Garden

In the Workshop today – ferns

  After carving Gold Leaf  I’ve had many requests to carve similar pieces, with a variety of leaves, sprigs, flora and fauna.  This one delicately describes the unfurling of fern fronds.  Here I’m drawing onto the stone in preparation for carving, trying to get the very specific way ferns hold themselves to fit onto the […]

Botanical Sculpture – pod series

  There’s nothing more I like than polishing a sculpture once all the surface sanding and preparation has been done. It is the moment when the colours and richness of the stone are revealed to surprise and astonish. For this pod I selected a serpentine stone, knowing it was green, but ultimately its true colours, […]

Plant Shapes

  My foray into the extraordinary detail and beauty of plant shapes and seeds in particular continues – what remarkable tiny and exotic representations of nature they are. From the pod stem swells a bursting body, with lip, a curved edge as opening out of which the seed will disperse. This simple single pod, holding […]

The Beauty of Form in Nature

One of my favourite books is Nature as Designer – A Botanical Art Study by Bertel Bager. I have stared countless times at the astonishing photographs in the book and always thought how sculptural the fruits, flowers, seeds and cones appear. Each photograph is accompanied by a write-up about the plant in question, with fascinating […]

A Plain and Simple Stone Birdbath

  How gorgeous it is to let the natural textures and colouring of this Yorkstone be the guide for the styling of this simple stone birdbath. I think it lends a homely, rustic feel with just enough chiselling to hollow out a bowl from which the birds can drink and bathe.  A natural, understated feature […]

None-so-pretty

  I absolutely love Saxifraga at this time of year (actually at any time of year!) – this one is urbium or commonly known as London Pride or None-so-pretty. It has to be adored for its mat-forming habit, with those full rosettes of simple lobed leaves and starry  flowers on long leafless stems.  Just now […]

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

  In previous years I’ve sketched the birds I’ve seen during the Big Garden Birdwatch survey.  This time I thought I’d try and model them in clay instead, sculpt them directly during the hour watch.  It is a wonderful challenge, requiring me to work very quickly, where normally I would be slow and meticulous to […]

The Nuthatch – a very endearing bird

  Last year was a bit of a Nuthatch year for me. During the Big Garden Birdwatch at the beginning of 2017, it was the Nuthatch I sketched.  Little did I know then that the pair at the feeders were to nest in my old Sycamore tree, and raise young, that year and last year […]

Nobles of the Woods

  This holly tree has the most beautiful pimpled bark.  Clusters of nodules and wrinkles which I think tell of its age.  Nature writer Roger Deakin describes the burrs and bumps on trees as being “like pearls in oysters”. They’re fascinating – some looking almost like fruit.  Are these from insects, or environmental pollution – […]

A Loveliness of Ladybirds

  As a result of the clocks going back I discover that the collective name for Ladybirds (Ladybugs, Ladybeetles) is a Loveliness. A Loveliness   I’m sure I should have known this, it seems so obvious now!  And perfect! I clambered up into the rafters at the workshop to alter the clock hands, back  one […]