I have had important stone carving commissions involving restoration work on the exterior and interior of Westminster Abbey and Westminster School. Prestigious commissions for an heraldic plaque for the Worshipful Company of Skinners and other important historic buildings in London.
I annually demonstrate stone carving and run workshops for the public at Hatfield House and Blenheim Palace 'Living Crafts Fare'. Previously I have demonstrated and exhibited at 'The Affordable Arts Fare' in Battersea, ‘Art in Action’ and Waterperry Gardens, near Oxford.
I also, annually exhibit and demonstrate with the Surrey Arts Open Studios.
I have developed a passion for teaching which I do privately at my ‘summer studio’, the Art Academy in London and West Dean college in Sussex.
Restoration St Peter statue for a niche at St Peter's Church, Cockfield
The beautiful sculpture of St Peter, hand crafted by the talented stone carver Simon Keeley, is a memorial to Luanne Stockwell who died in 2009 aged 95'. On completion of the statue the Reverend commented:
"The sculpturing of the St Peter statue for the niche above the porch at Cockfield Church was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have enjoyed in many a year! Seeing a figure crafted into life from a block of stone was simply mesmerising. Working with Simon was a great privilege. Simon is a craftsman whose skills are honed by his love for his work and forged through friendship. Whenever I can, I sneak back and gaze on St Peter, remembering his creation with great fondness." Reverend Simon Hill
Large Lewis Knight Carving Commission
Hand carved in Portland Limestone
Private commission for client in North Lincolnshire.
It was a delight to take on this private commission to carve a larger version of my Lewis Knight. The commission came about as in my own time, some years ago, I had created a smaller carving of the Lewis Knight for pure pleasure. It was inspired by the famous Lewis Chessmen found in Northern Scotland and the much smaller version was exhibited many years ago.
Albion stone kindly supplied the stone block, a clay model of the large Lewis Knight was made and approved by the client. Once approved the stone block was marked up and larger elements of 'negative space' that surrounded the piece, were removed. A full section profile was created, before the front profile was undertaken. Lastly the excitement of the Sculptural stone carving began.
A timescale was given for the whole commission and it was delivered to the location and set in place for the client on his premises. The client & his wife were extremely delighted with their new Sculptural Carving on it's Delabole slate base.
Boars Head Carving Commission
Three dimensional family crest Life sized Boars head carvings, carved for private client in Portland limestone - 2017
The Worshipful Company of Skinners Heraldic Plaque acrved by Simon Keeley
Close up of detail
Harley Street Commission ' Healing Plants' Low Relief - Hand Carved Panels
I was commissioned by Art Projects Ltd to produce a series of designs incorporating healing plants. These were to be carved in low relief and to be set into an historic façade of a Clinic development at No 120, Harley Street in London. After months of research into various healing plants and frequent visits to the Chelsea ‘Physic Garden’, I composed a design which has an appropriate classical style for the age of the building.
The doctors in the clinic chose 7 of the plant designs and I selected many more and rearranged the remaining array of healing plants around a series of strategically placed ‘volutes’ (a spiral scroll-like ornament which forms the basis of the capital of the Ionic column).
Upon completion of my designs, I received an extremely positive response. The next stage was getting through Westminster Councils’ planning department, which took a considerable amount of time!
It was then time to begin the clay work, modelling the whole arrangement, life-size; a topographical ‘map’ as a reference from which I would create the final carving.
Once the clay work was completed and approved, I started to produce a hard reference guide, which is the traditional method used in stone carving. I chose a contemporary material, architectural jesmonite. (Jesmonite is a composite material used in fine arts, and construction. Jesmonite consists of a gypsum-based material in an acrylic resin).
The carving has been very challenging and extremely rewarding. Meticulous modelling has helped me develop an understanding of the forms before and during carving it in glorious Portland Basebed Limestone. The carving panels were installed by PAYE Stone on August 7th 2009, they were an excellent workforce. The Portland Limestone is a high quality carving material - Jordans' Basebed supplied by Albion Stone.
The finshed panel carving
The carved panel in place at Harley Street. 'Healing Plants Low Relief Carved Panels Commission', permanently in position at 120, Harley Street, London.
I have also carved a vast range of house signs which are not pictured here out of respect for privacy of my clients.
To view more of my commissions and works please visit my main website www.simonkeeley.co.uk
Find Me on Facebook!