In the workshop today – a Kingfisher

  Carving a Kingfisher – Kingfisher in mind – azure and rufous, fast low flying over the water with short, sharp whistle sound.  Flashes of electric blue. I’m working on a series of wildlife images carved within a circular border, in a similar way to my mouse and owl. This is the start of the […]

Bird Sculpture Book

  In fact it is a monograph on sculptor Geoffrey Dashwood which I’m reading at the moment.  It is a magnificent and illuminating book.  The sculptor himself has written sections which for me, makes it doubly inspiring. It is a book of brilliance and filled with exceptional sculpture, it heaps such a surge of beauty […]

A newt in the goose pond

  The snow melt-water gushes in torrents down the little beck here, bringing with it storm debris and silt, overwhelming and bursting the banks.  Floating on the surface of the goose pond I found a newt, not moving, which I picked up and it sat lifeless in my hand.  Its little body was like ice, […]

Snowy stoat

  Many layered this morning as the forecast was for really cold, glad too, as it was blizzarding at the workshop, and into the workshop!  Snow gets in through the smallest gaps and holes, and seems to go round corners to find its way in and I can’t clear surfaces quickly enough. The downfalls are, […]

In the workshop today – sketching in stone

  I pinched a bit of time from myself this morning, it wasn’t planned, but sometimes it is good to take a little detour.   I sort of allowed myself as I made an early start – the lighter mornings help, especially this morning as the sun is shining.  In the fields to the north […]

Owl and Oak leaves

  I’m drawing out a design for a stone roundel to be carved with a Barn Owl in flight, oak leaves and a vole scuttling away to safety.  The sketches just make sure I’ve got all the details right before I begin carving.  The pencil lines are fairly simple, and are as a guide.  Sometimes […]

Working on Bird likenesses

  Watching birds gives me such pleasure and getting to recognise their calls and markings is an ongoing joy, as is getting to know their nature, typical behaviour and characteristics after identifying them. When coming to work on a sculpture of a particular bird, knowing its nature and ‘spirit’ – or rather being able to […]

The Yews are filled with birds

  I’ve just watched Goldcrest, but Blackbirds, Thrushes, Fieldfare and Greenfinches are turning up too.  They’re stripping the Yew Tree of its fruits.  Unlike many conifers, the common yew does not actually bear its seeds in a cone.  Instead each seed is enclosed in a red, fleshy, berry-like structure known as an aril, which is […]

Heard but not seen … until now

  Just the other day I saw a Grasshopper for the first time ever – I hear them a lot and follow the sound, which, when I get close, stops.  It then starts up again nearby.  I’ve stalked grasshoppers, lain in wait, scanned from a distance with binoculars but never before been lucky. If I’m […]

Stretching Rabbit Sculpture

  After the meadow next to my workshop was cut, I watched rabbits enjoying the stubble and rows of hay.  They collected mouthfulls of the drying grass, pawing and digging through it for particular strands to carry off. The geese hiss at them coming through the fence with their bounty – there’s stamping of hind […]