My approach to carving

I have been carving for a number of years, having become interested after a series of lessons run by RIG Arts in Greenock, Scotland. These were an exciting introduction to relief carving using stone from demolished tenements, run by two Scottish sculptors; I was hooked. I now carve in my garden having a carving banker and all the tools. It’s a bit messy but means I can go out and carve when I want to, Scottish weather permitting.

I try to use, when I can, reclaimed stone from buildings in the local area which are being demolished. These can be a source of sandstone, York stone flags and slate. It is very satisfying to repurpose the stone since it gives some sense of continuity with the past. When I display carvings locally and label the source, many people say ‘Oh I remember that building’ and it triggers memories for them.  I also like relief carving Honister Green Slate which I obtain when on holiday in the Lake District, Cumbria, England.

I am influenced by Celtic designs and carvings of which there are an abundance in Scotland.  I have painted some of my carvings since there is evidence that the celtic carvers may have painted theirs. 

I also use sandstone and Portland stone to carve heads influenced by Picasso, Modigliani and other abstract artists; trying to create the essence of a face without too much of the detail is a big challenge

I am an elected artist member of the Paisley Art Institute and have exhibited and sold my work in local galleries and in Paisley Art Institute (PAI) annual exhibitions .

Mike