With a life long passion for all things connected with traditional sailing ships, woodcarving and the decorative arts, my work became increasingly centred around boats, with the outcome that in 1990 I set up ‘Maritima Woodcarving’.
The aim of the venture was to keep alive the trade of the ‘ship’s carver’, A profession that at one time could be found in practically every major shipyard, to supply the mass of ornamentation required to adorn Men of War, East India ships and lesser merchantmen. Over the years I have constantly researched the subject of ship ornamentation, allowing Maritima to create carvings in historical styles and subject matter faithful to specific historical periods for replica ships.
A practical knowledge has been gained from the restoration and conservation of major historic artifacts for museums and collectors both here and abroad, and the reproduction of figureheads and stern carvings for replica ships, that have now sailed the seas giving me first hand experience of how their design must not impede the practicality of sailing the ship, and constructed to withstand the environment in which they must survive.
A further aspect of Maritima’s work is to develop contemporary art forms to be applied to modern yachts, in order to perpetuate the craft and the importance of the decorative arts, among the yachts of today. To this end I have completed a number of commissions for the modern super yacht yards, in conjunction with interior yacht designers.
In contrast to my historical work, these contemporary sculptures lean towards economy of form. There are moments when in a fleeting glance there is a meeting, a connection, that goes beyond the outer form and the eternal beauty we all seek, is felt within. By abstracting. superfluous detail, the pieces attempt to express the essence of the subject, which hopefully allows that inner connection to take place.