I was commissioned by the Rev. Andrew Patterson at Portobello Old Parish Church to make a wooden cross carved with the word “love”, to be hung in their reorganised entrance hall. I like the way that the shape chosen can be interpreted in different ways. The pear/sycamore banding suggests a garment and the cross could be seen as a person with open welcoming arms, with the “o” of love situated at the heart. The letterform is Carolingian uncial. The cross needed to be hung 4″ out from the wall in front of an existing stone plaque and to leave space for a curtain. This presented an interesting challenge.
In the late 70′s I moved to Scotland from a community near Cambridge to join another community near Castle Douglas. The Haughton family, assisted by lots of friends and visitors were building Scotland’s largest log house in a beautiful setting with beautiful views of Galloway’s rolling hills. I was very much attracted to becoming part of this exciting building project.
A couple of years after the completion of the building in the mid 80′s, Samye Ling took over the running of the project and this year Benet Haughton asked me to design a plaque to commemorate the family’s involvement which I did with Benet’s involvement. Iwas very pleased to receive this comment -
“a perfect mix of the ordered way Algy (as I remember him) worked, the gentle underlying structure of the community (meals always on time etc) with the bright colours of the hopes and joys of that place”
I seem to be discovering all the things that really interest me in my 50′s and 60′s. Last year I started learning the Japanese martial art iai-do ( based around the use of the sword), something that has interested me for over 30 years. Because of a knee injury I always thought it would be too difficult to practice, however I was very pleased to discover that the first four kata performed from the kneeling seiza position can also be done as standing kata.
After discussion with our sensei and advice regarding the calligraphy from a Japanese iai-do student, I carved a plaque for the dojo incorporating our mon and the kanji for Genbukan. The quarter sawn oak is ebonised and EDINBURGH GENBUKAN is painted.