So What's It Called?

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been really busy carving a commission which has been great fun, but it had a reasonably tight deadline so it was a little bit full on too!

The Commission

The commission is a really lovely one. One of my very dearest friends wanted me to make something special for her boyfriend’s 40th birthday. She had an initial idea which she wanted me to use as a starting point but she was happy for me to develop it in my own way. I can’t tell you where her inspiration came from because she hasn’t told Rich and he has a year to try and work it out!

It’s the largest carving I’ve done for a while and there were a lot of lines to carve!! I maybe hadn’t thought about this when I was designing it and at times I have to admit it got a little repetitive! However I’m really pleased with how it looks and feel it was well worth the effort!!

Zoe holding her mallet and chisel standing in front of a newly finished carving

So, what’s it called?

As I’ve mentioned before I like to give my work a title which reflects how I’m feeling or what’s going on whilst I’m carving it. With this commission I also wanted to consider who it was for and where it’s going to hang.

This is a very thoughtful gift, given with love and is going to be hung in their sitting room above the fireplace. I was really happy whilst carving it, I was staying with my parents and seeing lots of really dear friends so I felt that I would like something about friendship or love to be in the title. 

Being interested in language I’ve always loved learning about old English words which have died out. More recently I have enjoyed discovering words from other languages used to describe moments or feeling, which have no direct translation to English.

Whilst researching I found a wonderful website by Tim Lomas looking at positive lexicography. It was here I found the perfect title, ‘SAMAR’. Taken from Arabic, the word Samar has different meanings, but one translation is ‘to sit together in conversation at sunset’ 

For me this was the perfect title. Although the days during my visit were mostly filled with carving, I spent many a happy evening sitting outside on my parents verandah, drinking wine and enjoying the company of such dear friends and family. This is something I have missed so much during lockdown, as I’m sure you have too. I also hope this piece is going to be in a place where friends will spend many many enjoyable evenings talking. 


close up of carved section

Mould Making

I’m sending this one off to have a mould made of it. This is something I’ve done myself in the past, but I’m pretty busy at the moment so I’m employing someone far far more skilled at it to do it for me. I’m pretty relieved to not be doing it myself, I don’t feel I know the process well enough so it’s always a little nerve wracking not to mention hugely time consuming!

Getting someone else to make the mould also marks a little bit of a turning point for me in the business. It really is the first time that I’ve employed someone else to do something for me. Even my website I built myself. I certainly feel a sense of pride that I’m at a point where I can consider this as an option.

So once I have the mould I will either then make the casts myself or employ another person to make them for me. This will depend on both finances and time. I have decided to make a limited edition run of this work, with only 20 casts being made, hopefully in time for Christmas!! Keep an eye on my shop or sign up to my Newsletter if you’d like to buy one. 

Zoë putting the finishing touches to her carving, the last few hits with the mallet and chisel

The last few finishing touches!

The rhythm of business

I’m starting to find that whilst it’s certainly the carving that I like the most, I also really like all the other aspects of running a business. Spending some time on social media posts, or updating my website at the computer gives my work a nice variety and theres a sort of rhythm to the week which I really enjoy.  

I’ve been so busy carving this latest piece that its upset that rhythm a little. I’ve missed updating my website and even writing the blog too! I spent so much time recently getting all the other non carving aspects all up and running I want to keep it going and find a way of keeping it up to date whilst being busy carving.

On to the next one!

One of the reasons the last piece had a tight deadline is because it needed to be finished before my next stone delivery arrived. Although this sounds like a self-imposed deadline, I know I have a lot of carving to get done this side of Christmas but couldn’t start until the stone arrived. So there was just time to squeeze in this commission! 

The new stone arrived 3 days after I finished which just gave me time to finalise the first design so I could get carving straight away. 

I’ve got four pieces to carve which are hopefully all heading to a very exciting exhibition. It’s not confirmed yet and there’s a possibility that Covid restrictions will stop play but hopefully by my next blog I’ll be able to reveal what they’re for, I’m very excited!




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