Monday, 4 July 2011


Is there order in Nature?   The subject of a week at the end of May making Sculptures with Primary School children.   I was invited to work with pupils at a School in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire to make five Sculptures using natural materials and to stand in the School garden.

My proposal to the School was Totemic Sculpture at least 1.8 metres high constructed from cut up pallet wood and rustic Hazel, Ash and Apple stickwood

I like the idea of Garden Sculpture doubling as Bug Hotels or bird nesting boxes and this suited the Schools overgrown garden which had a border of mixed herbaceous shrubs.

Days were divided into four sessions each with a new group.   All children had at least two periods working on the Sculptures during the week and I worked with a total of over a hundred children.

We used basic tools, hammers and nails, hand saws, cordless drill and screwdriver and wood screws.   I supplied scrap pallets to saw up, sacks of chopped sticks cut from our orchard and two metre long coppiced Hazel rods.

The first stage was sawing up the pallet wood and making 24 rectangular frames.   The frames were then overlaid or infilled with cut sticks in rustic patterns and with as much variety of design as possible.

For each of the five proposed Sculptures the top sections were made first by assembling four or five frames into interesting, individual and fully three dimensional constructions.

These Architectural constructions were good to look at as Sculptural forms especially the way they changed as you walked round seeing them from different points of view.

On day four the Sculptures took shape as long Hazel poles were stood up in five pyramids.   Lifting each construction of frames up and drilling and screwing it into the top of a Hazel pole pyramid.

The final stages were nailing cut lengths of heavy pine into sqares for the bases and attaching them to the bottoms of each of the Hazel pole pyramids.   The five Sculptures were carried to the garden where dead shrubs had been cut down to make five spaces.   We mixed concrete and filled each bases then covered the concrete with chipped bark.

A video was made during the week which is going to be used as a teaching aid in Lincolnshire Schools.   The School have been awarded the prize for the best creative project in Lincolnshire by EBP the Education Business Partnership.

All the creative work I do with Lincolnshire Schools is made possible with help and funding from CfBT, the Lincolnshire Schools Improvement Service and Lincolnshire County Council.


  1. haa! what a great series of shots! I like the whole totemic statues concept and I think it works. They look quite imposing. Very well done and blog looks great!

  2. Fantastic Roger - kid's artwork is so efortless and unconscious - a state of mind we can only dream of! i love the close up shots, each of them seem to frame a sculpture in it's own right. Great to mix recycled timber with raw and the height makes the sculpture very imposing. I hope you'll be invited to more schools!
    Why not ask the kids to do some drawings of the sculpture in situ like the great ones you did at the Hubert Dalwood show??
    glad you've got your blog up and running, look forward to future posts.

  3. One afternoon it rained so I had the children drawing and I photographed lots of the results, most impressive work which will have to be the subject of a future project.

    Thank you both for the encouraging comments!!

  4. Great Stuff Papa, they look ace :)

  5. Roger....the sculptures are delightful in idea, construction and solution...lucky children to work with you and lucky birds, bugs and garden. Great success. And the blog looks excellent.

  6. It looks very interesting, Roger, best regards from Hans and the

  7. cor well done Roger - i bet they were pleased as punch with the results!

  8. Fantastic!
    do you have any photos of the kids working on making them?

  9. Congratulations Roger for this fantastic project, it is very impressive, to work with saw, nails, drills and a 100 kids! No headache at night?
    The totem looks so good and specially with plants in the garden. Very inspiring.

  10. Hi Roger
    I just got back from a trip south.
    I love your sculpture project. I would've loved to have done this as a child.
    Do check out my blogs, I'm over there often.

  11. I am charmed working with children! The imagination of the children is fascinating, and accompanied of your art ... the result is beautiful!
    I believe that it would be entertained to do a workshop with you, realy!

  12. These sculpies are amazing.

    As to "order in nature" we have a lot to discuss!

    Thanks for being in touch.


  13. Hi Roger , love the wooden sculptures of course . Great that you are working and producing unpretentious natural works of art .