After the success of the ‘Metainsecta‘ exhibition in 2008, some of the group were invited to show their work in the beautiful Bristol museum. It was the ideal venue, surrounded by mahogany cases containing taxidermied specimens that were often over a hundred years old.
I’d love to show the Metainsecta series in a similar venue again one day. It seems to suit them very well.
This was the second in the ‘Meta…’ series of exhibitions and took place at the Grant Bradley gallery in Bedminster, Bristol in 2009. The theme was ‘the sea’ and exhibits included everything from ceramic turtle-shaped dinnerware to origami hats made from nautical charts.
In 2010, I was accepted to show in the RBSA Open exhibition. It was good to go back to a city that I know well and to show my work there. The society is also based in the Jewellery Quarter, a very historic and beautiful part of Birmingham and one of the last real trades quarters left in Britain. Almost everything around is connected to the jewellery making trade: assayers, tool suppliers and workshops as well as the jewellery college. It’s a lovely place to go for a wander!
This exhibition could not have been held in a more appropriate location! The Walcot Chapel was once a mortuary chapel and is surrounded by a graveyard, so was the perfect venue for an exhibition about anatomy. In June 2011, the group reassembled to examine anatomical subjects with the same eclectic range of media and approaches as before.
Sadly it was the last of the ‘Meta…’ shows, partly due to the illness and subsequent passing of the ceramicist Liz Krčma who had been an organiser, exhibitor and important contributor to the exhibitions since the first show.
In 2012, I was invited to show my work in Cardiff, at the studios and gallery called ‘Oriel Canfas‘. It was great to be able to see what the other artists in the studios were working on and to be given the opportunity to exhibit with such talented people as the late Judy Foote and Brian Denham, amongst others.
The Great Oak Hall at Westonbirt Arboretum is a beautiful structure and the standard of the other exhibitors here was very high indeed. It also gave another opportunity to look around the Arboretum, which is always worthwhile and especially when the blossoms are out.
This public stone carving competition made an interesting change from woodcarving. It was also a chance to carve alongside my brother Duncan Park, who works with stone.
I wouldn’t say that my piece was anywhere near the standard of many of the other competitors, but tackling an accurate portrait in a fairly unfamiliar material, in public, to a tight deadline was challenge enough! It was great fun and the weather was fantastic too.
The ‘Inspired’ exhibitions are curated by the very talented furniture maker Sue Darlison.
The quality of the work by other exhibitors has always been very good indeed, with a particular personal high point being the chance to show in 2013 alongside the renowned furniture maker John Makepeace. He founded Parnham College, which has had a huge effect on contemporary British furniture design.
I also had the chance to show there alongside David Colwell, whose environmentally-aware approach to design has also had a huge effect on design in this country, both through his own work and with Trannon furniture.
I love a challenge! Sometimes people need inscriptions to be carved onto unusual objects and irregular surfaces, which many engraving machines would not be able to deal with. This oak ball was destined to be the stopper for a carafe.
I carve lettering using traditional carving gouges and chisels or, sometimes, a small multitool. The multitool is like a handheld drill that drives differently-shaped cutters. Although it is a power tool, the delicacy and precision that it is capable of reminds me of traditional hand tools.
If you have a project that you would like done but aren’t even sure if it’s possible, please contact me.
Whether it’s a new wooden house or business sign or a thank you gift for someone who is retiring, I can make it. I don’t just carve signs though; many businesses have used my services before, as well as other organisations such as community groups and charities, to commission one-off gifts and promotional items.
Signs are usually carved from oak that has come from sustainable forestry and finished with varnish, wax (for indoor use) or finishing oil, depending on which you prefer. I can also carve and paint any design that you would like to accompany the text and am able to carve using a large range of different fonts and styles. If you would like more information about what designs, timbers and finishes are suitable for the project that you have in mind, contact me to have a chat about it.
I can also make carvings from special pieces of timber, such as well-loved trees that have been cut down. The sunflower carving above was made using cedar from a tree that originally grew in the grounds of the headquarters for the cancer charity Penny Brohn UK. It came to me as an unseasoned log that had to be cut up and carefully joined to form the panel. When making it, the design had to account for any movement in the wood during seasoning.
This oak carving was made for a pub in Shropshire. The ‘Jack of Corra’ is a kind of old drinking vessel, and the spelling of ‘immemorial’ is exactly as the client wanted it.
The carving was from a design supplied by the customer and was carved in very low relief, as it was to be installed on a bar and so would be vulnerable to potential knocks.
If you have a particular picture that you’d like on your sign, I can carve and paint that too. This house sign includes a portrait of their cat:
…and if you are wondering what the writing in Greek on the house sign with the carved and painted hibiscus flower means, it translates as ‘House of flowers’.