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



Platters

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’


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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


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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”


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Mens Shed

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


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Expect the unexpected

At a recent letter carving demonstration at the Bruton Art Factory world renowned artist Gavin Turk dropped in to observe my work. Not unnerving in the slightest…….


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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

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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:

Mother & daughter at the end of a busy day wood turning for the first time.

Mother & daughter at the end of a busy day wood turning for the first time.

Husband & wife creating bowls and learning spindle work.

Husband & wife creating bowls and learning spindle work.

The dust mask is of course worn over the mouth when sanding - but doubles as a hat when posing for the portrait.

The dust mask is of course worn over the mouth when sanding - but doubles as a hat when posing for the portrait.

Student with his house sign - his first ever letter carving

Student with his house sign - his first ever letter carving

Sculpture for the Bruton Art Factory

Sculpture for the Bruton Art Factory

Glastonbury High Street shop sign - with owner

Glastonbury High Street shop sign - with owner

 

 

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.

Spice Boards - five scoops.

Spice Boards - five scoops.

The five scoop spice board was very popular with cooks. This in turn lead to the smaller version below.

Two scoop spice boards

Two scoop spice boards

This in turn lead to personalisation of the two scoop boards

 

Personalised two scoop board

Personalised two scoop board

Downside Abbey shop ordered scoops and chopping boards with the Gregorian Cross

Appearances at Christmas Fairs followed:

Bruton Castle Christmas Fair

Bruton Castle Christmas Fair

A request from Bruton Art Factory lead to an exploration of different carved symbols and letters

Gallery piece

Gallery piece

Letter with gold leaf

Letter with gold leaf

Playing with perspectives

Playing with perspectives

Meanwhile the house sign orders keep coming

An "Oval" sign in oak

An "Oval" sign in oak

House number prior to painting

House number prior to painting

A new day dawns in Bodden

A new day dawns in Bodden

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.

You never know what you can achieve until you try

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.