Recent carvings

This is what I have been working on since coming back from New Zealand. 

I had made the clay models for the Madonna and Child figure, and St Christopher before I went, but after having been in such a different, and modern, culture it took me a while to get back into a medieval sensibility. 

To get back into the workshop saddle I shaped a stone whose outline I had initially cut as a technical example for students on one of my workshops.  This was 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Katinka.  I like the earthy feel that the colour and texture of Clipsham stone gives the piece, and I think the forms are definitely influenced by the sea rounded bones that I collected on the beaches in NZ.

The voluptuousness of this piece spilled over into the first Madonna and Child that I cut, and she became a larger and earthier figure than I intended.  Normally I stick rigidly to a design which had been agreed with my client, but because this is not a commissioned piece, I had the freedom to veer which was interesting, and enjoyable.  Nevertheless I pulled in my reins for the second version and stuck more closely to the clay model, trying to attain a more graceful feel.

I am very much enjoying working on St Christopher.  Even now in these broad shapes I can see a relationship emerging, a feeling of tenderness, between the form of the man and the child leaning against his shoulder.  (Such as worked with the two carvings of Mary Magdalene and St Peter). There is always an anxiousness not to lose these tentative expressions, or not to overstate and kill them, but that's the excitement and enjoyableness of creating form.



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