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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Geraint Davies was commissioned to design and carve a roundel to fill a vacant place above the main entrance porch to Saint James’s Church, Spanish Place. As a listed building of some merit and  one of particular interest in the Catholic history of London this was a sensitive task which Geraint executed with great patience and skill. I was impressed by the amount of time and care taken in preparing both the plans and the material for what has turned out to be a splendid addition to the visual impact of the church. Now that it is lit at night the roundel of the glorified Christ attracts much interest and is becoming a noteworthy (and sympathetic) part of the Marylebone architectural scene.
Father Christopher ColvenMarylebone, London