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Frequently Asked Questions

I have been asked a lot of questions by people visiting the site and I would like to try and answer as many of them as possible in this section. If you have a question yourself, please click here and I will reply to you personally and also on the site as soon as possible.


 

Questions
1. What is your favourite material and where do you buy it?

2. What is the source material for your subjects?

3. Who are your heroes?

4. Is there anyone in the world of sculpting that you really admire?

5. What is your favourite food?

6. How do you go about starting a piece and what is the process involved?


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1. MATERIALS   The clay I use for sculpting is ordinary Stoneware clay, which I obtain from a local supplier called Bath Potters Supplies, in Radstock near Bristol.

It's a good strong medium for small to quite large pieces and it also holds fine detail really well. I have my sculptures biscuit-fired before I paint them with Acrylic Paint and finish them off with a mixture of Matt and Gloss Acrylic Varnish.

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2. SOURCES   The source varies according to many factors. Sculptures such as Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe were created as commissions and so I had to search various texts, biographies and similar material to get as wide a selection of poses, views, etc.

It is not possible to sculpt the character of a person from a single picture. The way they look varies according to their mood. The piece only comes to life when you can almost visualise the person being in the same room as yourself.

Other subjects such as the Monsters and Demons, come straight from my imagination and are created according to the way I feel at the time.

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3. HEROES  I had three heroes as a child; two actors and one Film Company. The actors were Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and the film company was Hammer.

The very first horror film that I ever saw was a Hammer film starring the two great actors that I've just mentioned, "The Curse of Frankenstein". It terrified me so much that I kept my eyes closed during most of the really scary scenes with the Monster (I was only seven or eight at the time!!!)

However, despite this early trauma, I soon became totally hooked on the horror genre, Hammer films and its stars in particular. I would watch anything Lee and Cushing appeared in (whether it was a Horror film or not), just for their performances alone, but it was their work for Hammer films that I really loved the most.

The films may look a bit creaky and old-fashioned up against the more graphic films of today, but for me as a child growing up in the '70s, the experience of staying up late to watch Peter Cushing as Van Helsing take on Christopher Lee's Count Dracula was about as good as it got!!

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4. PEOPLE I ADMIRE  As a child, I remember reading about how Lon Chaney created his famous make-up for the Phantom of the Opera. Ever since, I have been fascinated by the amazing work of film make-up artists. Over the years I have avidly followed and admired the work of many of these artists and could list dozens here, however I'll just stick to mentioning a few whose work has influenced and inspired me the most.

Firstly, Roy Ashton, who was head of make-up at Hammer Films in the 1950s and '60s and was responsible for creating many of that studio's most famous and memorable monsters. His work on films such as "The Curse of the Werewolf" and "The Plague of the Zombies" scared the hell out of me as a child and still looks impressive today.

Next would have to be Dick Smith, the groundbreaking make-up artist on such films as "The Godfather", "The Exorcist", "Altered States" and many more. The realism of his work has always impressed me, especially his old-age make-up in the films "Little Big Man" and "Amadeus". The incredible detail and subtlety of his work makes him one of the greats as far as I'm concerned.

Lastly, Rick Baker and Rob Bottin. Both are exceptionally talented sculptors and their work as special make-up effects artists on "American Werewolf in London" and "The Thing" respectively, fired my imagination and inspired me to pick up a lump of clay and try to sculpt monsters as good as theirs. I haven't got there yet, but I have a lot of fun trying!!

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5. MY FAVOURITE FOOD  It would have to be Indian curry. I have always had a passion for spicy food and love to go out for a meal at an Indian or Thai restaurant. Myself and my partner, Sara, live in a top floor flat of a large house in Bristol and the wonderful Indian couple who own the house, Mr and Mrs Singh, are always bringing us meals, from spicy currys, to poppadoms and Naan bread.

Recently I have started to take up cookery myself and I have become a dab hand at a seriously spicy curry or chilli for myself and Sara. All washed down with a bottle of red wine, I can't think of a more perfect evening.

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  6. MY TECHNIQUE  Each of the main sculptures can take between 40-60 hours to produce the basic model and a further 10-15 hours to complete it with all the painting and finishing completed, depending on the subject matter.

The process for actually creating the models is a little involved, so please go the PROCESS page for full details.

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