Like so many of the best things it came out of the blue. A visitor from Oxfordshire visited my local gallery and was so impressed with my work that he immediately bought two pieces of my wood sculpture. Two months later he contacted me and commissioned me to create “the finishing piece” for his new home, a stunning piece of architecture in its own right. He wanted a sculpture to go by the indoor swimming pool.

I visited him and his wife, getting to know them and their beautiful home and getting a feel for what they wanted. On my return I began a hunt around local wood-yards to find a suitable piece of wood for the project. Since it would be in a moist environment I decided to treat the whole thing as if it was an outdoor piece. The wood I chose was Sweet Chestnut as it is as durable as Oak and would cope with the conditions.

In the rough log I found I could see a whale or mermaids tail which gave me my start point. I carve direct, without drawings, finding forms and inspiration within the wood itself, working with the wood and using what I find to create the finished piece.

After six weeks of carving, scraping and sanding I had released the form I had originally seen in the rough log. The result is Tamara (the spirit of the River Tamar), which now graces Gallery House. The clients are delighted with her, as am I. Tamara can be seen from all angles due to the open plan layout of their home, she suits the space and the nature of their home in a way that exceeds my original vision. A job well done.