Alec finds the weathering of stone sometimes has benefits: 'I occasionally get phone calls from clients for whom I made a headstone some 20 years ago, saying they can't read it any more. It usually turns out to be perfectly readable; it just doesn't look new any longer and they were unprepared for the weathering process. So it was gratifying recently to come across this ledger stone I made several years ago in Purbeck Thornback for Burford cemetery, Oxfordshire. I don't have any good shots of it when new; it looked rather blend when I fixed it on a rainy November day, but now the weathering has enhanced the carving marvellously! It commemorates Brian Brolly, who will eventually be joined by his wife Gillian, hence their intertwined initials. Brian was one-time manager of Paul McCartney. They bought and restored the wonderful house nearby, built by Christopher Kempster, Wren's chief stonemason.'
- This article was first published in Letter Exchange FORUM Magazine 2013
Please visit our Studio and Exhibition of Work for Sale, now open for Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival NORTH OXFORDSHIRE area site no.428
Studio Barn, Hunts Copse, Wilcote, nr Finstock, OX7 3DX
OPEN: 12 - 6 pm
Sat 18 May, Sun 19 May,
Wed 22 May, Thurs 23 May, Fri 24 May
Sun 26 May, Bank Holiday Mon 27 May
Our thanks to everyone who visited our Oxford City area Artweeks Exhibition.
With the year's first aconites and snowdrops peeping through and the
Cotswold woodland budding from its wrinkled winter bark, ready to
burst into a bright haze of new leaves, nature is a constant source for
We've always been intrigued by the 'Foliate head' or 'Green man'. Depicted over centuries as a leafy face, a pagan symbol of nature and its yearly regeneration, the image has been embraced by many cultures alongside their religions.
Is he a face peering through the trees, or wild man of the woods: a forest myth to scare the children? Sometimes he sprouts leafy branches from ears and eyes and sometimes disgorges foliage as though nature is drawing him back into the soil. From the ancient legend of Osiris, 'the verdant one' (green man), is the voice of inspiration. There is no single story to define him, so he can be whatever you choose to believe, which makes him so interesting.
But where is the feminine balance to his representation? It's surprising that female foliate heads are rarely found. Sculpting a Green Woman will be part of our work for 2013, we are modelling her in clay to be cast in bronze and we'll also be carving her in stone. With current enthusiasm for greener living and equality what form will she take: multi-tasking earth-mother or nature's siren tempting you to an alternative lifestyle?
also been researching poetry to make some carved stone inscriptions
evocative of this theme.
You will be able to see 'Green Woman' displayed at our Studio exhibition for Oxfordshire Artweeks in May, our 'Green Man' can currently be viewed in our SALE ROOM page.