Figurative sculpture, Garden Sculpture, eco signs and Memorials.
Suitable for all public and private design projects.
All my work is very contemporary in terms of sustainability and ecological responsibility. It is 'Now' with 2018 values. The timber I use is grown in Scotland and sourced from well managed forests, plantations, windblown or from dangerous trees. My supplying Saw Mill is under three hours driving distance from my workshop and apart from a few light weight electric machines, I use only traditional hand held tools to make each piece.
Every piece I produce has a very light foot print on the environment.
Let us look at CO2. I have been trying to find a reliable source for information regarding the CO2 status of timber verses Bronze. So far I have not been successful. However, from the American ‘Pulp and paper resources and information site’:
‘Wood is the only construction material which has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere.’
It goes on to explain:
‘One tonne of steel releases 1.24 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
One tonne of Aluminium releases 9.3 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
One tonne of wood has absorbed a net of 1.7 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere over and above the energy expended in growing, harvesting and processing.’
I think Bronze (often used for making sculpture) is somewhere between steel and aluminium. Now, I’m not sure if these above figures are entirely accurate but it is a good starting point from which to decide just how serious we are about the environment. If the above figures are reasonably accurate then I might argue that my work comes with a theoretical (or should that be real?) carbon credit.
I have taken some advice regarding the CO2 advantages of using wood over bronze for sculpture. It largely depends on how long a period of time the piece will be required for. For example, if you choose my wooden Larch figures as demarcation for a family play zone in a public park. That play zone may have a projected life of say twenty years before it is expected to be redeveloped. With some maintenance and possibly repair my Larch figures will probably be set fair to be reinstalled in the redeveloped play zone (assuming no vandalism). The wooden Larch figures will have locked up the absorbed CO2 all that time. Further, if a piece is to be installed in a spot less prone to extreme weather conditions and unlikely to experience high and low fluctuating temperatures, the maintenance/repair could be considerably reduced. For example, a piece not exposed to direct sun light, sheltered from rain and frost in a steady ambient temperature might well go on and on without any significant repair.
Further, the CO2 emissions of forest management and wood processing to make a wooden sculpture are much less than for a similar metal sculpture.
I would point out that my wooden figures should perform well in relation to their modest cost.
However, if you require a sculpture of a prominent person that will last for 100 to possibly 500 years, then a single bronze sculpture will probably be more CO2 efficient in the very long term because a wooden Larch sculpture would have to be remade several times. On the other hand, I might advise (if the very long term is required) a sculpture is made from Oak or Douglas Fir, in which case their inherent resilience could mean that the Bronze sculpture might have to last nearer 500 than 100 years before it’s environmental case is overwhelming.
Before proceeding down the 100 year plus route, I would suggest you also consider the much-publicised case of the sculpture of Cecil Rhodes. Times and values change surprisingly quickly and I’m thinking so too will the people we wish to remember.
I have no wish to paint an inaccurate picture or mislead anyone and therefore I wish to point out the limitations of our eco policy more generally. To make a piece 'fit for purpose' I do use a marine epoxy resin (see Public Art page for more details) to laminate the timber. If the piece is made from larch and is to be installed out in the open I also encapsulate it in marine epoxy resin and then varnish it with a polyurethane varnish. The outer coating has the advantage of preserving the natural colour of the wood and adding significantly to the overall longevity of the piece.
However, you may choose for me not to coat your larch piece in either epoxy or varnish preferring the 'weathering' effect of the wood. Some might see an Arty process in the gradual and natural deterioration of the piece - the choice is yours.