In the Workshop today – damselfly

  Work in progress on a Banded Demoiselle carving in sandstone. The sun shone into the workshop in slivers, landing on the stone, as if come to warm up my work.   Damselflies love to bask in sunshine and can often be seen sunbathing in the early morning on a stalk, rock pile or bare […]

One day I’ll carve a goose sculpture

  Just the other day a customer asked me if I had ever carved a goose sculpture and I had to reply that I hadn’t, though I really have meant to for many years.   I’ve said ‘one day I will’ too often.  For anyone who knows me I won’t need to explain, but I’m […]

A Sketchbook – unfettering ideas

  When I saw the pencil and crayon drawings they gave me goose-bumps – these were preparatory sketches by Eric Gill, Gaudier-Brzeska and Epstein whose work was brought together in the exhibition Wild Things at the Royal Academy some years ago. Being up close to these studies felt intimate, a glimpse into the genius of […]

Tawny Owl Sculpture

  The Tawny Owls here are noisy at the moment.  Their calls are really quite musical, I’m hearing a number of different ‘hoots’, which is not surprising given it is their breeding season.  The familiar hooting of the male has several functions – as a territorial call, a courtship call and also an announcing call […]

View with Stone

  I sat on this stone – it was warm from the morning’s sun – and took in the view whilst eating lunch.  An excursion to explore an old quarry site, now overgrown with saplings, bramble and wild flowers.  I disturbed a deer, surprised a Tawny Owl, watched rabbits scamper and squirrels scurry.  Butterflies basked […]

The Shape of the Dawn Chorus

      Tomorrow I’m getting up early, really early.  Before dawn in fact, as it is International Dawn Chorus Day – a worldwide celebration of nature’s early morning music. The dawn chorus occurs when songbirds sing at the start of a new day.  It tends to be most noticeable in spring, when the birds […]

Spring Stone Carving Course

  Over the weekend Lastingham  rang with the sound of stone carvers – all busy on my Spring Stone Carving Course held in village. I know I’m repeating myself by saying how delighted and astonished I am about the ability of first time carvers, but just look at what was achieved in the allocated two […]

York Minster Stone Carving Festival 2018

  I heard yesterday from the Stoneyard at York Minster that I have been allocated a place at the York Minster Stone Carving Festival 2018.  This will be a new experience for me as I haven’t carved at a Festival before, or for that matter, ever attended one. It is an international Stone Carving Festival, […]

North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project

    The beautiful Turtle Dove is our smallest European dove. This tiny power house of a bird flies 7000 miles to reach North Yorkshire from Mali in Africa each spring. Unfortunately Turtle Doves are in big trouble; their population has declined in both the UK and Europe to such an extent there may now […]

Fog and Fox

    Still blanketed in fog here, as earlier in the week – but today feels so different.  I’ve shut out the damp, cloudy feeling and I’m getting close and personal with a fox. I’m thinking of Jim Crumley and his book Encounters in the Wild – Fox  as he writes so exceptionally about meeting […]