We recently moved to a village near Newark and wanted to have a wood-carving from one of the trees which had to be felled in the garden. We researched wood-carvers in the area and found Mark's website which showed the range of his expertise and his ability. We invited Mark to come and have a look at the tree before it was felled as we wished to have a dolphin carving and wanted Mark to suggest the best shape to be left by the tree surgeon. Mark took three days to finish this stunning dolphin. As has been mentioned elsewhere, Mark takes time to study and methodically consider the carving as he progresses and provides a very professional outlook to his work. His skill speaks for itself and he is very pleasant to engage with, often asking us if we had any particular preference for a certain detail.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and since the completion of the dolphin there have been many admirers, often asking if they can come into the garden and take photos. Russell Drury / Carol Stones
Memorial Owl - Private Commission
From first contacting mark to the finished piece my wife and I cannot thank him enough for the kind, caring and professional manor in which he dealt with our request, nothing was to much trouble.
Our finished owl is truly stunning, sleek and beautiful carved from a very fine quality piece of oak showing off the grain of the wood to perfection.
We highly recommend mark to anyone he has carved us a piece of art that will stay in our family for generations.
Many thanks Chris and Lydia.
Memorial Bench - Private commission - Tracey Lloyd
Thank you so much! The bench looks amazing in situ, and I'll be sending you photos as soon as I download them. Paula's daughter was absolutely delighted and it's such a comfortable seat, everyone wants to come and sit on it!
Thanks again, Tracey
Deer seat - Woodhall Country Park - Ian Edmondson
We are so pleased with the carving you did for us here at Woodhall Country Park. The customer feedback has been so positive and it is proving to be a real feature. I have lost count of how many times I have seen customers taking photos and posing along side it. I wish we had, had it made sooner.
Ian Edmondson Country Park Manager
Memorial Bench - Private commission - John Steele
Liz loved the bench and she has the photos. Everyone who has seen the bench has admired it.
Flower - Private commission - Leo Wright
We commisioned Mark to sculpt two wood carvings using reclaimed trees from an allotment clearance. The first carving was a memorial for Pete Mc'Cormrick - the founder of Urban Nature on the St Anns allotment site. The carving is of a beautifully detailed flower facing the sun and is situated at the end of a path through one of Urban natures wild flower meadows. We also asked Mark to sculpt a similar piece for our own private garden in sherwood. Mark worked relentlessly to finish the piece on time and i'm sure he spent far more time on his work than he was being commisioned for. He is a very modest and pleasant man and i would recomend him as a truely passionate and skilled artist who loves his work.
Mushrooms - St Ann's Community Orchard - Richard Arkwright
Mark has been involved with STAA and St Ann’s Community Orchard since 2004 when I mentored him on the Millennium Awards Scheme. At the time I was struck by his intelligence and enthusiasm. Being at the time quite inexperienced, he went on all the courses he could find, taught himself, experimented and came up with some very simple yet powerful designs which quickly became very popular features on the Orchard. A year later, he returned again, this time mentoring two other wood-carvers who also produced high-impact work to meet our specifications.
Since then, Mark has been a regular visitor and, as of last year, our “Artist in Residence”. We have commissioned him to make a memorial chair for a local community activist and a spinning pendant for STAA as part of the national Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens celebrations. Whenever resources allow us or partner projects to pay for the services of a community artist or wood-cutter, we always turn to Mark; indeed, I have recommended him many times.
He is a skilled and creative wood-worker, using both chainsaw and hand-tools to startling effect. The work he has done on the Orchard has become well-loved by children and adults alike – there is a simplicity to his work which just asks to be felt and touched and explored. He has also facilitated workshops where children and adults can ‘have a go’: he is very personable and at ease with people, keen to share his skills and enthusiasm.
For a community artist, of course, technical proficiency is only half the story. Mark is simply a pleasure to work with. He thinks deeply about his work, usually coming up with many more ideas than can be put into practice, with a real feel for how what he does can fit into the ethos and landscape of the place where he is working. He is highly professional and reliable, often going the extra mile to make sure that he is meeting client needs. And he is dedicated to the development of his own practice. Many is the evening I’ve received a text from Mark saying “I’m on the Orchard” and turned up the next day to see another new creation emerging out of the undergrowth.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mark for any job, particularly one based at a community project where working with people and reflecting a sense and spirit of place is paramount.