In 2013 one of my best friends died after suffering an illness. He was an artist and maker and one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. His family asked me to produce designs for a gravestone which would include one of his Green Man sculptures (below).


While the original sculpture was very 3-dimensional, the constraints of a gravestone meant I had to compress the projecting face into a relief carving, meaning it would be much flatter than David’s original.

The typeface was chosen and a design approved:


I ordered the York stone slab with a raised section for the Green Man, and got to work, roughing out the face.



It’s a fascinating process, and one that requires precision. I always reapply the squares and features in pencil It’s amazing how the nose, eyes etc can wander if you just decide to free-carve. It’s a constant back and forth with reapply the pencil on the stone, measuring and carving.


After adding the irises, the face was complete and then the letter-carving was begun. I traced it onto tracing paper then using carbon paper etched it on to the stone, then began to carve.


This is it prior to the final wet-rub where I get rid of all the chisel marks. You can see how compressed the face is compared to the original.


And here it is in situ in the village of Doulting, Somerset.


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In the Summer of 2014, Geraint Davies made a beautiful headstone for the grave of my husband David Bowles. He carved a perfect low-relief version of the Green Man head that was David’s signature piece, and below that, he cut the lettering showing his name, dates, and a blessing, all in mellow York Stone. The lettering is delicate and fine, giving the Green Man Roundel a prominent position. My family and I are very pleased with, and impressed by the quality of Geraint’s work, including the dedication he put into faithfully reproducing the carved image, and the way he involved us at every stage of the process. I recommend Geraint Davies as Artist, Sculptor, Stone Cutter, Calligrapher and Mason, as his skills encompass all of these forms. His level of commitment and devotion to excellence, are rare and wonderful qualities, along with his ability to relate to clients needs with sensitivity and intelligence, all contribute to the high quality of his work.
Gloria Bowles