The majority of commissions are one-off personal presents for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and Christmas and I find that the exchange of several e-mails soon shapes an agreed way forward. Typically they are interpretations of favourite poems or texts.
The commissions can be sublime or ridiculous, sacred or profane, large (a set of twelve works on the theme of food, menus and restaurants for a development in London) or small, such as an inscription in a book.
I’m happy to do practically anything, as the diversity of items in the following list testifies, so please don’t hesitate to ask about any commission:
- a citation for a retired submariner
- menu boards for a pub
- copies of a will and a trust deed
- design for a house sign
- design for a maker’s nameboard on spinets
- completion of two maps relating to the Army in the late Victorian period
- a large panel (c 5 foot wide) for a birthday, based on ‘snakes and ladders’
- a transcription of a speech by a former Director of the CIA
- a piece showing 20 mathematical equations
- an inscription on a clock
- completion of an Eskimo love poem
- tattoo designs for a Baptist minister
- twenty inscriptions in copies of a biography of a Kenyan politician
- a collaboration on a one-off pair of shoes by Caroline Groves for Whoopi Goldberg. Quotations on American democracy on top and the 'wisdom' of Donald Trump on the soles, ready to be scuffed off
- a panel re Bletchley Park and Enigma for a fireplace in London
Examples of more formal commissions are:
- commemorative pieces for Kellogg College and University Church, Oxford
- two large wooden boards for the National Trust at Stowe
- a design for a memorial in a family chapel in Warwickshire that was cut in Welsh slate by Fergus Wessel
- commemorative pieces for churches including St Aidan’s Church, Salford; Barcheston Church, Warwickshire and St Helen’s Church, Dry Sandford, Oxfordshire
- family trees including one going back to Norman times and another for a living descendant of Shakespeare’s sister, Joan.
Enterprises that have enlisted my services for invitations, certificates and the like include Estee Lauder, Found Associates (Architects), John Bell and Croyden Ltd, Riding for the Disabled Association and Watches of Switzerland.