High quality carving starts with good design and well-crafted drawing. Mr Fairplay offers custom period style design service with 40 years of experience devoted to high quality architectural carving and sculpture. In these modern times drawings are almost exclusively done on the computer. With the decline of the Craft Arts it is increasingly difficult to find artists with the experience and knowledge in hand drafting. Mr Fairplay was trained in art in the system of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He started with architectural drafting and geometry, then classical orders and proportion before moving on to drawing plaster casts and finally the figure. His unique detailed renderings are historically and stylistically accurate. His passion for perfection in drafting by hand brings a human touch to the ornament. To say that the devil is in the details is a saying only too true: sophisticated architecture can be ruined by weak detail design. Strong vigorous ornament can only be achieved through the union of good design and master craftsmanship.
With a renewed interest in classical architecture and the decorative styles, it is only too often that new buildings are unsatisfactory in their ornamentation detail, being feeble imitations of the building styles they emulate. With a true comprehension of the architectural styles and a full grasp of regional and historical mouldings and ornament, Mr Fairplay is able to work with you or your team to develop any ideas or designs you might have for your project. This process can be achieved through sketches, drawings and digital imagery.
Models and Maquettes
Designs and drawings can be translated into a model when the project demands it. These models can be produced out of clay, plaster, wood or foam. When working on a project with many duplicated elements, the model or sample can also be carved out of stone. This stone prototype can then be utilized in the building. Whether architectural or sculptural, Mr Fairplay can produce the models in his shop, working with you or your team to produce a piece of the highest quality yet working to your budgetary limitations. With Mr Fairplay’s experience and knowledge of architectural styles, he has produced drawings and a paradigm of architectural features that have been mass produced out of stone in England, Italy and China. When working on a monumental scale, sculpture it is usually more cost-effective to work out the design in a maquette. Its small size is less time-consuming to model and make changes. Once the design is formulated, then a full size model or carving can be scaled up. Mr Fairplay will also work closely with other artists to to reproduce in stone or marble copies of their sculptures. He has also worked on projects with CNC milling machines making the models to be scanned and milled out of stone or marble, then finished by hand. The digital machines can accurately remove large simple surface areas but are still unable to carve sculptures with complex forms. The understanding of this processes is key to the formation of the model.
Restoration and Conservation
In the English and French apprenticeship system, individuals are trained in all areas of their trade to ensure well a rounded Journeyman. Mr Fairplay was no exception. In the Cathedral work shops in which he trained, the stone carvers drew, carved and installed their own work. Working on England’s Grade I and Grade II listed buildings he gained a vast experience in stonework renovation by working with the best carvers and masons to the highest standards. He has acquired considerable experience in historic building restoration and conservation from working on a wide range of buildings. His masonry expertise extends to all aspects of stone conservation. Working under John Ashurst while at English Heritage, he received a comprehensive and practical training in preservation and conservation of historic buildings and ancient monuments. Analyzing the precise information on which a particular form of restoration or treatment is necessary, is a skill unto itself. Mr Fairplay has worked on countless museum and historical sculptures, specializing in restoration, cleaning and conserving of stone and marble sculpture. As one of the top professional stone carvers today Mr Fairplay remains dedicated to the preservation and conservation of our cultural heritage.