John Adamson- Tree Sculptor
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The Green Man
The Green Man looks down on The Primrose Garden in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Primrose Garden was being developed by the Alternative Technology Centre as a natural forest garden producing useful plants for craft activities at the centre, i.e. papermaking, dyeing, and basket weaving. For more information contact the Alternative Technology Centre on http://www.alternativetechnology.org.uk or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alternative Technology Centre asked me to do something with a tree stump that was growing out of a wall. The shape said it could only be a face with a beard, and it's setting in such an environmentally friendly garden demanded that it was a Green Man carving. We decided we wanted a friendly, smiling Green Man rather than one of those fierce carvings that have twigs sprouting from the mouth.
Those who know me, recognise that there is an element of self portraiture in this carving. The carving is twice life size and I needed a model as a base to scale up the measurements. I do not know of anyone but me who would be available when I needed them, was willing to have measurements taken with steel dividers direct from the face, and I could afford, i.e. free.
Almost all the work was done with one large, broad gouge with a mallet, but some of the fussy bits around the leaves required a smaller gouge. One of the problems with this piece of work was the height of the wood in the wall. I had to kneel in front of it for much of the time, and for the beard, I had to sit and almost lie down to get into the right position to carve.