Friday 28 November 2014

Fine tuning

On a sculpture of this scale a great deal more time is needed to get the forms as I want them. I can’t imagine why this should come as a surprise to me but somehow a part of me expects things to go faster. Now the sculpture is hanging vertically it became clear that one area of the loop was thinner than everywhere else. Two full days were needed to make the loop more even. With the strong lines flowing round the carving it is very apparent when there is a lump or a wobbly line. It is very easy to read how the lines should flow. As a result, my errors are horribly obvious for all to see, or at least so it seems to me. I have ground away the space between the crossing forms and their remains a tiny bridge between. I do not suppose this little bridge provides much support for the overall structure but it must be less vulnerable than removing it altogether.


Sunday 23 November 2014

Back Blogging

After a shamefully long interlude I will try to blog once more. Once you get out of the habit it seems hard to pick it up again. I have been working hard all autumn completing various commissions. They have been sent off to Ireland and Mexico and I am now turning my attention to an exhibition at Heligan starting at the end of 2015 and running through the next season. This is a great honour for me as I consider Heligan one of the most magical gardens. I am hoping to install a series of carvings that can do the place justice. This is the first of the series, seen in the gloom of my studio this evening.IMG_0055

Friday 4 July 2014

Barn progress

We have been hard at work these past weeks. The straw is all laid and the ring beam sits on top of both halves of the building. The lower half has its green oak roof structure in place and the timbers and breathable membrane on top. We are now pressing to get the other bigger half to the same stage. Clearly it is a bad idea to allow the bales to get too sodden by rain. Up until recently we have been enjoying a very dry spell but now the tarpaulins are stretched over the structure to keep the worst of the rain off. I must return to carving next week but we hope to get the roof far enough advanced for Toby (who has been helping me) to finish the job on his own.


Friday 30 May 2014

Timber frames

Following such an intense period of carving I am happy to be working on the barn construction once again. We had a falling down corrugated iron barn which we pulled down. The plan is to replace it with something much better. We built the footings for a straw bale construction last year and are now in the process of building the oak frames for the roof. Two are constructed and you can see a third in the foreground. Working with green oak is wonderful as it is not hard and chopping into it is relatively easy. Woodworking at its best to my mind.


Tuesday 27 May 2014

Installed and standing

The sculptures are now installed at Asthall manor ready for the exhibition which opens on 8th June. I am delighted with the way they look standing. The sculpture seen here plays wonderful tricks with the eye as it’s many facets change in the light and make one side seem to advance whilst the other recedes. It is always a joy to have no visible base and for the sculpture to stand on its own in the landscape. This lovely picture is taken by Pooch.


Wednesday 14 May 2014

Sunshine and polish

The bees are buzzing and suddenly there is real warmth in the air. I wore too many layers out of habit and kept needing to take another layer off. I moved onto the other of the big round sculptures today and worked on the second side of the forms. On measuring the thickness of the forms I discovered that they differed in thickness considerably from one side to the other. Most of the day was spent re-balancing these forms out. I am happy for the forms to thicken a little as they get nearer the ground but do not want a variation from side to side. Tomorrow should see both these carvings completed.


Monday 12 May 2014

In The Ring

I have gone round and round today, trying to get those forms looking like they belong together. When they are looking good from one angle I see a wobble from another perspective. I moved on to the roughest of the sanding grades at lunch however and continue to fine tune the forms with the sandpaper albeit to a lesser extent. With the sandpaper the colours of the marble begin to be more visible. It looks fantastic and I am now really happy with the way this sculpture is looking.


Friday 9 May 2014

Shape forming

Lining up these forms is not easy. You can see from the picture that some of the discs have quite a bend to them. I hope that as I work my way towards their final position I will be able to push them into being more or less straight edged and free flowing. Now that I have the forms evolving I feel less panicked about the little time remaining. I dropped off the steel sub soil bases at the galvanizers this morning before starting work. They should be ready for collection after the weekend.


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Turning the sculpture

I am not panicking yet but there suddenly seems a great deal to do before these sculptures are delivered in ten days time. I know that this side will take most of that time up. Looking at it as you see it in the picture sets my nerves jangling but a good day tomorrow will have the forms roughed out. I finished gluing in the pins today and then had to take several of the machined threads back to the engineers as they had become too tight. We ran the die over them (the tool for cutting threads on a shaft) and got them loose again. I had probably allowed some steel particles into the threads which soon tears them up once the nut and thread rub against one another. I must try to keep the threads clean to avoid the problem in the future. You can see the three pins with their additional shoulders all glued in.


Tuesday 6 May 2014

Gluing pins

I have done lots of welding again today. I do not win any prizes for beauty in my welding but I think it is strong enough. I admire people that can do it really well. Practice makes perfect I suppose. I have glued the first of the stainless rods into the marble. The rods have to be stainless as regular mild steel would rust and split the marble. Stainless steel will never rust. The stainless steel you see here will be hidden underground. I have cogitated a good deal about the best way to hold these carvings upright and in the end have decided to simply insert three huge ‘pins’ into each carving. I am relying on all the stiffness coming from the stainless steel.Three pins 42mm thick will be immensely strong however. You can see that I have added to the stiffness further by adding little shoulders to the joint.It is always helpful to have a sculpture with a broad base as it is easy to make it stable. A sculpture with a small base like this is difficult, like trying to stand up on a rolling ship on one leg.


Monday 5 May 2014

Welding sub soil bases

I have made both bases for the circular sculptures. They need to be sent off to be galvanised which takes a week, so the sooner I get them off the better. Working out the sizes of the base is not that easy. With the sculpture standing two meters high I suppose I am trying to make sure it cannot be blown over by the wind. If some idiots tried to push it over it might be best if the sub soil base was up rooted before the marble split. Neither outcome is desirable of course and I think these sculptures will be best going to locations where there are no idiots looking to push over sculptures.


Tuesday 29 April 2014

Pooch visits

Todays picture is courtesy of Pooch (who photographs my work better than anyone else) as he dropped in for a visit. He found me in the ring working on the forms. Slow work, but they are gradually taking shape. I shall bring this side up to a high standard before turning the sculpture over once more. I am finding that the lines running round the sculpture in both the peaks and the troughs are far from straight. These wobbles are constantly being reduced in my working up of the forms. No doubt more problems of this kind will be evident when I turn the piece again. Thanks for the picture Pooch. Why are your photographs so much better than mine?


Thursday 24 April 2014

Building the forms

They are not very beautiful just yet. That will come with more time and attention but today I simply removed lots of marble. Small amounts of material removal over the next few days however will make a great deal of difference. The forms should begin to look less lumpen. All the while I have to keep an eye on how much marble there is left between the forms. Take away too much and the sculpture will be too fragile.

I discovered a barn owl this evening trapped in the chicken coop. It must have been in there when we closed the chickens last night. Twenty hours without food. I hope it is ok. I hope its young are ok,if it has chicks.


Wednesday 23 April 2014

Turning the ring

I did not bother to sand off the first side of the sculpture as I shall no doubt mess it up to some extent whilst shaping the second side. As you can see I turned the piece over on the ground with the Matbro, lifting one side and extending the boom to allow it to lower onto the face that is not yet worked. The other side is generally cleaner with only one area which might cause concern. A crack tapers out but all the while descending into the marble. We shall see how that plays out.


Monday 21 April 2014

Forming the segments

I have spent today starting to shape the individual segments. The ring first needed a little further shaping to get it close to regular. The ring I am trying to form is not totally regular. There are areas where the stone wobbles a little. I have thought long and hard about what I feel about this and come to the conclusion that it does not concern me. The world of today is made increasingly by machine and almost by definition therefore, completely regular. We who make things by hand should not try to behave like machines. A little wobble therefore is not a problem but simply reminds us that I am not a machine and the marble is a natural material with irregularities like anything else found in nature.


Friday 18 April 2014

Pulling out the plug

The central core stayed in place with only the smallest amount of marble holding it in place. Strange that it can hang on for so long. It lifted out fine however and the sculpture begins to look like a sculpture for the first time. I spent the rest of the day shaping the top and beginning to move towards a rounded shape. There are several cracks that I will try to make coincide with areas that need removing. This should be possible as the number of forms is not fixed and can be adjusted up or down as needs be. Obviously I want to end up with as sound a sculpture as possible. The man in the picture is Philip Gumuchdjian, my brother in law. An architect from London.IMG_1288

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lots of drilling

I have spent most of the day drilling holes to remove the centre piece of marble from the second of the two rings. This is very slow work and I am glad to have almost reached the end. Tomorrow will need a further hour of drilling before the plug can be lifted out. I could have sped up the process by cutting away more of the centre block but I wanted to keep as much of it in tact in order that it may be a useful size for some future project. I hear from the gallery in London that they have sold the 13th sculpture of the exhibition. Over 70% sold. I am delighted. So are they.


Thursday 10 April 2014

Call me Dusty

I worked hard on the second circular piece today whilst the expanding foam was setting on the first. There was no wind at all and my blue shirt turned completely white. This picture reminds me of photographs of coal miners, except that I have turned white and not black. At the end of the day I had split off the long sliver I talked of yesterday and then split off the four corners from the resulting square. Then rounded the whole thing off. This was the dusty bit!  I spoke to John Martin about the exhibition in London and they have decided to extend the exhibition by a further week. There are still clients who want to see the work.


Wednesday 9 April 2014

Squaring up the other block

Todays picture is of the second block being drilled. I have decided that this piece will be completely round and not slightly elliptical like the other one. I am hoping to split off a slither in order to make the block square. This will hopefully produce a long thin offcut which will be useful for something at a later date. The other sculpture is almost ready for turning. I have built a frame of wood over it and am building a cushion underneath with expanding foam. So far however I have got sticky foam everywhere and not achieved a very good fit underneath. I may have to think of an alternative method. I have also used up all my expanding foam. You can see the mess in the background.


Tuesday 8 April 2014

In the wheel

I have spent all day working on improving the forms and working them up to a decent finish. The forms want to be straight edged when seen from the side and many of them are not yet. I will spend a further day on it tomorrow and will then hopefully be ready to turn it over. That will be interesting. I think I will do it with the chain hoist and gantry rather than the telehandler. This will afford me more control.


Friday 4 April 2014

Cutting out the shapes

I started today by removing the big block of marble I had left at the base. I had been mulling it over whilst in bed and decided that there was no advantage in keeping it. I want the sculpture to rise out of the grass. There will be a steel base that is underground so that the bottom of the marble appears to touch the grass. There will be tremendous strain around the joining of the sculpture to its base and I must make sure I make that union as strong as possible. For the rest of today I have been cutting out the disc forms. There is some way to go with them and I am not quite sure how they will be once finished, so I am proceeding with some caution. I think they are looking ok.IMG_0984 - Copy

Thursday 3 April 2014

Exhibition in London news

My exhibition in the John Martin gallery Mayfair is half way through and going really well. I have been delighted with the response to the work and love the way the sculptures look in the gallery. As I stand in their midst, I confess it is difficult not to anthropomorphise them as they stand in communication with one another. The team at the gallery have done a wonderful job to help present them so brilliantly. Thank you all. Do go and look at them if you are in London before the 19th April. After that they will be mostly going off to new homes. If you have not seen the short film that accompanies the exhibition you might like to take a look.

Gallery shot 2

Marking out the donut

I have been trying to get the top half of the sculpture into the correct profile. This is not easy as I cannot work at both sides at once and must try and get one side finished before turning it over to work on the other. It may be possible or even necessary to stand the sculpture up at some point in order to work on the whole thing at the same time. I have made a very rough wooden former to use in marking out the outline of the shapes I will cut out. The sculpture will be a little like a disc made up of many plates. I have at present a rather awkward meeting of the sculpture and the base block. I have not quite decided what to do with this and will continue with the rest of the sculpture, putting off the moment when I must make the decision. This is not quite as cowardly as it might seem, as progressing the rest of the sculpture can help clarify the best way forward in this unresolved area..


Sunday 30 March 2014

Corners gone

The new drill arrived and allowed me to finish the drilling of the centre circle and also to remove the corners I referred to before. Joining up the holes in the centre ring was not a very pretty job and I suspect not too good for the expensive drill bit either. By pushing the drill from one hole into the wall connecting it to the hole beside it, I made slow progress. After a couple of hours however I was able to poke a rope through the holes and begin applying some lifting force with the telehandler. Only at the moment I cut away the very last piece of marble holding the central plug in place did it lurch upwards. I could then lift the plug away and get a look at the hole for the first time. I think it looks good. The blocks of wood you see in the centre are there to prevent the plug from falling downwards. Had I allowed it to fall it may have wedged itself awkwardly and even broken the outer ring. As it turned out the plug never fell; it’s first movement was a jerk upwards.IMG_0980 - Copy

Thursday 27 March 2014

Rounding the corners

I am waiting for my new drill to arrive so have had to work on the outer shape before removing the inside plug. There will be a sizable lump to cut off each corner which is worth keeping. I have isolated each lump today so that I can drill the holes to split off each one when the drill arrives. I also had time to begin levelling off the flat face of the marble. There was a split that was almost horizontal but still diving towards the heart of the marble. This was making me a little anxious as I did not know how far into the marble the split would travel. On chopping away at it however, I see that it runs out quickly and will not cause any problem.. Once the marble on this side is the same thickness as that of the other side the split has gone. Phew!

IMG_0976 - Copy

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Hundred holes

I am all ‘shook up’ today as I drilled for hours on end. Just as I was nearing the end however the drill stopped turning. It is an Erbaur and not very old. Maddening! Perhaps I should avoid buying the cheapest tool on offer. I have ordered a new one as it is still under warrantee and have changed make to Hitachi. Let us hope it is a better tool. I am looking forward to pulling this elliptical piece of marble out of the middle of the block. I shall have to prop it up from underneath before cutting away the last pieces of marble. Then somehow poke some rope through to lift it with.


Tuesday 25 March 2014

Marble arrives

Here are the new blocks in the process of being unloaded. We use our tele-handlers in unison and can lift the blocks sufficiently to drive the lorry out from underneath. Once the lorry is out of the way we can drive a tractor and trailer in its place. The blocks look to be more or less as expected and the cutting has been done fairly close to the marks that I left on the block when I was in Italy. I shall have a closer look tomorrow. I am once more indebted to my wonderful neighbours Nigel and Rich whose lives are busy enough but always ‘find time’.Thank you! Apart for the unloading of the marble I have begun removing material from the second side of the block we turned yesterday. There are literally tons of material to cut away to reduce the thickness of the sculpture to the desired five centimetres. I can proceed rapidly to begin with but must slow down as I near the five centimetre point. I have made some giant callipers to check the thickness. It is very easy to take away too much and indeed to make a hole. This would be disastrous and to be avoided at all costs.


Monday 24 March 2014

Terrifying turning

I have been very absent from my blog as my exhibition in London has opened and I have been very busy with all that that entails. The sculptures look really lovely in the gallery and that is a great relief. Although I was pleased with the sculptures individually it is always different when you can finally see them all together. Half of them have sold too which is great. Back home again I have been working on the large sculpture and was ready tonight to turn it. The photo shows me looking on as my wonderful farming neighbours operate two telehandlers to turn the sculpture. All went well until the final seconds when the sculpture slipped alarmingly before coming to rest in the perfect position. The Gods must have been with us as just about anything could have happened at that moment. Tomorrow the marble from Italy arrives. I have not seen it since it has been cut. Are the two blocks suitable for the sculptures I have in mind for them?


Monday 10 March 2014

Sculpture landscape

Spring has sprung and I am enjoying working in the sunshine. You will not see much visible change by looking at the picture but believe me progress has been made. The hills and valleys need to flow into one another. The valleys descend to about six centimetres of the other side so as to employ the full depth of the marble. This is a huge task as the entire surface of this side of the sculpture needs to be worked roughly and then got progressively smoother through finer and finer polishing. The coloration and markings on the marble are wonderful however and increasingly visible as I work up the surface. Dust settles everywhere and tumbles like avalanches from the steep sides.


Saturday 1 March 2014

Snow scape

The dust has been flying and the area surrounding the sculpture is covered with a fine dusting of what looks like icing sugar. I am pleased with the progress and am resolving some of the problems that were not resolved when I first tackled a sculpture on this scale. For instance I am trying to remove roughly half or the marble required before turning the sculpture over. Last time I became aware that more was taken off the second side so that when standing vertically the sculpture had more weight on one side than the other. This is hard to explain but I feel more confident in tackling a sculpture of this complexity than before and happy to be ironing out some of these issues.


Friday 28 February 2014

Film finished

John Martin gallery has just sent the link to see the film for the first time. Well done Cathy and Neil, thank you. I shall attach the link below for you to see and perhaps send on to others who might be interested. Today I worked on the giant six ton block that has been sitting, waiting, on its bed of railway sleepers for me to start work on. I have not quite decided how I shall finish this piece, but hope that the way forward will become clear as I proceed. I have done a sculpture very similar to this before and was very pleased with the way it turned out. I am exploring the same territory again. However the sculpture ends up; the first few days require the removal of tons ( literally) of waste. Oh yes, there is a full page in the FT weekend tomorrow of me looking grizzly and dusty to advertise the exhibition in London next month. The picture is of Cathy Sayers turning the turntable whilst keeping out of shot.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

More Filming

Cathy and Neil came back today to do a little more filming. We transported five sculptures into the field and filmed them on the turntable whilst Cathy pushed lever to rotate it. Occasionally Neil would shout out that he could see Cathy’s back as she walked round, bent double. I have also been looking for someone to help unload the blocks from the lorry when it arrives from Italy. My machine cannot lift more than about three tons. I need one that can manage 4.6 tons.


Monday 24 February 2014

Block in Italy

Here is the block I have chosen. The one in the middle of the three. It has a crack running horizontally through the middle which makes it of limited interest to the marble yards. They slice everything into thin slivers for buildings, and a block that is tall and thin is almost impossible to slice as it is too difficult to stand upright on the sawing block. A block with a crack like this can be bought more reasonably than a sound one. Before leaving the yard it will be sawn into three pieces. One cut hopefully close to the crack. I left the block with crayon marks on it and with luck the fellow operating the saw will take note. Not being there is always dangerous and you never quite know what will turn up on the lorry in a couple of weeks time. Fingers crossed. The writing on the block indicates it’s weight. 11.62 tons. Sometimes we see blocks as big as 45 tons!


Friday 21 February 2014

Trip to Italy

I have just got back from Italy where I have been looking for marble. I went with two friends Paul Vanstone and Jonathan Loxley who are both sculptors too. We go together in order to fill up a complete 24 ton lorry. This is naturally more efficient than filling only half a load. Seeing old friends is fun too. The photograph is of an artigani (artisan I think) carving a religious sculpture. They have been making copies of statues for ever but the reason for showing you this is different. This carving was carved to this level of detail by a machine. The artigani was simply smoothing out the bumps. Incredible eh. The newspaper hats are traditional and that at least has not changed.IMG_0726

Thursday 13 February 2014

Lazy boy

We have given all the sculptures in the exhibition to be held at John Martin gallery names. 21st March-19th April. This one is Lazy Boy. I say we, because my wife Sophie and I work on this task together. We throw ideas around and try to find titles that in some way represent the individual sculpture. A sculpture has a life of its own, a personality, a character. The title we hope would suggest this character to the viewer. This sculpture looks as if it might have been trying to be a very regular thing but got a little bit haphazard in its construction. There seems to be something a little laid back and sleepy about it. Although many of this series of sculptures involve the repetition of forms there is never a slavish adherence to mathematical accuracy; that is not my bag. If a line looks straight; it is straight, as far as I am concerned. Here is Lazy Boy, one of my favourites.


Wednesday 12 February 2014

Titles of the new sculptures

This small task involves a good deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I do not make sculpture with a title in mind. The work itself is born out of a process that bypasses the literary world. We find ourselves needing to retrofit a title to the sculptures. I have been through many possible ways through this minefield. We could simply give the sculptures a number, but that seems a bit dry, and rather like a factory churning out a product. I find the best titles are pretty abstract. A sculpture with almond shaped segments does not want to include the word, almond, for instance; or the viewer will not be able to go beyond seeing nuts everywhere. I think the titles that suggest a mood without ever becoming descriptive work the best. Below there will be no mention of flowers or stars!



Sunday 9 February 2014

Film Crew

Cathy Sayers and Neil Tugwell of Vision on Communications spent the afternoon filming me at work at my studio. They filmed me splitting a block of marble and we also put a couple of sculptures on the turntable in order to film them rotating. I was just out of shot pulling on a rope in order to make the turntable turn. Rather comical somehow. I expect the film will look very professional and you will never imagine that there could be anything so low tech going on. We have to choose an appropriate piece of music to go with the film. Tricky, as it must convey the right feelings. We spent the day looking skywards as rainclouds skudded past, waiting for the sun to peek out. Rather miraculously it did and all went well. I attach Cathy and Neil’s details below.


Thursday 6 February 2014

Semi formal shots

Here is another of Pooch’s pictures. We wanted to have some images that showed the sculptures off well but also gave some indication as to scale. Pure studio shots can leave the viewer unsure if a sculpture is large or small and unclear of what it is made. Having me in the background might help we thought. Blurry is best as the sculpture is more important to see than me. Anyway here is one of them.


Wednesday 5 February 2014

Pictures from Pooch

Pooch and I spent a day by the sea photographing sculptures. We felt that it was a good idea to show the sculptures in the landscape so that people could see that the sculptures look great outside. Some friends allowed me to place the sculptures here for the photo shoot. I consider it one of the most beautiful places I know. Pooch and I had to carry the sculptures into position and then back to the vehicle afterwards. We were both exhausted at the end of the day but the resulting photographs make it all seem worthwhile as they are spectacular. Thank you my friend.


Tuesday 28 January 2014

Photographs with Pooch

Pooch came over today and we spent the day putting each carving on the stand to be photographed in turn. This is a difficult job and we have to decide how best to present the work. A formal studio shot is wonderful but can be difficult for the viewer to understand the scale or imagine the sculpture in their house or garden. Tomorrow we shall take some sculptures into the landscape to try and get some good outdoor images too. Pooch is a brilliant photographer who lives nearby and, as I always say, makes my sculptures look 20% better than my photographs do!


Thursday 23 January 2014

Bases bases

I have almost got to the end of this job. Sinking the sleeve into the marble and the drilling of all the holes takes longer than I had thought. I photographed a detail tonight for you to see the gluing of the sleeve. The messy glue seen here will be cleaned off once it has cured. The sleeve of stainless that sinks into the marble ensures that no damage comes to the marble when the sculpture is slid onto the stainless pin. Without the sleeve the likelihood of the sculpture cracking is considerably increased. I am excited by the sighting of a barn owl in the barn. We have a nesting box installed but to date it has attracted every life form but barn owls. There were kestrels one year and otherwise less exotic jackdaws and pigeons. A swarm of bees took up residence too one year. Could this be the year of the barn owl at last?IMG_0647

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Splitting bases

I have pulled out a block of marble from the field to split up for the two largest sculptures fro the John Martin Exhibition in March. The Matbro slithered its way into the field and made a bit of a mess. Still the spring will be here soon and everything will soon grow back. The photo shows me drilling a series of deep holes in a straight line across the block. Into these holes are then introduced long teardrop shaped pieces of steel that have been cut in half vertically. The two half tears are then lowered into the hole and a steel wedge is driven between them forcing the two halves apart and the stone to split. The closer the holes are together the more likely the stone will split where you want it to. This is a process I love. The sound of the wedges ringing before the block gives way is wonderful.


Monday 20 January 2014

Bases and gluing pins

It has turned dryer and colder which is right and proper in January. I had a most frustrating day spending two hours looking for a misplaced core drill bit. Of course It might be a cunning band of international drill bit thieves, but I have to accept that it is more likely that I have put it down somewhere daft. In the end I went to town and bought another one certain in the knowledge that the mislaid one will surface to mock me on my return home. I am making progress on mounting the carvings and it is lovely to see them standing on their dark Kilkenny limestone bases. Bases are the subject of much consternation, wailing and gnashing of teeth to many sculptors. Let me try to explain why. They are necessary as a small sculpture would get tripped over on the ground, and yet they can easily look ostentatious. They can outshine the sculpture. The expression ‘to put someone on a pedestal’ is never far from mind. It seems to ostentatiously elevate a sculpture. How easy and straightforward it was when I first presented a sculpture large enough not to need a base.


Thursday 16 January 2014

Bases and trench foot

Now I don’t like to whinge about the weather but the incessant rain is beginning to get on my goat. The workstation has a constant stream of sludge underfoot. Reminds me of my days in the Somme. Trench foot is setting in. Still the temperature is warm. I am gradually working my way through the sculptures for the John Martin exhibition in mid March. Each one needs to stand on a base of some sort. Some sculptures will eventually be located outside and might need a further base to elevate them off the ground. I shall not do this before the exhibition however but will wait to see what is needed.


Wednesday 15 January 2014

Fixing Sculptures to bases

Today I have been drilling holes in the bottom of the sculptures and into their respective bases. The sculptures have a pin stuck into them that slides into a stainless tube. The stainless tube ensures that the stresses put on the carving by the pin are spread out and generally minimised. Once the sculpture has a pin (or rod) that can be slid in and out, the pin is ready to be glued into the base. The hole drilled in the base is larger than it needs to be so that the sculpture can be made to stand upright before the glue sets. The bits of string that are seen in the picture are holding the sculpture vertical. The paper underneath the carving is stopping the excess glue sticking to the carving. Once the glue is set I will lift off the carving and clean the excess glue from the base.


Tuesday 14 January 2014

London Art Fair

A monster day, driving to London and back. I get home fizzing with the strange energy of the road. It takes me half an hour to feel even half normal. The Art Fair was busy with gallery staff bringing in their wares. My work looked different outside the dust and chaos of the workshop. I had a little anthropomorphic moment wondering if the sculptures felt quite right. We discussed whether the wall behind them should be grey instead of white. I thought they looked great with the white background although the grey did make them look very dramatic. We went for the grey as Art Fairs are no place for subtlety, with every stand trying to outshine the one next to it. I discussed pricing with John Martin the gallery owner. Over the years we have developed a simple system that seems to work for us.John suggests a price and I nudge it up or down. I have to bear in mind that he knows his market very well.


Tuesday 7 January 2014

Tidying the ring

The wind is relentless since the start of the new year. I have a rope attached to the windward side of my shelter which loops across the yard to a tree. Without that rope the shelter would be miles away by now. I have spent several days gradually forming the ring into the shapes that I want. It seems to have taken ages, perhaps it is to do with re starting after the Christmas break. Still, today I could feel that the return for my continued efforts was slowing to a standstill and I agreed with myself to call the piece finished. I shall probably find plenty more problems however in the cool light of morning. Next week I am taking some carvings to London for an Art fair. I must get them ready tomorrow.