St Martins is the main parish Church in Wales church for Caerphilly; back in the day the choir stalls needed replacement and the then-rector was from up-north and ordered the benches from his home town of Kilburn (I think, I was told this tale a long time ago), and from the joiner known as ‘The Mouseman’ aka Robert Thomson. He was known as Mouseman because his signature was a carved mouse and all his apprentices have had to learn to carve a mouse before they have been allowed to progress onto furniture – here are two of them, one day I’ll take my big camera up there and do a photo-essay; one day, been promising to do that for 15 years….
I found this sweet little figurehead upstairs in the Victoria Inn in Salcombe, South Devon (highly recommended by the way). I really don’t know if its a restoration, reproduction, or new carving but I do know I really like it, the tilt of the head just gives the whole piece a lift. I did ask the staff for any information about her but I’m afraid they were none the wiser.
This was a gift for my daughter’s art teacher as he is moving on at the end of this term. I call it keeper of the pearl; if you look really close you might spot the ‘pearl’. There’s a tiny ball that is completely free moving carved inside the dragon’s mouth. I was really pleased with this one; only about 12″ long, it was quite a challenging carve, especially the head, where the eyes are only 3mm long and 2mm high, but it came together very nicely.