Frequently asked questions

Realising your vision is at the heart of everything I do.

“An absolutely stunning piece of craftsmanship … Your finished carving brings admiration from everyone who visits us and of course we are very proud of it too!”.


Here you’ll find the answers to questions I often get asked about my work and the materials I use.

Can you use any type of wood?

Yes, but certain types of wood don’t last as well as others. Some woods like birch and poplar don’t last very well outdoors, and some woods like Oak and Cedar weather really well and will last for years. Please ask if you want to know about a specific species.

Can I treat wood to make it last longer?

For how long is a bit of an unknown quantity. A clear wood preservative can lengthen the life of any timber but will only soak in to the outer 2-3mm of wood. This preserves the outside but won’t stop existing fungal growth or bacteria on the inside of the wood. Placing the sculpture into a concrete slab, or gravel can help to stop it soaking up moisture, or having spacers to allow airflow under the sculpture. This will also help to prevent the growth of fungal spores inside the wood. As mentioned in question 1, the species will determine what treatment is best.
In addition to the wood preservative, a clear decking oil will give a weather resistant surface and lengthen the lifespan, but this needs repeating every 3-6 months depending on the weather conditions.

Will the colour change?

Yes. All wood changes colour over time, treated or untreated. If left untreated, most wood will eventually get bleached by the sun and turn a silver grey colour, which can look really nice, and in most cases almost looks like stone. When treated with a UV resistant coating like decking oil, the wood colour will remain, but if part of the coating wears off and the wood is bleached by the sun, the colour will not return unless it is sanded or re-carved.

Will my sculpture crack?

All wood will move and crack depending on the environment it is kept in. Wood shrinks faster circumferentially than it does radially, and that’s why you see wood slices open up like a cake with a slice taken out of it.
There are ways to reduce the movement of wood, and I always try to carve the main features of a sculpture towards the outer edges of the log to minimise splitting in the important parts. I also try when possible to use larger diameter timber and create sculptures using sections of timber without the centre. This reduces the amount of cracking substantially.

Can you carve anything?

Within reason, yes! The only limitations are due to the material and not the artist! Wood is weak when delicate parts are carved across the grain, so I work with the strengths of the material and create poses that will be strong. You can add pieces of wood to a sculpture to create something bigger or to strengthen certain parts too, so technically nothing is impossible!

Do I have to have a tree?

No! I can source suitable timber for any project so just ask.

How much will it cost?

The short answer is “It depends!” But this isn’t very helpful so here’s a bit more information.
My sculpture commissions start from £600 and can be any price from there up. If I’m carving a tree stump at your property then there are other factors that can make a difference, like access, location, height etc. This means on-site sculpture commissions start from £2400.
Life-size human figures will be between £6000 and £12000 depending on the complexity of the design and the pose.
Wildlife based sculptures start from £600, and depending on the height and how many creatures are included, up to £20,000+
Fantasy creatures like dragons can vary in cost, depending on the type of creature and the pose.
A 2m memorial bench with a pictorial engraving on the back would typically cost around £2500.
Fine furniture and structural projects start from £1800.
If your budget doesn’t fit I can often find a solution, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, whether it takes a payment plan or putting you in touch with one of many other sculptors I know!