New Nelson Figurehead

New_Nelson_Figurehead3Once the model is established, it’s time to carve, but not until a large  wooden block is produced, a hundred years ago carvers would still have had  access to large solid blocks of well seasoned wood on hand to work with , today for modern day carvers lamination is the only option available, and as such must form the first stage in a large project like this,  Lime is the wood of choice, a block is laminated from 200mmx 50mm planks 1.9m long  14 planks wide and 2 deep producing a block of about the right size for the finished carving, today modern figurehead carvers have to spend a considerable amount of time working on this block before any real creative work can begin, a number of the planks have the front profile cut out with a jigsaw before laminating, with a few extra blocks to form the elbow of the left arm and the telescope.

Victorian Carvers would work weeks on such a project, today months are needed to allow the blocks to be build up, layer after layer. Using as reference the half size clay model, the first stage of roughing out with a chainsaw and large gouges begins to bring a recognizable form to the block, the true art and skill of carving now takes place, with the use of smaller and more precise chisels, once the Figurehead is finished the “Hunter Figurehead Archives” will publish a full photo gallery of the project, with additional information on the project and the future of the carving when completed.

Glyn is one of Britain’s leading carvers, studied sculpture at Southampton Art School and then on to St Martin’s School of Art. In the late 60’s, working in a wide variety of materials, mostly Figurative, from naturalistic portraiture to more New_Nelson_Figurehead2stylized work based on historical styles found in ships figureheads, church Architecture and heraldic devices. 

Glyn Foulkes

2 Greyladyes, School Road, Bursledon, Southampton
S031 8BX, UK.
Telephone: 023 8040 3234.
Mobile: 07752 017 470