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Since retirement I have embarked on wood sculpture.

This is something that had been in my mind for some time, and having retired I had more time to spend on it, there was the opportunity to start. I'd been motivated by my colleague Frans Hilgers who has been sculpting for many years with stone and more lately wood in Overveen, Holland. Like myself Frans is trained in head and neck surgery, and he made me realise that with our surgical training of thinking 3-dimensionally, its a natural art form for us.

I had some very good advice from Blair Logan, regarding the Arbortech range of wood sculpting tools.

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“my new studio built over the pandemic in 2020, instead of our planned 40th anniversary trip

Stages in sculpting opus1, done in Yarra, a hard wood from Western Australia. 

OPUS 1: "Deborah" in Jarrah

Opus 1: “Deborah”  Reworked

The re-worked version of my first piece; Opus #1. or "suprasternal notch"

Figure in Jarrah, 370X140mm, finished in Danish oil, mounted in Rimu base.

This was a study of the suprasternal notch anatomy, but finally resulted in the whole trunk.  Completed in May 2019

Opus 1
Opus 2

Opus 2: “Moai" in Rimu

Reconfigured Opus 2. - Moai
I also reconfigured my sculpture of a Moai. This was done in a solid piece of Rimu 800X200 mm.
This was to alter the nose and mouth and improve the base of the figure. The features are now more typical of the originals in Easter Island.  Original completed in May 2019

Opus 3: “Suprasternal notch” #2
Bust in Kauri recycled wood.  200mmX230mm
The wood needed some repair in the shoulders. This was done with the use of wood filings and glue. This required some disguise so I decided to use a tinted varnish. I mounted it on a base of Rimu.
Completed in June 2019  Given to Kelly Gregor

Opus 3
Opus 4

Opus 4: Figure in Rimu

Title:  Derrière

Completed in July 2019. Given to Tony Sisam

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Opus 5

Opus 5: Figurine in NZ Kauri. Base of Rimu.

Title:  A further study in the anatomy of the suprasternal notch.

Completed in July 2019.

Opus 6: Figure carved from a Totara post.

Finished in Dryden wood oil.

Totara posts have been used traditionally in New Zealand as fence posts and last more than 100 years in the ground.

1 metre X 250mm. Completed August 2019. Given to Kelly Gregor

OPus 6
Opus 7

Opus 7: Abstract figure in Kauri, base of Rimu.

Finished in Danish oil

Dimensions: 500mm X 200mm. Competed in September 2019

Given to Reinie and Kathryn Gregor

Opus 8

Opus 8: Figure sculpted in NZ Kauri. Base of Rimu.

Finished in several layers of Danish oil with sanding in between with fine grit.

Dimensions: 539mm X 230mm.  Completed September 2019.

Opus 9

Opus 9: Geometrical figure in Rimu

Finished in Danish oil.

Dimensions: 450X130 mm  completed during September 2019.

Given to Simon Harrington

Opus 10

Opus 10: Abstract figure in Totara.

Before and After Finishing with Drydan oil.

Dimensions: 955X125 mm  Completed in October 2019

Given to Fiona and Tony Sisam

Opus 11: Figure carved in Totara.

Finished in Drydan oil.

Dimensions: 930X150 mm.  Completed November 2019.

Given to Harry Stronach, Banks Peninsula.

Opus 11
Opus 12

Opus 12: Figure carved in Kauri.

Latest sculpture done in NZ Kauri- meant to complement opus 8, seen here at left.

Dimensions: 600 x 200mm  Completed December 2019.

Unfortunately this piece of Kauri that was recycled from a demolition had multiple nails that had stained the wood. For this reason I used Dryden oil with a tint to try to hide the blemishes. It will be an outside item, as it’s only been partially successful!

Opus 13

Opus 13: Figure carved in Totara.


Recycled wood requiring some repairs

Finished in Dryden oil

900mX 60mm  Completed March 2020, sited at our bach, Taupo

Opus 14

Opus 14:  Abstract figure done in NZ Kauri

430X200 mm.

Finished in tung oil blend -- Set in base of Rimu

Completed in April 2020. Gifted to Reinie and Kath for their 5th anniversary

Opus 15

Opus 15: “The dive” figure sculpted in Totara

Recycled from building demolitions. 
Dimensions: 800X170mm
Base of Rimu. Finished in a tung oil blend.

completed June 2020.

For Reinie when he finishes orthopaedics.

Opus 16: Abstract figure in NZ Kauri

Dimensions: 420X200mm. Finished in Danish oil, in a base of Rimu.
Front and back. Completed in July 2020

Opus 16
Opus 17

Opus 17:  Abstract  torso figure in Cryptomeria (Japanese red Cedar) or “Sugi” in Japanese.

Completed in August 2020

 360X190 mm - Finished in Danish Oil

Given to Des Hoyes

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Opus 18

Opus 18: Totara

Finished in Dryden oil.

Dimensions: 1000X110 mm. Completed in October 2020, commissioned by Fiona for Kathy Sisam

Opus 19

Opus 19: “Faniciulla del bosco” - wood maiden.

Figure in Cryptomeria (Japanese red cedar). Dimensions: 1360mm X400mm
Finished in Danish oil - base with Dryden oil. 

Completed in November 2020

Opus 20

Opus 20: 3 Figures in weathered Totara

Done as a birthday gift for Marie Utley.

Tikis made in Ngarua marble. Completed in May 2021

Opus 21

Opus 21: “Aphrodite”.

570mm X 120mm figure in Kauri - Finished in Danish oil. Completed in May 2021

Gifted to Lynne Nichol, Marlow, England.

This view of Aphrodite in her new position in her owners home in Marlow.
Opus 22

Opus 22: Sculpture of the "Little Mermaid”.

After the bronze in the harbour of Copenhagen. Based on the stories of Hans Christian Anderson. 
Walnut 35cmX20cm -In relief form. Completed in August 2021.

Done in honour of my dad, who loved the stories and the original statue.


Opus 23: “The Family”.

“The family” sculptures using 100-year-old Totara fence poles from Akaroa, Tikis made from Marble from Ngarua caves in Golden Bay area. Strung with braided stainless steel thread, and finished with Dryden oil with tint. Included mother and child.   dimensions: 100x9 cm; 103x10cm; 95x7cm.

Work in progress -- this version September 2021.

Opus 24

Opus 24: “Serenity”.

Figurine in Kahikatea. 480mm X 200 mm. “Serenity” These are of the tallest giants in the NZ forests. (Over 60 up to 80 meters) This was wood from Banks peninsula. Finished in a tinted polyurethane varnish because to repairs to the wood was needed. Base of Rimu. Completed in December 2021.

Opus 25

Opus 25: 

650 X 130 mm Abstract figurine in Kauri. Finished in Danish oil.

Mounted on Rimu base.

Completed March, 2022.

Opus 26

Opus 26: Sculpture of abstract female figure in Oak.  1.3m X 250mm approx. "Freedom"
Done on commission- proceeds to Hospice, and Ukraine charity.
A view of the sculpture in position in the owner's home: below.


Opus 27: Female torso: 
Sculpted in Kahikatea, on a base of Matai -- 400 mm X 200mm Finished in Danish oil. -- completed in November 2022 Sold to Dr. Robert Tait, Newcastle Australia. Proceeds to Hospice, Waikato.


Opus 28: sculpture of Totara post: Done on commission, base of Kahikatea (rustic)
1100mmX 150mm
Finished in Danish oil, completed in December, 2022


Opus 29:  Sculpture of a Totara fencepost (approx. 100 years old)


The head of a Moai (Easter Island) is sculpted at the top and the rest of the post is left rustic. This was made as a wedding present.

1000mm X 150mm
Finished with Dryden oil. 


Picture shows the sculpture in its new home.

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Opus 30

Opus 30: Moai Head sculpted on Totara fencepost
Height: approx. 1 metre X 250mm - finished in Dryden oil
Donated to Waikato Hospice - Auctioned, sold for $950.

Opus 31

Opus 31:  two small abstract sculptures using old Totara fence poles.
each 350X70mm - gifts for friends in South Africa
finished in dryden oil and beeswax


The two sculptures pictured in  their new owners' homes.

Opus 32: Abstract figure in Totara; 1mX250mm.
Finished in Dryden oil

Made for Martin and Judith Bennett

Opus 33: Female figurine in swamp Kauri.
830mmX 90mm, Finished in Danish Oil


Opus 34: Figure in Kahikatea: Finished in Danish oil: This is a replica of carving made by the Mapuche people of Chile. They are also found in Argentina and Patagonia.


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