How I became a Master Wood carver: I’ve been interested in wood carving since an early age when combined with a passion for horse riding ( I began at the tender age of three !) these two things led me to my first project. I built and carved my first 45” rocking horse, from Tulip wood at the age of 15 for my GCSE in Resistant materials. Having attained good grades in my GCSE’s I went on to gain a Btec National Diploma in Art and Design in 2003 which I studied for at South Cheshire College.
I was invited by Master Gibbons to train with him. I began my apprenticeship by building a miniature horse as is the long standing tradition of a producing small scale replica of one’s Masters work. With an apprentice piece the idea is to show the potential student’s interest and aptitude in the subject. It’s production alone does not always guarantee a place.
I completed my seven years of training by building a 55” two seater English Galloper (Carousel Horse) in 2013. This was an opportunity for me to showcase independently all of the skills I have learned thought out my time as an apprentice. This meant taking an idea from an A4 sketch I had produced and going through all of the processes to make it in to the final carving. These processes included creating a scale model (maquette) , Making full size hard templates, cutting blanks then carving the horse. Once carving was complete the piece was prepared & gessoed. This gave a suitable surface for painting and then gilding. The horse was sealed with varnish and finally mounted on a stand. This comprised of Ash with a steel frame work covered by Barley twist brass to safely support both the weight of the horse and those sitting on it.
My first (Master) piece following the end of my Apprenticeship was a carved & jointed Bear, commissioned by Congleton Museum as a collection box for donations. More information can be found on this piece and others via the article links in my Press page.
I strive to provide my clients with an excellent bespoke carving service which is carefully tailored to meet their needs. I hand select my timber & utilize a wide range of carving techniques to achieve a high standard of finish. Feedback from many of my customers is that they consider my work to be of heirloom quality which I consider to be the highest of compliments.