How did you join the Eco Shed?

I joined when Richard was in charge, which was quite a while ago. Someone told me about it, and said to give it a go and I really enjoyed myself.

What did you particularly like about it?

That I could be as creative as possible. I’ve always liked painting on wood, and have moved from there to 3D, carving things.

What sort of things have you carved?

Mostly fantasy type stuff, really weird and unusual. The inspiration just pops into my head. I’d love to make a table in the shape of The Thing from the horror movie, it mutates so there are teeth and one place and a head in another, really twisted. Really a dark horror-type chair. Making something like that that’s also stable to sit on!

"I like horror stuff but I’m terrified of spiders, which is awkward in the workshop, especially when I’m going through the wood pile to find pieces of wood to work with!"

How do you choose which pieces of wood to use?

Sometimes I know as soon as I look at it. When I did the snake, originally a log with the middle bit taken out so it was hollowed, as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Obviously my ideas are constantly changing as I’m carving, the snake is 80% the same as when I started but it’s quite hard to get the shape perfect.

What are you hoping to make in the future?

All sorts really - fantasy/horror based, but tables, chairs and then also decorations. Something that when people see it they’ll want to stop and look at it.

Can you tell us about making the elephant?

I started off just carving the face, then thought ‘what if I did the top bit?’ then just kept adding and adding until it became an elephant stuck in a log. At the moment it’s my favourite piece I’ve ever done, I want to do some more pieces like that, so they’re separate but attached. It’s a lot easier to work with those logs, because I can just grab the log and start carving rather than having to plan stages.

I go into my own little world when I’m making it, thinking about what bits of wood to take away, all I’m really thinking about when I’m doing it is the shape and the detail, I’m obsessed with the detail. I do a mix of using the dremel, a knife and a porographer - which helps to burn images onto the wood, it’s pretty much a hot pen. It can be kind of frustrating if I can’t make something perfect, like on the snake I wanted to do a tongue but it wasn’t strong enough to stay on because it was flimsy so I had to find a different way to do it. The worst thing is when I see one of my old pieces and I think I can do better on it, I have to try and leave it alone!

Fancy owning a piece of Garry's artwork? Contact Eco Shed to talk about custom design work or visit the Eco Shed shop to see what's in stock now!

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Written by Terie Fielder - Project Lead, Eco Shed

Garry has been interested in "branching" out to produce larger work for some time now.  One of his dreams is to be able to carve large items using a chainsaw but was obviously not confident to "try this at home".   We researched local chainsaw artists and luckily the first one that we contacted was very interested to meet with Garry.  Les Langley a.k.a The Chainsaw Wizard invited Garry to attend Biddenden Tractor Festival on 18th August as informal work experience.  Les was happy to show Garry what life as a chainsaw artist was like; attending fairs and giving public demonstrations.

Garry really enjoyed his day at the festival. Les offered Garry the opportunity to display his work on the Chainsaw Wizard's stalls in the future. He also invited Garry to spend time his workspace observing him with a view to having practical lessons in the art. 

Garry has been focusing his creativity on carving for some time now and has shown a real talent.  Using rotary tools and carving knives, Garry has produced some amazing pieces of work from fruits with comical faces to sensitive memorial plaques.  Garry's last commission was for a memorial cross with a detailed carving of a Dodo and engraving that will be placed at a grave in France.  At the moment, Garry is using his support in the Eco Shed to improve his time management and the pricing of commissions. This is equipping Garry with the skills to build up his own business.