John Adamson- Tree Sculptor

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The Tod Pirates

Pirate Jack 2001 Pirate Jenny 2001 Tired Tim 2002

The Todmorden Art Group commissioned the " Tod Pirates " with a grant from Calderdale Council, West Yorkshire. After lots of discussion we agreed on a shipwrecked pirate theme for the sculptures as some previous carvings in the park fitted in with this, and it gives a wide scope for future work in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden. A leaflet to help to children discover the park. was designed as a treasure map.

The trees chosen for the sculptures had been identified by the Council for felling, due to disease and rot. Pirate Jack was carved from a 10ft high stump in a prominent position near to the main play area. The stump had a lean to one side, a considerable bend on another view, and rot on the side which fortunately faced away from the footpath and so the design had to take into account all these factors. Jenny was carved from a much straighter tree stump that had no rot and could be a much simpler shape. With Tired Tim, the shape of the trunk dictated where the legs could be carved and this influenced the whole idea of the carving

My aim was to produce carvings of realistic life size figures with some movement, visual interest, and lead the viewer's eye to other carvings in the park. They also had to survive the rigours of life in the park - the weather, the children, and the vandals. The Three pirates looks towards each other, and at a Loch Ness Monster feature. Chainsaws were used for the most of the carving, Arbortechs were used for some of the detail, and chisels and gouges were used for the face. The sculptures were treated with preservative.

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