Monday, 1 August 2011

White blackbird

45. 'White Blackbird.'
Limewood, 32 x21 inches.

This carving of Peter's is one of my favourites. It hangs on the staircase wall and I walk past and enjoy it several times each day. The idea came from our Japanese print of the blackbird flying through undergrowth. The colour balance has been reversed in the carving, which depicts the brambles and trees our own surroundings.

46. ' The Conversion.'
Meadow oak panel, 67 x 24 inches.

In the early 1970's we converted a granary and stable block into our holiday home and this carving records the work in progress. Two millstones had been set into the upper wall of the building, and one is still in place in the carving above. Try as I might I could not find a way of keeping them set into the wall whilst also putting in windows. The windows won out and the millstones are now in the front garden. Everyone who worked on the project is depicted, apart from me! The carving shows Tess, my Dobermann, the local farmer on his tractor and our daughter, feeding the ducks. Animals being herded along the road are a common sight in the village, although in this hill country of the Yorkshire Dales it is far more usually sheep.


  1. How lovely Peter's carvings are.

  2. there are footprints on the roof....what is that all about?

  3. Wow, these are wonderful. No 46 gets my vote; is Peter open to offers? No, I'm sure he's not.

    I was thinking about your blog last night, and this morning I woke to find this! Great work.

  4. Dear Babyjohn, Over to Peter for an explanation of the feet!

    I planned the composition to lead the eye along the wall in the foreground, up to the figure on the left and on to a point in the middle of the roof. The footprints were an unplanned addition, giving a second meaning to the word, 'conversion'. They are a homage to my favourite medieval marble relief carving in Wells Cathedral, Somerset. Such footprints,or feet, disappearing up into the clouds, were a traditional device to depict the ascension in medieval art.

    Dear Tom and Cro, Thanks for the praise from fellow artists and craftsmen. Peter says that it's hard to come by these days! These personal pieces were not made to sell. He had an exhibition of selling work a few years ago, manned on several days by various friends. One rang up, very pleased with himself, to say that he had secured a sale on a particular carving. "Oh, no! Not that one!" was my ungracious response!