2019 Letter Carving Courses
I am very pleased to announce the dates of my external courses in the first half of 2019.
8th & 9th February 2019 Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester, Dorset Full details here
8th March to 12th April 2019 Bishop’s Palace Wells Full details here
16th March 2019 ACEarts, Somerton. Further details will be on their website shortly here
Delighted to collaborate with Phil Irons to carve letters on to these commemorative platters. Carving the full circumference is always challenging as the grain is different for every letter. The elm was particulalry interesting as those that know this timber will tell you. Despite our grand ages, Phil & I have yet to master the art of the ‘selfie’
Causeway Arts and Crafts
A delightful venue in Mark, hosted by the very lovely Helen McGinty, saw a letter carving course in October 2018 where the tea and cake were kept flowing. Lovely work from the participants. Keep an eye on this page for more dates in 2019 at this charming venue. Alternatively check on the website Causeway Arts and Crafts
Letter Carvers at the Palace
Some of the less camera shy participants of the Autumn 2018 letter carving course at the Bishop’s Palace Wells. Another lovely, enthusiastic group proudly showing off their work. There is another course coming up this Spring 2019 click here for further details. Feedback from these students included “5/5, Excellent Teacher”, “5/5, Loved the music, humour and the biscuits” “Loved producing a piece of work to be proud of”
2018 sees the launch of Mens Shed in Shepton Mallet. I am delighted to be able to help them with their woodturning - it is always a pleasure seeing people trying out a new craft. For further details of Mens Shed, click here
Poem for Mells Church
Delighted to have been commisioned to carve a poem for Mells Church. Written by the former clock winder, here is the unofficial handover to his widow. The poem was carved on a 3ft by 3ft piece of oak. It comprised 491 individual letters each 12mm high. It took a while…. and the first verse had to be carved upside down as I couldn’t reach that far up the timber. Nothing like a challenge, but very worthwhile. It now hangs in the Church alongside some lettering by Eric Gill, quite an honour.
Letter Carving course at the Bishop's Palace
From 5th April I am running a six-week course in Letter Carving in Wood; it's held at the Bishop's Palace in Wells, every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm until 10th May. You'll learn about the tools and techniques involved in letter carving as you carve a memorable year in Roman Numerals, moving on to all 26 letters of the alphabet. By the end of the course you will have begun your own project, carving a name in a typeface of your own choice.
The cost is £90 for the whole course. To book please visit the Bishop's Palace website, or contact The Palace Shop (01749 988111 ext. 205.)
Nynehead Court Sculpture Park wind chime
Somerset’s largest wind chime is now installed at Nynehead Court Sculpture Park. Thanks to Justin and his team, these six-metre-long poles are in position with two-metre-long bamboo chimes.
Beauty ≠ Perfection
From 27th May to 24th June 2017 I exhibited my Beauty ≠ Perfection installation at the ACEarts Gallery in Somerton. Here's a selection of quotes from the visitor book:
"Could spend ages here, thank you." Lizzie K, 31 May 2017
"Beautiful bowls, lovely carvings. The installation made me ponder..."
"Very stimulating – full of interesting ideas."
"Wood is just so organically beautiful. I have very much enjoyed your work." MM Thorne
"Liked the sculptural work and use of text. Larger turned work lacked the grace, still good!"
"Fascinating work & love the stories behind the techniques!" A Hyatt, 24 June 2017
One year in and busier than ever
It's been over a year since Bodden Cross Studio was launched and I have rarely been busier. Wood turning days are proving to be very popular with a steady stream of people coming to make their first bowl. Signs have been carved for Glastonbury High Street shops and private homes across Somerset. Sculpture has been created and sold through the Bruton Art Factory, bowls and chopping boards are proving to be popular at aceARTs in Somerton. Some examples of this work are pictured below:
Valentines Day approaches
A range I have developed for Valentines Day is proving to be very popular. A Valentines Heart with recess for the billet doux or small gift.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you all and thank you for all the orders. In between the wood turning and wood carving courses I have been busy making gifts.
The five scoop spice board was very popular with cooks. This in turn lead to the smaller version below.
This in turn lead to personalisation of the two scoop boards
Downside Abbey shop ordered scoops and chopping boards with the Gregorian Cross
Appearances at Christmas Fairs followed:
A request from Bruton Art Factory lead to an exploration of different carved symbols and letters
Meanwhile the house sign orders keep coming
13 September 2015
After years of helping people "have a go" at working with wood, the Bodden Cross Studio is now officially launched.
Stephen Stokes has now formally opened the doors of his studio to welcome beginners of all ages to come and try woodturning, carving and creating something special.
Half day and full day courses are available – the ideal addition to that weekend away in the country.
For more details get in touch via the contact button at the top of the page.
Stephen's table in the Sunday Times!
Stephen's neighbour, author Tobias Jones commissioned him to make a table for the community at Windsor Hill Wood, a 10-acre woodland shelter near Shepton Mallet. The residents and volunteers took part in its construction, under Stephen's tuition.
Read all about it in Tobias' new book "A Place of Refuge" - available in all proper bookshops and online. To quote from the book, "Stephen was a perfectionist, never allowing any of us to be content with shoddy work".
You can read the full article here if you have access to the Sunday Times website.