Zoe is well-known for her beautifully carved figures which display extraordinary detail, often combined with a sense of humour. Each of her exclusive pieces are single editions and are carved directly from one piece of timber using hand tools only, then finished with beeswax polish or Danish Oil if intended for outside. Although Zoe sometimes uses recycled timber generally she carves native hardwoods often homegrown or sourced locally and seasoned for several years.
About my woodcarvings
Some of my carvings are large – this snail is about 30ins long and is made from the crotch of a walnut tree that blew down in a gale some years ago in Cocklake, near Wedmore, Somerset. The shell is smooth, the base textured.
If you should ever go to Morwenstow in north Devon which is famed for the eccentric Reverend Hawker devising Harvest Festivals, do call in at the tearoom and there you will find the large broody hen which I carved in Beech.
Several of my carvings are much smaller – carved from one piece of Box wood this little trug is about an inch long and contains a garden hand fork, trowel and a bunch of onions. Box wood has a very close tight grain, it grows very slowly and you can carve tiny fine details with it.
Out for a walk one morning I saw the three cats dozing in the sun on the doormat outside a cottage. The coir doormat is about 1.5in x 1in and has a rope edging around it. The peas in their pod were carved from the curved end of her late father’s walking stick given to me by a neighbour.
The Wood and Tools I Use for my carvings
These are some of the pieces of boxwood which I use for my small carvings and for the tiny detailed carving I work with the tiny fine tools shown here. For my large carvings I use these bigger tools together with a mallet.
I was delighted to be asked to carve some bench ends in St Mary’s Church Wedmore when I lived in Somerset. They were removed one at a time and brought to me to work on, then re-installed in the Church when I had finished the carving. They are old oak wood about 2ins thick and took me about 6 weeks to carve each one. They depict some of the agricultural industries in the locality.
Occasionally I am asked where I get my ideas for my wood carvings. Mostly, they come from observing people around me, from chance glimpses of people and their everyday activities, or the natural world of plants and animals. My carvings are not assembled, I always make them from one solid piece of timber.
I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of some of my woodcarvings, and I hope to show more in the future. Although I enjoy creating my own woodcarvings I also find great pleasure in teaching woodcarving and introducing people to an absorbing activity which may well last for many years ahead.