St Jacques of Compostela, Christmas 2013

Sorry I haven’t updated my blog of late –  I’ve been carving Mary Magdalen and making preparations for the commission which will follow, but writing my blog got pushed down the list of things to do.  However I thought I’d just put up this photo before I sign off over the school holidays…

ImageCarving a quick Christmas present for my mum :>) It’s a small figure of St Jacques of Compostela as my mum has made several journeys there on foot, and later worked in a hostel for pilgrims en route.

I say quick, but actually it’s taken me about 6 years; I only ever worked on it during my Stone Carving Workshops when (on the second or third day) the students had got the hang of carving and I needed to give them some space to get on with it.  Also it can be very useful to hear a more experienced person’s hammer blows as this can help the novice fall into the correct rhythm, which in turn produces more even tool marks.

I often feel inspired by my students as they carve with such freshness – in contrast to my carefully planned approach.  This was the first time I carved without a very firm idea of where I was going. However I was listening to, and keeping an eye on my students, so progress was slow and stilted and the half carved figure was almost a fixture in my workshop (students who came again and again over the years liked to play ‘Spot the Difference’).

Anyway,  I recently thought ‘When if not now?!’,  and so for better or for worse I finished it today and this is what my mum will find under the tree later this week  :>)


2 thoughts on “St Jacques of Compostela, Christmas 2013

    • Hello Fran, yes she did :>) Because it wasn’t a very planned piece the carving looks quite different to my usual work (less movement, ‘flow’ and not as ‘finished’), and because I spotted all its faults I thought she would too- but she loves it, I guess for what it is and where it comes from :>) I wish I had the time to carve a really beautiful St Christopher..

      It was lovely to see you again Fran. You continue to be inspiring and I look forward to the day when you begin to teach again x

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