The restoration of two mid 19th century Spelter figures: The Reaper (‘Left Handed Luke’) and The Sower (‘Nearly Headless Nick‘) is now complete, and the figures have been returned to their home in Kent, whole again.
The two figures are now fully restored, complete, and ready to return home!
This coming weekend, on the 25th and 26th of September, the ‘5 Senses Collective’ will be exhibiting a selection of their work at Plas Newydd Tea Garden: The Tea Garden will be open from 11AM to 6PM both days, with a delicious selection of coffees, teas, cakes and treats! A huge thanks to everyone who attended our first exhibition weekend on the 4th and 5th of September, who helped to make the exhibition such a success.This exhibition is running in conjunction with, and as a part of, the Clwydian Creatives Art Trail 2021 (also on Facebook).
‘The Gull,’ constructed in steel and wire mesh, has been transported to Plas Newydd Tea Gardens, where it will soon be completed in situ as part of the upcoming ‘5 Senses Collective’ Exhibition (held on the weekends of the 4th/5th and 25th/26thof September, 2021, as part of the Clwydian Creatives Art Trail – click here for their Facebook page).
Visitors to the Tea Gardens will be able to observe Nick working on ‘The Gull’ in its final stages. The piece will be permanently installed at Plas Newydd in late autumn, once the garden plants die back, and before the arrival of the Shepherd’s Hut.
The slideshow below shows Nick, James, and Lucy Eames preparing and transporting the gull, together with Studio Assistant Ewan Stell, James Bigglestone, and Luke Griffiths.
The ‘5 Senses Collective’ combines a variety of different media, curated together in one beautiful space – set against the stunning backdrop of Moel Famau and the Clwydians. The Collective features:
The brilliant Sonia Goulding (of turningthestones.com, and recently featured in Acumen’s online guest poetry) has written this amazing article about Nick, his process, and the intentions behind his work, published in print with North Wales Magazine – they’ve done a beautiful job with the formatting and presentation of it, too!
The article can be found on page 11 of the August 2021 edition, so please support the magazine by picking up a copy. You can check out the pages here, but trust us, it’s even better in print (click on the images for a full preview).
Thank you, Sonia and North Wales Magazine! Photos are courtesy of David Allen, Nick Eames and Tim Johnson.
Nick is restoring two mid 19th century Spelter figures for his family, together with his Studio Assistant, Ewan Stell. Given the nature of the damage, we’ve named the two figures ‘Left Handed Luke’ and ‘Nearly Headless Nick.’
To restore these figures, Nick will carry out museum quality repairs, otherwise known as reversible repair. This involves the use of rust proof studding, epoxy resin, putty and adhesives. Not only is there no risk of destroying the original piece, but it is possible to differentiate between the restored sections and the original by X-ray. This method is preferable to welding – which risks destroying large areas of the original piece, and is irreversible (museums generally frown on welding as a method of restoration).
In these photographs, the two figures can be seen in Nick’s studio. Ewan is cleaning the figures before the restoration work begins.
Stay tuned to see the next stage of the restoration process…
The casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) is now complete, and the piece will soon be displayed within the Grosvenor Museum, Chester – as part of an exhibition drawing inspiration from Roman chariot racing.
Final stage: Once the sculpture has been stained, gold leaf is applied to the raised filligree.
Whilst installing ‘The Sisters’ in Ellesmere last June, Nick had this idea for a memorial to mark the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. This is the mockup that we produced of his initial idea, ‘The Oracle,’ set against the beautiful backdrop of Ellesmere. He is now looking for a suitable site for this powerful piece.
At the time, Nick made this statement: “In the six years of the Second World War, the UK lost some 60,000 civilians to the conflict. We have lost the same number in 3 months, to this devastating virus.” Today, one year on, the total deaths in the UK have surpassed 152,000.
“After both world wars there was a need for memorials in almost every town and village, and I feel there’s a need for a place of focus and contemplation: As a response to the premature and unexpected loss of so many lives.”