The big head is going through the casting process, those familiar with this blog, will no doubt  appreciate the nuances and technical developments, those new to this blog, will marvel at the shear wonder of it all ……..

To recap the head we are casting, is the biggest I’ve ever made, and Tom here is applying the first patches of pink rubber.

I’m making it because I’m in the final throes of securing a commission for a 25 ft high figure! (ridiculous prospect) and I need to see if it’s possible, so not only am I enjoying working on this scale, it’s also providing me with invaluable information, helping me work out the price of such a giant…..I’ve priced the figure according to a prediction, which is that this head will weigh 150kg’s, if it doesn’t I’ve under quoted and am in deep dooda’s..selling the house type dooda’s!!

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Rubber is painted on.. looks like a Glenn Brown painting ….

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I walk past these everyday, an inspiration for this big figure, that and Elephant heads..


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Plaster cases in place with a squared up top, so when its turned upside down to pour wax into, it won’t fall over.. don’t worry it all makes sense in the end, pictures are far better than words..

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These moulds are the oddest things.. in fact the whole process is one big oddity.

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So we de-moulded, which basically means ‘took the clay head out of the mould’ and re assembled it so it was hollow, we threw the clay away as it was finished with, and  proceeded to pour hot wax into the mould, swill it around a bit and pour it out again, leaving a wax skin, we then filled it with grog and plaster and opened it up, and here it is, the wax head, looking mighty fine, chairs there for scale..


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Craig then proceeded to spend the next three days covering it in plaster and grog, (the grog makes the plaster fireable) as this is all going in a big kiln…which is hot.



The chains are wrapped around the ‘Investment’ in order to add strength, later on, when the bronze pours into this mould the pressure is immense..



The finished investment weighs over a tonne! here it is being lifted onto the kiln trolley..


It was in the kiln for seven days at 500 degree’s with loads of other moulds, we were worried that the scale of this mould and the time it would take to cook it, would mean the other small moulds would over cook and crack, but amazingly they didn’t.. a logic I don’t quite get, but am not going to question..


We have to wrap the moulds in plaster and scrim to secure and strengthen them against the pressure of the bronze., here’s Craig cutting  skrim…



This is son number one ‘Sim’, both sons will have to do their ‘time’ in the foundry before being released into the wild..IMG_6177


Moulds are lined up for pouring.



Finally the mould is ready for pouring an anxious moment,  a lot of time material and effort . It was 250 Kg lighter when it came out of the kiln, all the water cooked out of the plaster, any residue would spell explosion on the ceiling of the foundry.


It poured well, only a little splash.


Here it is after being cleaned up amazing result, a thing of wonder I’m sure you’ll agree…


The lines surrounding it are the ‘Risers’ these allow the air to get out as the metal pours in..bit like plumbing really.



The detail was fantastic, down to good cooking and getting the pouring temperature of the bronze right, this was poured at 1040 degrees celsius..


It weighed in at 120kg, which was within my estimate..House is safe for the time being, phewww!



Head number 2 awaits the same destiny in my fire station studio…



Another commission coming in provides me with a wonderful opportunity to work with a Georgian interior, a ‘Wyatt’ interior to be precise, sitting in an opulant country house set in a beautiful Capability Brown landscape.

Here is the room, it’s the entrance hall to a house called Heveningham Hall..

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And there’s Ed up to no good…



I say that, in fact he’s doing an important job, allowing me to get the sense of scale for the figures to go in the six niches .


Steady on Ed.. food for thought!


The rubber shot.. plaster niche being moulded, to house the wax maquettes, to show the client..

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The first plaster niche..

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The set with the first generation of waxes, the first of many..

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Moved to the Fire station kitchen ..

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Photographed  professionally.

M (41)M (42)M (43)M (31)M (32)M (39)M (34)

The maquettes met with approval, or an agreement to proceed and let them develop…

Now we have to make a full size niche, which will allow me to offer up the full sized clay figures, to see how they look and indeed if they fit, it’s a very shallow niche, this is so the light can play off it, so a visitor to the studio told me today..

Tom has made a series of polystyrene profiles and glued them together, here he is sanding them down, preparing to apply a plaster coating.




Scrim is draped over the niche waiting to receive the plaster.



Finished, amazing job, I wonder if they’d accept this proposal, would be fun wouldn’t it?

(Note the steel trolley at the bottom , which fits into a slot at the bottom of the niche, I will build the figures on these trolley’s and slide them into position from time to time.)


Couldn’t resist trying sculptures out for size..



We moved it to the Fire station, which is where the modelling will take place. I see here how the light does indeed play off the arch in a most satisfying way, making all sculptures look beautiful, those Greeks, and Neo Classico’s knew their stuff.



I thought I’d see how the large plaster  head  (see last blog) would fare out in the industrial park,  It’s far from finished, but was an interesting excercise. I’m used to the marshes at Butley, very lovely making it easy to produce beautiful photographs.


'A Thousand tides'2

oz cat

I have to say I loved the results, I read ‘Edgelands’ last year all about these sort of places, celebrating the liminal space between town and country.. I’ve been thinking about the idea of using the estate as a back drop ever since, even a location for an exhibition. Dealing with the scale and noise was the first challenge, but now I’ve ventured out amidst fork lifts, skips, fires and 40 tonne lorries I’m intrigued to explore more..




I’m preparing for a small show at Messum’s Wiltshire, of Maquettes and working models, I will be showing the niche figures in bronze and a few new ones, here’s the shot for the invite taken by Nick Illot, a great photographer, and there follows a reel of images taken by him between shooting for me..

I’m delivering a talk at the Barn in Tisbury (Messum’s Wiltshire) on the morning of Saturday the 13th of May, if your’e in the area drop in.

















































M (8)


This is called ‘Groundtruther’


M (10)




My mate Bill Jackson took these of a couple of small maquettes , the nearer one is called ‘Feel the Heat’






Bill also took these of a proposal for a Norman settlement in Kent. I got this ‘public’ commission (first I’ve applied for in 16 years) I asked if I could create a Norman soldier returning from War, I’m quite excited about developing the  psychology of this guy. I’ve tried to de militarize him, his helmet hangs behind him on his shield. The work is delayed at the moment because its got to go through the ‘Historical accuracy departments rigorous tests!!!’ Its called ‘The Homecoming’.




I’m also setting up work at the Alde Valley Festival, this week. Run by Jason Gaythorne Hardy, this celebration of Farming, food and Art has become a fixture in the local cultural calendar, its at White House Farm, Gt Glemham, and goes on until late may. Here are a few of the sculptures  i’ll be exhibiting.

walking men

man of stonesstaverton man im2cowl front


Well that’s it folks, a long one this month thankyou for sticking with it!!… goodby from me and goodbye from these guys, the fine students of West Suffolk College who visited both studios earlier in the month.

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Keep scrolling for earlier posts, and visit for more work..




Big Heads & Birds

I’ve been experimenting with very large heads, I’ve been discussing a very large sculpture with a collector, and needed to work out the logistics.

Here is method number 1: Clay heads.

photos by Bill Jackson.







I like these heads.I think this one might be ready to cast.


Though they have been hard to make, the tonnage of clay  is quite daunting, resulting in the usual disasters – I began to dread opening the studio door in the mornings!

This is how I tried to make them.

I started with old figure armatures which still had the remnants of the old clays remaining.this was the ‘Carrier’


The Carrier in the reeds at Butley.


I covered them in wet marshy clay, stored for years in my clay bins, very smelly..


This is the second one, with initial first coating already covering a walking man armature.


I took a left turn on a whim thinking it should be a large standing figure..


I started to tie old clay arms and plaster heads on.


I lost confidence in this, deciding to return to the original plan…


That’s  when the problems started ..first thing next morning


I rebuilt another one, and a couple of days later..


I welded in more armature..


But obviously not enough..


Finally stability. (I hope)


I will get the mould making team in, in a couple of weeks and make a mould of the first one. Cracks are developing as it dry’s out, it’s a risky game, fingers crossed..


Meanwhile the second method was getting underway at the other studio.

Tom was scaling up a favourite little head of mine, the idea was to make it 5ft high,

I didn’t realise quite how big this was to be)

The first job is to slice  the head into even sections.


The slices are then traced onto graph paper.


Then a scaled up grid is drawn onto large sheets of polystyrene2017-01-31-15-25-052017-01-31-15-23-42

The outline of the small slice is then scaled up and drawn onto the big one, then carefully cut with a hot needle .


The profile is popped out.


Here you can see how the large section relates to the smaller original.


Each  section is then stacked in order.


Once all the sections are joined, Tom then sands the edges and smooths the forms.


A layer of plaster and scrim is then added.


It’s then handed over to me to work on and bring to life!!


It’s very early days, and the scale takes some getting used to, but it looks like it could be interesting. I have to say at this stage I realise how much I enjoy working directly into clay, from the inside of a sculpture, with real weight and all the problems that presents.  This sliced poly method is about image making, and will take time to own as a sculpture.

Though to create a sculpture of any magnitude it would be a foolhardy sculptor that worked in solid clay. (watch this space)



This is a maquette of the proposed 18-25 ft sculpture!!


The little yellow wax men standing next to him are scale models of humans..


This is a set of proposed maquettes to present to the client, all with little scaled figures next to them..2017-02-02-15-35-11


All this put me in mind to look at some heads from my archive, here are some old favourites..


This version of a Creek Head, one me ‘The Heatherly’s’ prize at the Society of Portrait sculptors…last year


This one was made from Fig leaves.


This one  is about three ft tall, I made a core first then modelled over it in wax, and cast it directly..


Before The dawn


‘Grin and Bear.’

This won me ‘The Freakley’ prize at the Society of Portrait sculptors in 2005.


This is a Muntjac Stag



My friend John Esling, went to visit the ‘Thousand Tides’ piece, lying in Butley Creek, I was glad to see he was still there, and making new friends!! Its nearly a year since he was placed.


This is typical of emails from John:

I was working in Chillesford yesterday and got done quite quickly so I took a trip to see “1000 tides”.

I managed to snap the attached photo before the birds flew off. Two thoughts occur to me.

a. Bad luck.  The bird has just been eating Prometheus’ liver and is perching on his feet ready to fly off .  This will give his liver time to regenerate.  I like the way your man appears to be looking up at the bird which is seems uninterested.

Maybe the tides could be seen as the daily regeneration of Prometheus’ liver with the bird returning daily to eat it.  Perhaps Prometheus is drowned by each flow tide but returns to life on its Ebb.
(Way to many classical allusions for 8A.M!)

b. Good luck. In China a crane landing on your roof is a good luck.  I can’t find anything specific about a heron landing on your toe.  The emperor Hui zong had teams of civil servants scouring China for auspicious auguries.  Wikipedia tells me that this is called “Orthinomancy”.

Incidentally this article also says that “Inauguration” comes from the Latin meaning “to take omens from the flight of birds”.  Maybe Donald Trump should do as Hui Zong did.  A kind of geomancy based New Deal?

Perhaps a sculpture called “Inauguration” might be interesting?!
Incidentally the attached painting may be by Hui Zong himself.cranes-on-the-roofSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Enough already.. please scroll down for previous fascinating postings, check out the website and enjoy the rest of your february….


Big Ends – Small Beginnings!

Hi there..Happy New Year!!! 

The first show at Messum’s giant Barn Gallery  in Tisbury, Wiltshire

opened in December.


I’m exhibiting with Sean Henry and Brian Taylor. Brian worked alongside me at my various foundry’s since the early 1990’s. I learnt an immense amount from him, indeed he became a kind of osmotic teacher to me. Before we get started here are a few shots of him in his Peckham studio taken a year before he died.




He’d get attached to the less fortunate in life, homeless individuals who would set up camp in his studio! This is Mr Stanhope who came from the ‘Spike’ in Deptford in the early 1970’s



I loved a show Sean had a few years ago in Salisbury cathedral.





Here are some images of the show.







Particularly pleased with the heightened detail we are now achieving at the new foundry.










Whilst down that way I took the opportunity to go to Oxford and visit the Ashmolian.

Here are a couple of paintings I loved, and sketch book notes….

A Mid 15th Century Flemish ‘Pieta’


This Mary crinkles like tin foil, it’s as though the whole painting has been folded up and ironed flat again.  Her dead son lies on a sheet, hands upturned like dead spiders on a window sill, in fact his whole body is aptly chrysalis like, angulations combine cloth and skin, his left foot seems broken at the ankle.


Again a Flemish 15th century painting, this time of Pilate and Christ.

sorry its blurred ..


The thing that really grabs me about this one is the eyes and hands. There is a desolate resignation in the eyes of christ, and a numb dread in those behind him. A kind of mockingness is apparent in the shape and gestures of the interlocutor pointing toward Pilate.  Pilates half  closed eyes reveal a dignity and intelligence. Weary and harangued  as he is, there is compassion.  He is washing his hands of the matter. They are comfortable and fleshy in contrast to Jesus’s skinned fingers. The foreboding greens on the left give way to pinks and gold, which eventually rest on a hand pouring water from a jug. The water is poured  anonomously with aplomb, dexterity, cheeriness and self-satisfaction, for me these hands sum up the painting. They speak of all the people outside of this scene who assume the right decision will be made, they unlike Pilate do not carry the weight of office.’Populism’ forcing the hand of those in power… sound familiar?




My great friend Les Bicknell, book artist, folder of things, educator and much much more (take a look at his site and blog you’ll understand)

Was throwing out trays of type set, so decided to give it all to me. It was hanging around for years in a dusty corner of the studio, coming to light in the recent move. Its been bugging me ever since, so i decided to apportion precious time and attempt to sort it out turn it into a resource.. I’ll let the pictures tell the tale..


I decided that I would test everyone and so started an inept print – text project !!



I found an old print tray and started to file..


A weird symbology evolved..masonic, heraldic ? Against my better judgement I was enchanted.




I was reading Jaquetta Hawkes ‘A Land’ (1949) at the time, charting the history of the British Isles, from the Pre – Cambrian to now. Her fantastic descriptions of fleeting organisms settling in sediment and turning to stone, to be revealed by the likes of Henry Moore millions of years later in a collaboration of time, nature and creativity must have effected my methodology , fragmentary fossil like arrangements were evolving before my eyes..



My old friend the Quincunx wasn’t going to escape..




Pattern could easily have evolved




They turned into cards for Christmas and the new year, I had to justify these lost hours somehow…don’t worry if you didn’t get one, there wasn’t that many…




Then to my surprise it got monumental even architectural..who would live in thishouse?





The resulting print tray a fortnight later. A resource?



   Tom and Edward finally got to mould the large figure I’ve been making this Autumn.


  The bizzareness of this method never ceases to amaze me, why pink?




The Photographer Bill Jackson missed the opening party of the new space.

Rob Harries of ‘Air Artists’  (who had the space before me, kindly donated the sun)

 We even cooked a six-foot loaf of bread in the kiln…which involved buckets of kneading from Tom and Tim..


It was dark but you get the idea ..  very tasty…


Any way Bill missed the party but really wanted to see the new foundry. He’s a great photographer, so I’ll let his images play out the end of this blog..

My Wax Studio


Was shocked to find this in Beccles High street in front of the gun shop!! It’s a camouflage suit for stalking , you lose your silhouette if you put it on. remind you of anything!!!!


Middle distance is the wax from the mould featured earlier.

Foreground, my lying man fell over – he contemplates his injuries..


The inevitable bronze pour..

I love the glow on the floor from the lid in this one.


George Farrow – Hawkins, Glasgow art school graduate and new intern,  with legs spread in this plaster spattered fashion shot..



Craig Hudson concentrating!


Craig , Laurence and Tom concentrating..


Jees! I scare myself sometimes!


Oh and finally here’s a couple of images from a three-day teaching stint I did at Heatherly’s a small college in Chelsea London, specialising in figurative art! great fun..


This was interesting the student layered clay coils on top of each other, poured plaster in, removed clay, built it up again and poured again until she’s arrived at this form..


Biggest things Dan had ever made..



Cheerio, scroll on for more, sign up and be a friend its lonely here, and go to the website for finished art.. thankyou and goodnight..


Splat – pats – match

Yet more calamity!  I attempted to make a very large figure over 6 ft.. whilst trying to manouvre it, the bugger flew forward catapulting  – floor-ward

My back went in the process, causing what was to be a month of pain..though this new belt stuffed with hot water bottle was a boon..


It took four of us to lift splat man back up…


I know what your thinking ‘a vast improvement’, maybe so.. but a mould  .and a bronze of it? I couldn’t justify the expense.. so started the rebuild.

This hammer gut cast went well .

Tied in new armature for his arms.. and set about pumelling the clay.


Then a couple of days later, blow me if it didn’t collapse again!


So ..stripped it down welded the destroyed armature back on, and decided to attempt proffessionalism..


The amount of clay it takes to make a six and a half foot figure.


The rebuild in brief..



He is quite heavy, too heavy to lift back and forth, especially with the back as it was, so I had a notion.. Every time I crash a car, the only thing I keep is the jack, just incase!.. the moment had  finally come to use them..don’t worry I have lots more..


I think they’re quite jolly.


So the rebuild went on in earnest too many twists and turns to bore you with..


I had a mould made of the head every now and again, so I’d have a number of different heads for the body later on..Alice made this one.

Then, this was a bad day, he ended up blind and  5 stone heavier.


He’s getting nearer .. mould will get started in a couple of weeks time, i’ll continue working on him.. I’m making him beacause I need a larger figure to work out new ideas with.



The wax bath is busy..body soup.


I’m putting a few together, the one on the left is the figure made for the ‘Catcher’, I found out I really liked him. there’s an awkwardness and skewed deportment that attracts me, He seems to be making a very tentative offer..20161117_163417_resized_120161117_163338_resized_120161117_163358_resized_1


I picked up a bundle of ‘Paris Matches’ from a brocante in France this summer. I can’t stop looking at them. They date from 1939, Hitler was just about to enter paris.

The magazine was launched in 1938 and closed in 40. Relaunched in 1949, distinctly different from its earlier version.

The Third Reich are omnipresent, Hitler  Goebbels, Georring et al feature regularly, socialising.  It has an ethnographic dimension, and social commentry, blending style fashion and society, aswell as exposee’s. Its poignant, and the photography is incredible, the large format and paper quality is wonderful, reminding me of my favourite old Phaidon’s.  I find myself pondering mysterieous lives, sandwiched in a brief moment of history, an uneasy attempt at carrying on as normal, unnerving imagery and sinister undertones seem to haunt the pages. Not understanding the french text helps to mystify and dramatize. I don’t think my IPad snaps do it justice. I may feature a couple of pages in each blog…then again you may never see them again!! so make th most of it..

This guy is spying on Hitlers house in the mountains near Salzburg..beautiful!


This is whats going on in the house, the Italians are paying a visit..what a window and the flowers, one almost blooms with a swastika.



Gosh haven’t traffic lights got boring.


The faces! the fruit on the dead womans chest, the figure holding the sprig.





The Queen doing life saving..would be amazing if her knees ended up in one of my sculptures



Since i’ve lost the lovely Butley Creek as a backdrop for photographing my work. I’m location hunting for new places to shoot the work (an unexpected new pleasure). Bet you don’t know where these shots were taken..yes there is a prize..


Starlings infuenced the recent work..




The adventure took me to the western Isles of Scotland, it was haunted by the highland clearances, abandoned houses, here was once a crofters view.. bloody sheep..though we did see a Golden Eagle


Followed this house home,


Back home,  during a leaking emersion saga, I stumbled accross some of my old photo’s from my India days, late 1980’s, look at these houses in Varanasi, as it was called then. Do you think those rowers were hungry, I think i was lucky to get out of there..


Patan the third royal city of Nepal, I lived just round the corner from here, studied traditional casting with craftsman with thousand year oral histories..


Gods house.


Not a house but a pre firing oven for moulds cast in the Dokhra West Bengal.the moulds are to the side.. I may show and tell you more one day.. img_000010

Actually why wait,  here’s a little snapshot: South India, Madras (Chanai) ,Tamil Nadu .. A traditional kiln my mentor and master ‘Vejavelu’ built, to fire moulds containing my art works.

A kiln made of cow pats..



And Straw11-1213-14

covered in a clay slurry14-1516-173-4

The clay fired, resembled a wasps nest, one tap and it shattered, the dried clay had kept the heat of the flame in. The timing and temperatures were perfect, as was proved in the fired moulds.


Yes thats me looking on at the specialist metal pourers, who were employed to pour the metal.  Topless.. consider what we wear. the theory was that sweat deflected the heat..all 1200 degrees of it.28-2930-31

Maybe more next time, Mercury guilding? Nepalese – Dokhra casting.? write in with your requests..

So its good bye from me and goodbye from him,


Until next time fair viewer.

Check out website, and next months edition of ‘Hole and Corner’ magazine (nearly as good as ‘Match’) for a deluxe feature on my goodself.. Incase you haven’t heard of it!!! check out the website. Its a collectable high production arts quaterly, distributed over East – West coast America, Paris – France and the Uk among many others, using top photographers and feature writers . Out on the 15th of December heres the link..

The Show at Messums new Space in Tisbury, Wiltshire opens on the 3rd of December finishing in February.  A three man affair featuring new ‘exciting’ work from me, Sean Henry and from Brian Taylors archive. A figurative tour de force..


Gosh its an exciting world..and I didn’t even mention Trump.

One door closes……



Another Opens!

New KIln, built by Tom Crompton, first firing, its like closing a cathedral door.. four days later the moulds are fired and we are ready to pour bronze. The first one in the new foundry.. very nervy!



Delicate as ostrich eggs, they look geological.

We have to strap them with plaster and skrim



The  crane’s the thing…blowing out a mould …lifting 150 Kg of hot metal..


Inside this mould is the shoulder section of the next life size ‘Catcher’.


Here’s how it was made.

The sculpture is made of wax,  organic material has also been dipped in wax to create the textures. Its strong enough to cut up.


Freddy made a box out of old shelves joined with plaster, suspended the wax section in it and then poured a grog and plaster mix in .


This is the finished investment being prepared for loading in the kiln.


Here’s whats left.


It doesn’t stop there, here are the remaining sections to be invested ready for the next pour. This sculpture is going to the new Messum’s space in Wiltshire, a giant medievil thatched barn , converted into an amazing space. Show Opens on the 4th of December.

The Barn will be called ‘ Messum’s Wiltshire’ its in Tisbury.


This is the first ‘Catcher’ during finishing earlier in the summer, you can see where all the joins are , they are the shiney bits.


It was cast in 27 pieces, the new one will be cast in 6 main sections and 2 or 3 frilly bits, saving a considerable amount of labour, truer to the original.

This one went to a sculpture park in ‘Wesenburg’ east of Berlin.



This is the other method we use to invest. This is the first time we’ve been able to cast ‘The Crouching Man’ in one piece, minus a hand. We hand built this one, a more complicated and time consuming method, but one I prefer, its more tactile, hands on, and delivers a subtler casting (I think), its impossible to work on complicated organic pieces like this.


Wax with hole cut to allow for the cleaning out of the inside when in bronze, and also to allow an exit for mould gases during the pouring.


The grog and plaster mix is applied in stages and built up over a day.2016-09-13-16-07-432016-09-13-16-08-022016-09-13-16-08-212016-09-13-17-11-072016-09-13-18-07-202016-09-14-15-37-14

It needs to be turned the other way round…again we couldn’t work on this scale without the new crane..


Pouring cup is added to the runner system, this is what the bronze will eventually be poured into..


The pressure of the bronze will be immence, so we reinforce the mould with wire and chains.


It probably weighs nearly 250 kg in the end..


Here he is in bronze.


Other sculptures waiting to be finished.


Back at the Fire Station studio, i’m tentativley developing  ideas, whilst we cast all the orders from the show in the summer, they’ll probably end up on the cutting room floor, rope and string seem to feature…


Work in progress at Halesworth


A cage is constructed around the head so that I can turn it upside down to fix on the figures legs.. its all very confiusing .


This figure wil now be worked on , and become the second ‘Borrowed Breath’


'The borrwed breath''The borrowed breath' 5


This is an armature for a new figure, which will  I hope be over life size. He will be the basis of a number of new sculptures.


I need to keep my eye on the job, I need him to be simple, I don’t want ot get distracted and get carried away with new thoughts during the making of him, it will reduce my options later on. I have to tell myself there will be plenty of time to enjoy the clay process later.


Here’stwo of the sculptures that inspired me as a student, ‘Storm Man’, and ‘Storm Woman’ by Germaine Richier. I thought to look her up again, and was delighted to still find these figures amazing. I find more and more that my teenage self surfacing, you can never rid yourself entirely, however much you try..


Here is Richier working from her favourite model ‘Antoine Nardon’, in Paris , in 1954.

I love the lines drawn on him.

I always think  what a sacrifice it is to model for someone, I don’t , as a rule, work from ther model. I use medical books, photographs and a wall of haphazard mirrors. For some reason I find the model restrictng. I’m always amazed by artists such as Germaine who can depart from the model whilst in their presence. It was the honestly and frankness of her figures that got me 30 years ago, and looking back it seems to me that I’ve been trying to get there ever since.


I saw ‘Flesh’ a new show just opened in the York Art Gallery, examining all things fleshy, no surprise there. It is a jem of a show, with great works from Kossoff Chardin, Bruyckere, and Stezaker to name but a few.  My favourite piece was this below,  The Dead Christ with the Virgin and St John, the San Lucchese alterpiece 1340-50. Infact looking at the christ figure in contrast to the Richiers is interesting. I love the tenderness in the hands.


There was a lovely suite of 8 Tosa water colours (18th Century), charting the demise of a noble lady, from sitting in all her finery to a stain on the ground, here she is in mid decomposition.


In Durham Cathedral I fell for ‘the Neville Tomb’.  The alabaster had been abused to such an extent that it had almost become a natural object. Again this is something I’ve always tried to do.. I love the centuries of graffitti,(as one so often does), this though had become integral, I wonder how one could effect this type of surface with such a short time  on the planet. This is one of the very frustrating things about being mortal.



My friend John Christie has just published ,’Lapwing and Fox’ which comprises of his correspondance with John Berger now 90! over the last 6 or so years. Its a follow up to their previous conversationsthe acclaimed  ‘I send you this Cadmium Red’ John describes his experiences in The Sainsbury Centre Collection in Norfolk, taking us through Giacometti, Aurbach, Modigliani, with wonderful perceptive and personal insights. John Berger tenderly responds and reveals relationships with Zadkine, and Pru Clough to name a few.

Its so nice to read honest thoughts on subjects and artists that I’d long stopped looking at properly. It was good to be reminded that there is always more to see, I will remember this  when i’m next tempted to rush through a gallery to get to the next thing…

Here’s the link:

Talking of the next thing….Here are  a couple of paragraphs from the Dutch Curator Chares Esche, describing his view of the current cultural landscape. Apologies for presentation, i’d stuck it into my note book before realising I’d put it on here.


Pheew.. make it whilst you can..

Thats all folks.

Scroll down for previous postings and checkout the Website for finished works and essays.

If you’ve made it this far, your may as well sign on and follow me I’d like to have you around..


How to make 100 pieces of art! and much much more……

 Before we get to the top 100, here’s whats been going on in the new studio..

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Tom’s been doing his nut…

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decided to build me a cell



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shiney chimney

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new gas tanks..


Louis came to help out ..

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disporientating  first day.

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things were still getting on top of Tom..

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I was developing signs of anxiety…Craig came set things right..




This is going to be the second ‘Catcher’ (the first is in Germany. See previous posting).

Here are some shots by Doug Atfield, The new ‘Catcher’ is being prepared for a show this Autumn at Messum’s new massive Barn Gallery in  Tisbury, Wiltshire.

He’s 6 foot high and about 12 ft wide


This wax is going to be the next ‘Borrowed Breath’

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This is

‘The Borrowed Breath’.

I will be cutting out shapes from the wax and adding them to other areas, building an etherial otherness! (so i’ve been told)

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This is over 6ft tall

'The borrwed breath'



Local curator Paul Cope, in his infinite wisdom! decided to ask 100 artists to make a hundred art pieces to give to his project. All the 10,000 pieces of art would be sorted into a hundred different boxes and redisributed  baack to all the artists, so they’d all have a box containing 100 bits of art 150x150mm wide. Another extra set would be raffled off on the opening night of the launch.

  He also  provided a board which we could all do with as we wished, this too would be exhibited, at the ‘Steeple End Gallery’ Halesworth. Opening 19TH OF AUGUST.  All monies raised going to ‘SIGHTSAVERS’


I set of on this journey with a heavy heart..

Here is the board and about twenty bits of card.

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I decided to use the board as a cutting block, and a surface on which to make the art .

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I  gathered the detritus of the studio, including the post.

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Cut, tore, stuck and pasted for days..

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It got messy.

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 Momentary loss of control (very unusual in my life)!

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 A system did start to emerge.

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After collaging , pasting, sticking, painting, rubbing back and flattening, I decided to use all the bits of paper as back grounds, and set to with my favourite ink.

The square is a difficult thing to compose in, I decided to resort to my old friend the Quincunx for help. The series of ‘quins’ gave me a formula to explore and depart from, by this time I was nearly  enjoying myself. Though I was sure there was urgent matters in the other studio to attend to!

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The board was taking the brunt!

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For some reason I loved this one..2016-07-28 09.34.45

And this.. (bad photo)

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the final bundle.


I made some 200 pieces in order to glean 100. I was taken on many journey’s, here’s a little sample.

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Check the project out at :


Car Trophies!!!

I was asked to create three trophies for a very posh ‘Councourse d’elegance’

A show of incredible cars at Heveningham Hall, they came from around the world, worth millions.

Not my normal line, but hey ho, i’m not proud.

I decided to play with the ideas I had developed in the recent body of work.

examples follow.

'Shapeshifter' grey back

'Nothing is final' (Let the wind blow)1

'Apophenic man' on black

'River man' angle dark feet

'The Patternist'

This is what I came up with..

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I know I know….


Incredible coincidence!

We had finally finished an order for a concrete ‘Crouching man’ Chris Summerfield had done a brilliant job.

I asked the Gallery, where it had to be delivered. They said Flemings Hall , Bedingfield, Suffolk. I was pole axed! my Great Great Grandfather had lived and farmed there in  nineteenth century. In fact generations had lived in the Hall for about 100 years. The Hall had a mythic status in the family, indeed my Father had even named hi bungalow after it! Here was my chance to visit after all these years..

I couldn’t believe I would be placing a sculpture there.

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Here he is  Gt Gt Grandad ‘Master James Seamen Edwards Esq’ (we dropped the Seamen, don’t know why) photographed in front of the main entrance in 18932016-08-05 00.17.32

see a resemblance?

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Lastly, The Gallery delivered one of my  sculptures  called ‘Kite’, (sold from their collection)  to Majorca.

It now overlooks the house Robert Graves lived in.


That’s it for this posting.

Please scroll on for previous postings,

and check out


for a comprehensive archive..

Catcher goes to Germany.

Finally managed to finish the life size ‘Catcher’and deliver it to the newest sculpture park in Germany, just north of Berlin called ‘Sculpture park Wesenburg’

here’s the story……

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The sculpture freshly cast in pieces.

My brand new crane, just installed in the new foundry, liberating!

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Put straight to good use!

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Fred and Craig, getting used to the new kit.

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Now we can suspend a large piece at a convenient angle to work on.

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We drove to  a town called Wesenburg in Mecklenburg north of Berlin, to install the work.

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Stayed in this’Villa’ in the Sculpture park.

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View of entrance to the galleries from kitchen wondow.

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Works were being installed everywhere.

This is a ‘sound sculpture’

By Jake Cartwright.

He sampled the sounds of the park and composed a piece, then built this structure to house a hundred microphones.

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This is Sollai Cartwright’s Carrara marble carving.

Taking its inspiration from a plan view of the lake.

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Views and the white lake, full of Radon.

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The hunting lodge in the park.

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I walked in the forest on midsummers night and listened to literally hundreds of Nightingales in full song in the canopy!

Here he is ‘The Catcher ‘ installed on the outskits of that same forest.


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I also recreated a section of my old studio from Butley. Very nice for me, as it would otherwise  have ended up in a skip.

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There’s also a monitor playing the ‘Thousand tides’film on loop.

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The studio is now permanantly installed as a part of the exhibitions in the main galleries.

Here’s a snapshot of other dispaly’s.

The Inga King archive,

A famous Australian sculptor who died a few months ago at the age of 102!

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Erwin Fabien another centenerian German, sculptor who settled in Australia, with an incredible story.

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Berlin artist Michael Kustchbach’s ‘Walls’ were particularly nice..

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One of the paths

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On the opening day , Ambassedors and government officials gave very unphotogenic speeches, unlike  ‘Dadeka’ the dancer suspended in the trees!

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The night before the opening a storm blew through, whilst we were celebrating with a hundred guests in the local ‘Schloss’, with a monk  hologram, a fire eater and a DJ in a habit.  A tree consequently fell on my sculpture, a true collaboration.


It was cleared up, with wonderful German efficiency.

and a day after I left it happened again!…

A few pieces were knocked off, I have to be philosophical..

To prove the Sculpture was still ok, Jaquie Henshaw a wonderful photographer , sent me these shots.

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I think thats it for now.

scroll on for previous postings , and checkout website for finished articles.

Sculptures are still on show at Messum’s 28 Cork St, London.

Until we meet again..