Workshop

Is my fossil a Rough Horsetail?

  From time to time I find fossils in the sandstone I’m carving – most always they look like plant stems or leaves, and occasionally seed pods.  It is always a rather exciting revelation as I excavate them, trying to keep the fossil complete.  The reason these discoveries are so compelling is that they represent […]

Snow Curlew

  I’m making good progress on my Curlew sculpture despite the east wind bringing with it snowstorms.  Carving continues – the flurries don’t last long, and they give me the chance to stand back and look properly at how things are developing. This stage of working the sculpture is thrilling – there’s definitely a Curlew […]

Wintry Workshop

  My footsteps in the lane made crunchy noises and my breath formed thick white clouds in front of me.  A glimpse through the hedge of my workshop – all very still and crisp. By the time I reached the gate, the sun was making everything golden, and sparkly. And thawing patches of grass.  My […]

In the Workshop today – Partridges

  There’s a growing bevy of partridges at the workshop – stone carved ones, and also the wild birds themselves, that seem to like to gather around my sheds. Other collective names for Partridge are bew, covey, jugging, and warren.  I seem to be working in multiples, indeed in flocks, at the moment.  It is […]

Summer Begins

  What a day to fledge – as if in celebration of the summer solstice  – my Pied Wagtail chicks at the workshop flew the nest into a gloriously warm, sunny day.  Everywhere I turned there seemed to be a startled, calling, fresh-feathered fledgling. Though they are still demanding of their parents for food, I […]

Birds at my Workshop

  This time of year is is a spectacular frenzy of birds, everywhere hungry mouths to feed and first flights for fledglings. I count myself very lucky to have a number of birds that have chosen to make their nests and raise their broods here in my work sheds.  It means I can watch their […]

In the Workshop today – otter carving

  The stone is warm from the heat of the sun and I’m trying to keep a clear head as I work the details of my otter sculpture.  This refining and making of small alterations at this stage of carving can have an enormous impact.  The chisel, with the smallest cut, may change the character, […]

In the Workshop today – chock & wedge

  It isn’t always just about carving the stone.  Time this morning has been spent in getting this block, weighing over a tonne, to a sensible height for working, and so that I can move it around the workshop as easily as possible. Just like chisels and hammers, wood battens and wedges are important tools.  […]

Tools in the sunshine

  I caught a glimpse of my tools in the sunshine.  They’re all me.  I watched them, so full of joy and happiness.  They wait for hands while I figure out what to do next. In a rush I reach out and grasp tight – thankful, so very thankful, I’m not isolated from them.   […]

Hailstorms, Sunshine and Birds

  Hailstones batter the workshop roof, the wind gusting them in swirls.  Moments later the sun shines.  It is the cycle of this morning. Between each stormy bout the birds appear and resume their activity, some brave the hail battering anyway to forage and feed. And sing. And court and pair. And flit and wag. […]