If I sometimes have a feeling of being watched, then it's no wonder, because there are many different carved faces around the smallholding. Over the years, we've added them to the barn and to fences - and we've even carved them into gate posts and hedges. I didn't realise, until recently, just how many faces we do have around the place; we certainly seem to have added a whole new bunch of characters to our home.
Most of our carvings are of wood; it's the material we work with most and have available on the smallholding. Our main carving is our wizard, of course, (please see picture at the side of the page, below, as well as, my earlier post about him) - and at the same time he was created, Simon Hedger (our visiting woodcarver) also produced a face from a chunk of oak. This carving was inspired by the grotesques sometimes seen on churches and cathedrals - and then the shape of the piece of wood dictated the contours of the finished face.
|Our grotesque on the front of the barn|
Because we love grotesques, we're now considering putting up more on the barn - and to get ideas of the faces we'd like, I took some photographs of grotesques and gargoyles on local churches. One of the best churches for this is Thaxted Church; a large and grand church with some wonderful gargoyles and grotesques on the walls outside.
I find it really fascinating that sometimes even the smallest parish churches can have grotesques peering back at me; and I wonder if they were based on the faces of local villagers living at the time. Thinking about this gives me an idea for future carvings for our barn, although - instead of carvings based on local villagers - perhaps I ought to think about faces closer to home...
Actually; I think I'd like the idea of my face carved as a gargoyle or grotesque. After all; why not? Why be vain?!!
Although we asked an expert woodcarver to carve here before, we've had a go at some carving ourselves. This weekend we carved these fence posts, below, from sweet chestnut - and they're now ready to be put into place.
I don't think we've the sort of place for statues, but I do think we've room for more faces. They could be mythical, beautiful or comical - and they'll soon become an established feature of the smallholding.