Monday 9 July 2018
When did you start to carve?
At the age of seven, my first carving experience was done with a sheath knife. I carved window ledges, banister rails. My parents were not impressed! At the age of ten, I had moved on to skinning the barks of trees and making spears. At the age of 16 I began a 5-year apprenticeship. Here I learnt how to carve like the early 16th to late 18th century ornamental woodcarvers.
What made you continue carving?
I love creating in wood, and can't think of a better job to do.
What inspires you when you carve?
Wood inspires me, the subject to carve, the process of carving and the memory of my last successful piece.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a pheasant in flight.
Which carving tools wouldn't you be without?
A 16mm U-shaped gouge. It's a tool I use to initiate form and life into a piece.
Which is your preferred style of carving and why?
The naturalistic slightly stylised style of carving is my preference.
This style allows me to put a twist on certain areas of a piece. This method of carving came through years of experience.
What do you think has been your biggest carving achievement?
My biggest carvin achievement was during my mid-twenties I carved a bear emerging from the water. This piece also sold.
Whose work do you most admire?
Richard McDonald. He is a sculptor whose pieces have incredible pose, accuracy with movement, and life.
If you weren't a carver what would you be?
I would become a sculptor, using other mediums like stone to express my work.
Describe the view from your work bench and the area in which you live.
The studio overlooks a large garden with oak trees, and beyond are fields and fields. I will never forget, one day looking out of the studio window, seeing a sparrow hawk take a swallow on the wing. I enjoy working here. It's peaceful.
Do you listen to any music when you work?
Sometimes. On occasion I will be listening to Radio 4.
Who do you like to carve for?
I enjoy carving for people who appreciate the work.
Are you a self critic of your work?
Yes, I am always looking at ways to improve certain aspects of the carving process. Plus, I tend to critic pieces which have been completed, to improve my next piece.