Sunday 18 February 2024

Windmill Sculpture: Scale model work in progress.

More work in progress so far on the scale model for the Bamboo Windmill Sculpture.

I have been playing with the ratio on the peg gears and devising a way of alternating the drive from the wheel to turning a crank by hand or letting the wind turn those sails! It has been tricky because I needed to get the right spacing between the pegs for a clean connection, but with patience and time I eventually got there.

I intend to get this finished so that I am able to calculate the amount of artworks needed to decorate the sculpture.

“BLOWING creativity into our sails, WEAVING new stories and experiences, FORGING new relationships and community!

For more information and updates on this project you can go to this page here:

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Commencing the scale model of the Windmill Bamboo sculpture

These pockets of creative windows is for everyone to have a go. If you are interested in taking part then contact me. I am looking at possibly 200-300 pieces of work to cover the windmill.

My ethos is that everyone is a creative artist in their own way and that we should embrace everyone’s way of expression and application.

The Community Artmill will be a moving art gallery that will reflect the visual messages made by the residents of the borough. I want this to symbolise the need for a new sense of value and belief in ourselves. Our personal reward is the intrinsic process of creating and looking at our lives in a new and positive way. 

The people of Nuneaton and Bedworth deserve a voice that complements their creativity mixed with the echoes of the past where life was more hands on, artisan and with that, aim to build a new sense of community and collaboration.

So let us BLOW the wind into our sails of creative energy, WEAVE new stories and experiences, FORGE new relationships and community!

For more information and updates on this project you also go to a Facebook page I have set up here: Community Art Mill

Saturday 3 February 2024

Community creative participation

I have set up a group for updates on the sculpture I am creating for Nuneaton and Bedworth in North Warwickshire. I am one of 4 local artists creating these structures to reflect the area and community we live in. If you live in the area, then potentially you could create a piece of artwork to go on the moving bamboo windmill I am creating.

Altogether I am looking at roughly around 300-400 pieces of artwork from the local community to cover the windmill that will be showcased in the area in July.

In the meantime if you are interested then you can join a Facebook group (you can join even if you don’t live there) or message me here. As a starter look at the poster I have created of a forgotten past. If you or any older generations have any memories, descriptions or photos of the mills shown, then I would be extremely interested.

So let’s “Blow the creative Energy, Weave new stories and Forge new relationships and community!”
Join the group here if you are on Facebook: Facebook Group

Friday 2 February 2024

A forgotten history, Windmills and Watermills of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwickshire

I am excited and proud to present weeks of historical research, designing and illustrating (still ongoing!) of the Windmills and Watermills that graced the areas of Nuneaton and Bedworth in North Warwickshire.

This is historical back up as part of a sculpture I have recently been commissioned to create for Nuneaton and Bedworth in which I will give more information on soon. Tuttle Hill Windmill was certainly not alone and this poster is the start of that journey to help breathe life back into the community of a time when artisan industries such as weaving, woodworking and blacksmithing and several other handmade methods were abundant prior to the onset of coal mining, and the age of steam during the Industrial Revolution. In short I hope to inspire and ignite a new sense of value in our community by….. ‘Blowing Creative Energy, Weaving new stories and Forging new relationships, Community and Collaboration”

For more information and updates on this project you can go to this page here:

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Windmills and Watermills in Nuneaton and Bedworth - Historical research

The decision to explore a moving community gallery in the form of a windmill has prompted me to start an historical journey, uncovering a hidden story of other windmills that used to be around Nuneaton and Bedworth. After searching online and looking at old maps I soon discovered 20 or more potential windmills and watermills.

Most of them originally were wooden post mills, later becoming brick tower mills such as the now disused one at Tuttle Hill near Camphill in North Warwickshire.

At present I am putting together a map of all these locations. Apart from the Windmill at Tuttle Hill, It is not surprising that most of these mills disappeared out of recent memory, mainly due to the changing patterns of industry such as steam and coal. Originally most of the windmills were in the form of post mills, a large wooden structure usually mounted on a trestle base.

The structure would turn with the sails in the wind.

As an example, here is a Pencil sketch I created recently of Baxterley windmill in Warwickshire based off a photo I found taken in the 1930s.

Some of these post mills were left to ruin through neglect or weather or later replaced with tower brick mills such as the one at the Tuttle Hill location.

Sadly, the only part of Baxterley mill that has survived since its demolition in the late 60’s, is the main post which has since been included with the reconstruction of the Daniel Green Mill at Avoncroft Museum of buildings in Tanworth.

The Post mill in has a certain rustic magic to them and despite the wonderful brick structures of the tower mills, 

The Post mill is what I have decided to base my sculpture on. In the meantime, If anyone living in and around Nuneaton and Bedworth have any scrap of information or possible photos for the windmills that were in: Attleborough, Whitestone, Hilltop, Chilvers Coton, Collycroft, Bedworth, Weston in Arden, Marston Janet, Bulkington, Exhall I would be very interested.

There could be photos hidden aways or stories from older citizens that could shed light on this wonderful story. I will also be creating a small map of some of the windmills and watermills that were around the area very soon to back up the potential of a sculpture that I will be creating including community participation. Feel free to comment or message me for more info.


Friday 19 January 2024

Birth of an obsession!

Windmills! There I said it, I love windmills! I remember fondly as a child watching the re-runs on TV of children’s show, Camberwick Green and Windy Miller! I also remember some of the windmill styled souvenirs adorned at my grandparents. I had a slight fascination and it’s funny to think that universes have collided and appeared in the form of this bamboo exploration.

Following on from my last blog post, the conclusion of my design ideas led me to the concept development of a windmill themed sculpture that would potentially contain a large amount of artwork produced by the communities of Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Firstly I wanted to play with the bamboo skewers and see how they could handle themselves in the form of wooden gears. Initially I played these sticks and a glue gun developing a few versions of a windmill type structure, but in this case powered by a bicycle pulling a trailer. A mobile community art gallery, taking the form of a windmill.

I think the answer to the romantic idea of a wind powered machine is that of childhood, wonder and imagination. There is something very joyful in the perpetual turn of the sails and overall look of the structure. Bamboo fits the bill perfectly and despite its unique properties of and what it can achieve, I felt that in this instance, it was a sustainable material to simply integrate and compliment other materials.

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Bamboo labs and ideas!

As part of the creative commission, myself and the other artists involved underwent a series of educational sessions including talks from learning professionals and discussions with other creatives looking at the properties, benefits and the potential of bamboo in its varying uses, primarily as a sustainable and regenerative building material.

Bamboo has the tensile strength of steel, very flexible and sustainable. For example, Trees that are used for timber usually takes around 30 years to produce yet bamboo on the other hand being a type of grass only takes 3! Around the world it is widely used as a building material and even used as scaffolding, the benefits are huge and questions are now being asked about how it could be used in the mainstream of our society and what other potential uses it could process.

One of the main focuses of this project is how we communicate this knowledge to a wider audience among the communities of Nuneaton and Bedworth in North Warwickshire. 

In October 2023 we delivered a workshop in Nuneaton town centre to ask this question. We used bamboo skewers to create hyperbolic structures that demonstrated the versatility and aesthetic of the material. Some members of the community took interest in what we had produced and agreed that it had lots of potential. 

The question now is how to best reflect the growing knowledge and beneficial uses of bamboo in a creative way to the wider audience. The first thing that sprung to mind was the use of bamboo as a symbol of collaboration. The tangible material evokes lot of talking points producing a lot of ideas of what could be made into a simple or complex structure. 

Part of the brief was incorporating a creative element that can enable and involve the community of Nuneaton and Bedworth in some way. This lead me to the idea of a school art workshop that I delivered at Canons Primary school in Bedworth a few months earlier. The Year 6s were studying the Coventry blitz during World War 2 for which Nuneaton and Bedworth were also heavily bombed. 

The destruction of the old Coventry Cathedral in which its ruins still remain to this day, still stands next to a rebuilding of the new cathedral for which the artist John Piper created wonderful stained glass windows that depicted a sense of unity. 

For me this struck a chord and so I set about facilitating 90 children to produce individual cells of a stained glass styled pictures using tracing paper and marker pens influenced from their study of the blitz. I then collected their individual works to combine them all into 3 large stained glass styled arch windows which they now proudly have on display at their school hall.

This set the tone for an idea of a similar collaboration that I had in mind potentially with the communities of Nuneaton and Bedworth. The bamboo sculpture could house a large group of individual works of art reflecting the their lives, history and observations.

My first concept which came from one of the educational bamboo labs, was that of a tower housing community art displayed on the structure. Each cell of colour represented would be a produced by a member of the community, giving them creative freedom of how they interpreted their message.

But what does the structure of the sculpture represent on reflect? Does it symbolise something of the past or something to aspire for the future or maybe both?

I analysed this process with the comparison of what bamboo stood for in my own eyes.  I saw it as a material that creates conversation, a material that inspires and promotes an intrinsic motivation to design, invent and engineer all in one go. 

Because of bamboos environmental aspects and the connection with renewable energy, it wasn’t long before I connected the dots and discovered the tower would take on the form of a Windmill!

Windmill Sculpture: Scale model work in progress.

More work in progress so far on the scale model for the Bamboo Windmill Sculpture. I have been playing with the ratio on the peg gears and d...