Sunday, 20 September 1998
Pause for thought...
"The carving has now reached a critical point. Most of the wood has been removed and it's time to shape and form it.
It's decision time. I've got to decide on the surface finish, whether to leave it with the marks of the gouge or whether to sand and smooth the whole surface off. I think that it will end with a smooth surface because it will probably make it more resistant to possible damage by the weather.
I'm trying to maintain a sort of Buddha face with, I would suppose, a semi-Western body. I've made all sorts of mistakes. I've taken too much away from the shoulders and the arms. This means having to flatten them out a great deal. This was partially due to the fact that I'd started with a different idea (a family group) and the figure wasn't going to have crossed arms.
I'd now like to start again, having made mistakes that I feel I could probably correct if I was given another tree. The problem with that is that I know very well I would make a series of different mistakes!
Still, the public reaction has been very positive, and that's always good for the ego.
The physical relationship in sculpting this piece has been quite different from working in the studio. I am usually able to move the work - turn it over, etc. With this piece I'm having to move around the work and in some ways that's slightly disoriented me."