Thursday, 26 March 2009


We're the best part through with March already and there have been so many To DO's on my To Do list that I've had no time to update my blog. Probably also, none of this busy-ness was this least bit interesting to others. However, just in case... I'm in the midst of having a full new website created which will include, not only a page/pages devoted to each of my three books, but pages also of a selection of my sculpture and a few paintings and drawings.

Many of the sculptures I managed to complete in the years when I was still involved with three dimensional work were life-size figures, and many, if not most of these have been left behind in one way or another. Sculpture, unlike your two dimensional stuff, is hard to store. You can't slot it into racks or put it up in your loft. It's heavy. It's bulky. And reluctantly, I had to leave several of my figures behind over the years in gardens or fields, or other people's sheds. Some of my earlier 'oeuvre' were stolen from the studio I shared in London during the time I was away that year in Rome ('58/59'). I guess I was shocked for a time when I returned and found them gone, but life was all movement in those days, and I soon moved on. So, in short, I now have only bits and pieces, a handfull of small bronzes and ceramics plus a couple of life-size figures.

However, gathering the remains of my stuff together has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. A piece here, a piece there, and what surfaced was a sense of a lifetime's work being drawn together. One charcoal drawing, e. g. was done at the British Museum while I was a student at the Royal College in the mid-fifties. An aluminium figure which was cast on a trip back to Sheffield visiting friends who were teaching in the sculpture department at my old college in Psalter Lane. My friend Derek had invited me to try out their facilities. I'd brought a couple of things with me carved from polystyrene blocks, and we decided that sand casting might be a good way to tackle them. Sand casting bronze was a traditional craft in Sheffield, and I'd often watched the men at work there in my student days, fascinated by the process. We'd never had this facility in the old Art College, but the building had since been extended and modernised, and money lavished on all kinds of equipment. I was eager to try some of them out for myself and get to know how this 'new' material worked. You don't often get chance to play in a sand pit! We set the blocks, plus runners and risers in the sand mix, tamping it down in the old familiar way, then melted the aluminium. When it reached the right temperature we poured it into the cast. Happy days!

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