There's much to learn from professional woodcarver Ian Norbury, whose carvings are in collections all over the world.
“I don’t sell woodcarvings,” Ian Norbury declares emphatically. A quizzical statement from a man who has been a professional woodcarver for over 25 years, until he completes the thought: “I sell dreams and ideas. They just happen to be wood.”
Ian and his wife, Betty, have been quite successful in the dream-selling business through their White Knight Gallery in Cheltenham, England. Ian has pieces in collections all over the world, some of his carvings fetching up to $25,000.
The gallery is also the studio where he creates most of his art. Producing about a dozen pieces a year, Ian works to build inventory for his exhibitions, which he and Betty assemble every two years. To a limited extent he does some creative work in their home in Ireland, where they spend about six months out of the year. This work is at a much more relaxed pace.
A strong believer in sharing what you know, he published his first instructional book in 1983. This book, Techniques of Creative Woodcarving, was followed in by two others in 1985 and 1987. He has also written dozens of magazine articles.
The Art of Ian Norbury showcases his best work with lush photographs and insightful captions. We’re pleased to offer a preview of the book in these pages. As you view his work, you notice that the folly of mankind is the basis of much of his work, and when asked why, he explains, “I read a lot of books about history and ancient mythology. It’s fascinating to me to watch the same sorts of things being done by the same sort of people over and over again. Vanity and greed are strong themes throughout history and are reflected in my work. I enjoy the challenge of expressing an old theme in a new way. Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time by myself, but I tend to look at people through the wrong end of a telescope.”
Art aficionados throughout the world are enjoying that view, too, and look forward to adding another Ian Norbury dream to their collections.
Ian will again come stateside for a teaching tour through the Southern States January through March 2005. Watch this magazine for more details about the latest teaching/seminar tour or visit his website, www.iannorbury.com.
Easy to navigate, the site serves as an online newsletter for the latest Ian happenings. In addition to the photo gallery and an appearance schedule. Ian’s site has two popular elements that keep his growing legion of followers coming back for more. The first is a “works in progress” section where visitors can click on images of Ian’s latest sculptures in various stages of development. The second is an area where web visitors can pose technique-related questions to Ian. He reviews them and then answers them in downloadable three- to four- minute video segments.
When asked what he could offer carvers to help them improve, Ian offered advice in his inimitable style.
|The Art of Ian Norbury Take a look at a lifetime of outstanding carvings created by British artist Ian Norbury. Includes large format full-color photographs of his works plus commentary by the artist.
|Carving Classic Female Faces in Wood
Instruction on designing, laying out and carving the female face. Includes extensive information on anatomy.