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Tuesday 10 May 2016

Wood carving at the 'Really Classical Relay', accompanied by historical instruments such as the viol da gamba and Baroque oboe.

Last weekend, the Bristol Music Club played host to the 'Really Classical Relay' and I was invited to demonstrate wood carving there.

The Bristol Music Club has been running for over a hundred years and specialises in hosting recitals of chamber music at its home in Clifton. 

The Really Classical Relay was a three-day event at which an international group of very talented musicians played classical pieces in a relaxed environment. Children were welcome during the day and visitors could bring food and drink from the cafe into the room while they listened. It was a really nice atmosphere to be in, as you may imagine.

I was set up in the reception next door and spent the afternoon carving a relief portrait of Beethoven into ash timber (F. excelsior). In the evening, the carving was auctioned and the profits went towards the running of the event.

Of course there were times when a quiet piece of music required me to down tools for a bit, rather than crashing over it with some unexpected percussion using mallet and gouge!

It was fun to do a relief portrait. I really enjoy the challenge of carving portraits; they aren't easy and anyone can spot if the likeness of a famous person is wrong. Happily, even without the chance to do any prior research and little reference material to work from, everyone spotted that this was Beethoven...

It was also great to see the beautiful reproductions of historical instruments such as the viol da gamba being played for some pieces.  Another instrument that caught my eye was a Baroque oboe made from boxwood (B. sempervirens), similar to this one:

Image from
Thanks to Jon and the team for making me so welcome.

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