Two months ago I was asked by Eden Design to design and carve a sculpture for Stoke Gabriel Community Orchard. Two months is just not long enough and it certainly put me under a lot of strain, but it was reasonably paid, and local.
Any business will have an order book and sometimes I have been booked up for months ahead, so a two month lead time is often not enough. I have another deadline next week, and have taken far too long to supply some smaller orders than is polite. I do not agree with Douglas Adams: ‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.’ it disturbs me deeply if I miss them.
Anyway this had to be a last minute project that took over two weeks to make and I was uncertain whether I was going to complete in time. Luckily after the first week, I knew it would be completed and would look good, so the strain receded a bit.
I should have bought a carving bar for my chainsaw, something that has been on my list of tools to buy for sometime. A chain saw was not much used in this, and most work was undertaken with axe, carving adze, gouges and three long handled hook knives – the same ones that I finished Nicola`s box with. These knives are fantastic carving tools but I really also needed a long handled knife as well.
The first time I saw the sculpture as it should be was today at the opening of the new play park. I do not have the means to hoist the sculpture upright in my workshop to see it as it would be when erected in place, so it was with great relief to see that it looked even better in situ. I was also used to looking at it close up all the time, and not being able to get any perspective on it.
Although the work was co-ordinated by Eden Design, a lot of community input went into it as well, especially with some of the fund raising. The play park was opened by the oldest resident of Stoke Gabriel who was born and still lives in the house opposite. The children rushed in as soon as they could and played with the joy and intensity that only children can.
My very talented friend Isabel, one of the other artists involved,
made this large apple sculpture