I was asked to design a sculptural boulder with a limited budget for a site in Sheffield. It turned out to be where the Haigh Tree Inn used to stand, a pub which in the 1950s regularly had jazz and blues legends from the US come to play. The carved soundwave is based on a tune known to have been played there by Champion Jack Dupree.
Coat of Arms
This coat of arms was designed for a client in Sheffield, it was designed to show reverence for the history of the building and the contribution they have made in its restoration.
For this project I used a Derbyshire fossil limestone called Mandale and carved a large sycamore seed in the top. We had a poem commissioned by local poet Stephen Scott which was set out in an alphabet I designed, and cut on a polished ribbon of stone wrapping round the boulder in the spinning motion of the seed.
Grey to Green
Myself and two other stone carvers were involved in producing ten stone panels for the Grey to Green project run by Sheffield City Council for outside the Sheffield Magistrates Court. The panels were designed on five themes connected to the area and mounted in huge “totem poles” with graphic design and artistic metalwork elements. We used a local sandstone from Froggatt Edge in the Peak District.
This project was enjoyable for a number of reasons; I got to host two other stone carvers at my workshop and see their approach to carving, I researched and produced my first piece of public art and I reproduced other carvers designs to their specification.
The overall scheme won various awards and the public space created is a fantastic asset to Sheffield.
The Mosborough Thumbprint Labyrinth Project was commissioned for a small housing development on the main street in Mosborough, South Yorks.
The initial idea from members of the the community was signatures or handprints in stone. I wasn’t sure that would really work so used it as a starting point and developed an idea which was a bit more unique.
I took the thumbprints of local residents and turned them into individual geometric mazes which were then cut into pieces of memorial quality Woodkirk Yorkstone. They were then set into an old stone wall round the front of the new houses. People can find out more about the individuals through a facebook page , also the stones are set at a height that children can easily interact with them as they pass on the street.
It was great getting to know the local people involved, they were nominated and voted for by the community through the Historical Society, so each was a bit of a character and had a story to tell! Really lovely project this one.
I’m currently in the third year of the Advanced Training Scheme with the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, this course encourages you to develop your own calligraphic work. I work almost 100% to commission so this has been really liberating and valuable for me. As part of the course I developed an alphabet based on a russian typography A. It has lead me to produce both calligraphic pieces on paper and board and works in stone.
The - A Way Away - piece is carved in a reclaimed lithographic stone, we carried it by hand for miles up to Burbage Edge in the Peak District for these photos. Totally worthwhile afternoon out! It currently lives at my workshop as I can’t bare to sell it.