Here I am (far right ) and children from the local primary school.
The gate piers featured are carved with the names of children and are part of an expansion program at the school. This shows that there are many uses for carved stonework and as the story says, the children never thought that they would see their names carved in stone!
Above is a Chilstone composite stone pedestal mounted with a brass armillary sphere that I made myself. I have often been asked to make brass ornaments like these as they are hard to come by. This piece is for a National Trust garden in East Grinstead.
After much practicing, I have mastered the technique and I can now also engrave messages onto the item. They do not have to be memorials, they can be a retirement gift, an anniversary present, a gift from an old boy to his school - there can be lots of reasons to create such a piece - and you can be sure that it will be treasured for many years.
Armillaries are very popular in fine gardens as they catch the sun and direct the eye to particular areas that might be overlooked (a particularly fine prospect, a particular plant or to indicate the extent of the garden )- for example.
They are an alternative to the also very popular sundial and refer to the passage of the sun through the ecliptic, ie the sun moves through the Zodiac, which is on the plane of the ecliptic - anyway, Ahem! what it lacks in accuracy it makes up for in attractiveness.
picture by David Bartholemew
Well, the Chlesea Flower show is over for another year and our garden won a Silver-Gilt medal (and the People's Award for Best Garden!) for the designer John Everiss and the Charity sponsor Meningitis Now.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is just one of those things that we excel at in this country, and people come from all over the World to enjoy it.! The best flower growers, landscapers and constructors from seven continents mill around furiously building an amazing landscape that is torn apart 5 days later.
I was very happy to be asked to add my two cents with a carved motto on the pediment of a temple Chilstone has built for one of the feature gardens, the Meningitis Now Garden. The garden has been created by gold medal winner John Everiss to draw attention to the plight of the many hundreds of Meningitis suffers all over the world. It is a great example of how something as apparently frivolous as a garden can be used for something as important as that.
The Motto (above) reads Believe and Achieve and is the motto (or Mission Statement) of the Charity Meningitis Now
Everyone is amazing in some way but Mr John Mew is amazing in every way! Here is a man who lives in a castle that he built himself, a motor racer, a pilot a sailor and much else besides.
I was very honoured to be asked to carve a special monument for John and it took the form of a large granite bench seat engraved with the name of John and his wife Josephine and it would mark their final resting place.
The seat would be a place for visitors to lovely Braylsham Castle to sit an contemplate the lush sussex setting for this romantic spot. See below
The bench will also be a permanent reminder of a devoted couple who built and lived their lives in this fabulous spot. I especially like this kind of work as it is unique and will stand the test of time.
John, who is also a surgeon specialising in corrective surgery of children's faces, decided that he would position the bench himself with a JCB.
If you would like to know more about this remarkable man, see his website. See, I didn't tell half the story!
Many people who have visited this site have said they are glad that I have finally built a website but, they ask, where is your blog and what about a Facebook page, Twitter, Whatsapp page and all the rest of it?
Well, I am trying but writing quickly does not come easy to a stone carver - so here is the first post on my blog - or Diary as I prefer to call it.
In the website, I have made pages to show the kind of work that I do and tried to show examples and suggestions. In my diary I intend to talk about special or unusual jobs that I have done or anything else that takes my fancy - here is my dog.