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.

Thursday 12 February 2015

A surprise visit from Peter Gabbitass' great grandson, to see his ancestor carved on the Downs bench

As I was working today in my studio with music playing on the stereo, I didn't see two people patiently waiting for me to look up. It was a visit from the great-grandson of Peter Gabbitass (the 'Clifton Poet') whose likeness is carved into the Downs bench that I am currently making.

The visit was a complete surprise to me but a very welcome one. John was very interested to see the carving of his great-grandfather and it was a pleasure to give them a sneak preview of the rest of the bench as well.

It is getting closer to completion! The bearers are now all carved. The last one to be made has been a crinoid (also called a sea lily), which would have lived in the seas of the Carboniferous Period around 350 million years ago. What became the limestone underneath the Downs was laid down during this time.

Here are all three bearers, depicting a crinoid, a brachiopod and a colonial coral:


  1. Hello. What kind of wood do you use for these?

  2. Just found your brilliant blog - ooh and I love the bearers - those sea lilies have such sculptural shapes, which you've made beautifully. Makes me want to carve wood.

  3. Hello! The wood is oak, which originally grew on a farm outside the village of Backwell, less than 10 miles from where the bench will eventually be situated on the Bristol Downs. While making it, I found bits of lead shot from goodness knows how long ago still embedded in the timber.
    Hi Jennifer, glad to hear that you like the blog and thanks for getting in touch. I've checked out you website and blog, beautiful work! I particularly liked the Basset hounds and the simple styling of the 'white fox'. The latter reminds me of the stylised look of some Inuit sculpture. Lovely stuff.