This award is presented every year by the cancer charity Penny Brohn UK. For the last three years, I have been honoured to be asked to carve each one. All of them are different in design and a lot of effort is put into making each one special to the person receiving it.
In 2018, Jacqueline Gold was presented with the award. She is the boss of the Ann Summers chain of high street shops, which sell lingerie and other products to spice up people’s love lives. Her award references one of the company’s most famous products, which has a rabbit theme…
The wood used came from the Ashton Court estate in Bristol and the carving also has a small box included in the design, as the Trust wanted the award to be functional in some way.
In 2017, the recipient was the perfume designer Jo Malone. Her new line of fragrances uses the scent of pomelo as its keynote and so I came up with some designs based around the leaves and flowers of pomelos.
There were a few considerations that influenced the design of the award. Jo is a practical person, so it needed to be a useful object. It also had to be created from a piece of cedar from the grounds of the Trust’s headquarters, which I already had left over after making the award for the previous year.
The piece was also going to be engraved with an inscription suggested by Jo’s personal assistant: Passion, Resilience and Creativity.
A bowl was the perfect, practical item to make. Pomelo leaves are quite distinctive; they have a second pair of leaf lobes coming out from the stalk (or petiole) and so that was worked into the design. Most of the bowl was carved using power tools, as the cedar seemed easier to work with when using them.
I was very happy with the finished bowl, as were the people at Penny Brohn UK.
Apparently Jo also really liked the bowl and now has it on her desk. Here’s a photo from the ceremony, kindly supplied by Penny Brohn UK and used with permission:
The first recipient in 2016 was Nina Barough, who founded the walks against cancer which have raised millions to fund research into fighting the disease. Her award reflects Nina’s love of flowers and it was carved from cedar that originally grew in the grounds of the Penny Brohn UK HQ. The piece also had to be carefully designed, to account for changes in the timber as it seasoned.
Here is a photo, again with kind permission of Penny Brohn UK, of Nina (on the left) receiving the award:
I feel very proud that these inspiring people each have one of my sculptures.