the rain streaks in the uppermost photo below. Even so, seeing De La Soul live made up for it!


  1. Teaching arts and craft looks really fun. It is nice to see people enjoy art, particularly the making process. I will try to encourage my kids to try art and have a tutor as well, like painting. We never thought about this before but we tried high school physics tutoring before but arts tutoring sounds good too.

  2. Hi Michelle,

    It's definitely fun teaching others how to carve. I particularly like it when someone comes up with something that you would never think of doing, which works really well.

    Woodcarving is also a nice thing to teach because a lot of people have an idea in their heads that they can't draw or paint (even if that isn't true!) but because fewer people have come across carving before, they don't mind giving it a go with an open mind. There's nothing better than seeing someone realise that what they are making is really good when they went into making it feeling less than confident!

    Perhaps it also works well for people who are more practically minded and love getting into working with the tools. I suppose that with any art or craft, it's great to be able to show people how to use the tools and materials with confidence, so that they don't need to worry as much about cutting themselves or breaking something or whatever, and can let ideas come out and develop.

    Thanks for getting in touch and I hope that you and your kids have a great time exploring the arts and crafts out there!