I took a road trip way out East last week to deliver some sculptures to the Lettering Arts Centre at Snape Maltings near the Suffolk coast. The Lettering Arts Centre is run by the Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust which also operates Memorials by Artists. It’s a bit of a trek to get over there from Bath but I wanted to see the space and meet the staff who I have exchanged emails and telephone conversations with. It’s nice to put faces to names. I put a couple of word sculptures in for their Christmas showcase exhibition which opened on Friday and runs until 22nd November. Us and Q are carved from some off-cuts of Hartham Park Bathstone I had lying around the workshop for many years, and continue my interest in words as sculpture.
I had a lovely lunch with Harriet Frazer who founded Memorials by Artists and who is one of the key people to have shaped my career as a lettering artist. She recently retired from running MbA after 27 years. There is a good article telling her story here.
Afterwards I made my way to the sea at Aldburgh, and sat on the shingle beach as the last light faded.
Aldeburgh beach in the falling dark
I spent the night in Cambridge and had a little wander round the next day before I went to visit a cycling friend from the Amos Roadclub, Kip Gresham, who runs The Print Studio. Kip works with all sorts of artists, some with international reputations, on their print making projects. The studio is a wonderful clean and well ordered space. It made me want to do some printmaking.
Then back home, enjoying the charms of the M4 along the way.
Spring is springing and the Easter holiday is nearly here – It is the season when people’s thoughts turn to their gardens. I am having a little publicity push on Garden sculpture commissions. I have been working on headstones all winter and although I like making memorials, as the sun begins to warm the earth, I feel the need to make some celebratory work. As we approach Good Friday, I reflect that my work through the winter has been focused on the theme of death. Easter Sunday is nearly here and I am looking forward to making some work which celebrates life.
If you would like to commission a sculpture or inscriptional art work for you garden please get in touch.
This week’s progress report has seen me painting the letters, and inlaying the brass acorns. Why paint those beautiful letters I hear you ask?
Well, when the sunlight falls across v inscribed letters they stand out really nicely, but this is England and on a dull day in November the contrast can be a little too low to reveal the letters at their best. So I have painted them the same colour as the stone, but a tone darker than the stone when it is dry and a tone lighter than the stone when it’s wet, adding just enough contrast to help with legibility when the light is rubbish. The paint is made by the German manufacturer Keim, and it is micro-porous, very hard wearing and has a sympathetic mat finish. This sensitive choice of colour should weather sympathetically as the marker ages too. A big thank you to Theresa Llewellyn who helped me paint 3 coats into 409 letters, thus keeping me sane!
Finally finished and ready to go.
The Marker is finished and ready for installation on Thursday. I don’t feel like I can fully relax until it is safely installed. I am looking forward to seeing it in position in its wonderful site in front of the historic Market Hall in Chipping Campden. It really is a lovely intimate space..
There are 409 letters to carve. The seven letters of T S Eliot are half sized making them a lot quicker to cut. 402 two inch letters. My target is to carve the inscription in four weeks. More or less 100 letters per week. 20 letters a day. It should be easy, but they just wont go any faster than 4 in an hour. Sometimes only 3 in an hour. 7 every 2 hours. 21 in 6 hours which is a typical daily hit rate, because there is always other stuff that needs doing when your running a business. 6 uninterrupted, whole focused hours is pretty good going in a day. Today I saw a new client and I carved 9 letters and I fixed the alternator belt on the car. So this week I am 11 letters behind already and I have a couple of school run days when I will be lucky to carve 18 letters, that leaves 2 days when I need to carve 22 letters plus another 5 to catch up the 11, so I make that 18 + 18 + 27 + 27 and I am still a letter down!
How did I do last week? 91. visually nearly a quarter. Not too bad. Plus an eighth short of a couple of concentric circles. I was getting up to speed and lots of things subverted my time. so I think there is still some better performance to find. I will still need to find those 9 letters though…
At the end of week 1 carving
Tomorrow is another day. everything might flow and I might carve 20 letters in 5 hours. Now I must go to bed and when I close my eyes I will see letters!
I have three pieces in a really beautiful exhibition at Glastonbury Abbey running from now until the 28th September. You can see Journey stones, Us and Q, along with sculpture by 28 other artists scattered throughout the orchard, amongst tall grasses, wild flowers, mown paths and resplendent apple trees. The ruined Abbey is spectacular too.
There is still time to see the Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition at the Victoria Gallery in Bath. It is open for another few weeks until the 30th of May. I have a couple of new sculptures on display. … Continue reading →
I have a couple of new pieces in this years Bath society of Artists Summer Exhibition, at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. It is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 5.00pm and Sunday 1.30 – 5.00pm. Closed Mondays. Until … Continue reading →