Hugglescote Bear Sculpture

The Hugglescote Bear Sculpture was commissioned by our village forum with grant funding from The Sence Valley Environmental Improvement Forum and The National Forest Company.

Tom Kenrick was selected as the sculptor for our village feature following interviews from a shortlist of 6 talented artists that had responded to our advertised brief.

At the interview Tom explained that if successful this would be his first major commission, he proceeded to show us pictures of his work, explain his background and training and sketches of his proposal for the sculpture. He said he had intended to make a clay model of the bear, but he had this piece of bath stone so he had carved a maquette of his proposal and lifted out of a bag this magnificent model of the Hugglescote Bear. The panel looked at each other and without speaking the decision was made, details were discussed and agreed and the commission granted.

Tom worked well to the agreed timescale, organised the foundation works, the delivery and installation of the bear and the sculpture he produced has a much greater value to the village than the commissioned cost.

I therefore have no reservation in recommending Tom Kenrick to you as a highly skilled professional Stone Carver.

Clark Robinson

Chairman - Hugglescote Ellistown & Snibstom Community Project.
Committee Member - Hugglescote Donington Le Heath Forum.

Windy House Lane Leaves & Sheffield Cemetery

City Road runs through the centre of the south Sheffield Area Development Framework - this is an area selected for regeneration funding as it suffered from some of the highest incidences of deprivation in the city. It is an area dominated by large council estates, and has a bad reputation for anti-social behaviour. What was needed was a scheme that would improve the general perception of the area, and make it somewhere people would want to be.

A number of potential sites for sculpture installations were identified. Eventually practical constraints meant that some sites had to be dropped, and we were left with five sites along City Road where sculptures could be installed. Tom helped in the selection of these sites and liaised with numerous community groups and enterprises to understand what the area was about and what people wanted. Several stone carving workshops were organised and run by Tom to get local people involved in stone and how it could be worked. Ideas from residents found their way into the sculptures, and we found that residents acquired an understanding and ownership of the art work.

Thomas worked with two other sculptors across four sites, but the Windy House Lane site was uniquely his own. Tom successfully managed all of the technical installation issues (CDM, foundations, etc). Creative selection and use of design for the stones has resulted in Tom delivering three very substantial sculptures (in very hard and difficult to work local sandstone) at a remarkably reasonable cost. Being set back from the road and raised up from it, the sculptures needed to be substantial enough to fit the space and work as a relatively distant silhouette, whilst being beautifully shaped and textured so that they could be appreciated close up. The carvings had to be instantly recognisable as part of the theme running through all of the five sites; feel right for local people; and finally be robust enough to minimise potential vandalism. Tom's work has fully achieved all of this - even the installation went without a hitch. As the client responsible for this project, I couldn't have wished for more.

Putting sculptures in this area was very controversial; most people were convinced that they would be instantly wrecked by vandals. Crucial to the works succeeding were: considerable attention to detail in planning every stage of the work; thorough consultation and programming with other initiatives in the area; and getting the design right.

I was nervous when the London riots spread to other cities earlier this year; but City Road had no problems. Perhaps there's not much that people want to steal on City Road except the sculptures - I've seen them installed, they're going nowhere.

Colin Barns

Team Leader - Sheffield City Council's Regeneration Team.

Cemaes Park

I have worked with Thomas Kenrick on a stone carving commission for a new park in Cardiff and am happy to recommend him as a stone carver.

For the Cemaes Park project Thomas was required to carve existing pennant stones which had already been quarried before his appointment. These stones proved to be extremely hard, but Thomas was undaunted and carved twelve relief carvings over four large blocks.

Thomas also ran two days of workshops at the local primary schools which involved drawing animals and insects from photographs, clay modelling and stone carving based on their drawings. Thomas prepared eight stone carving work stations so that eight pupils at a time were able to carve. Both classes enjoyed the day enormously-it was a great and unique experience for them.

Thomas maintained an online blog during the project and updated it with photos of his work in progress. He completed the commission within budget and on time. Cardiff Council are very pleased with his work and I would have no hesitation in commissioning Thomas again.

Mererid Velios

Art management Consultant, Celfwaith.