A talented metal sculptor is working on an intriguing humanoid project at his Chronicle Country home.
Paul Pibworth of Potton is a sheet metal worker but he has turned his skills to artistic projects.
The former brewery engineer describes himself as a modern blacksmith. Pottonians will recognise Paul’s work even if they do not know him; he created the swallow sculpture in the Henry Smith Playing Fields.
Now Paul is working on The Wilstead Man. Commissioned by Wilstead Parish Council, it will depict a man guiding a horse drawn hoe.
He said: “I like to use text in my work and with this sculpture that I’m doing at the moment the text comes from four different areas.
“I’ve picked names that are still in the village from the 1911 census of Wilstead. The other bits of text come from interviews; one from my father who used to use a horse and hoe with his dad.
“Another source is the guy whose father donated the hoe. It’s an artefact. And the other interview was with a guy who worked the land.”
He is being assisted by three fine art students from Bedford College, Hannah Robertson, Victoria Earp and Zoë Lecordier, enabling them to develop new skills.
The sculpture will be around 5’10” tall and 10’ long. Paul has already made the skeletal frame, which will be entirely wrapped around with words. In total the sculpture will contain an impressive 1,300 letters. Once the metalwork has been completed Paul will backfill the work with concrete, which does the dual purpose of adding texture and making it less attractive to metal thieves.
The letters range in size from 4cm to 10cm, with the larger ones being used to pick out the names. To save time they have been made by Chawston based company, Watson and Brookman.
Paul also makes smaller pieces of art for his own pleasure, although they are also for sale. These include a stainless steel brick and a triangular pyramid that appears to pierce through a piece of granite.
Another ongoing work is Paul’s crucifix project. He said: “I’ve made a lot of little crucifixes with nails. I will put them together in a flat form like a sheet and then I’m going to fold it for a life – or death – size 3D cross.
“I want to Crowd Fund it and I will sell one cross to people to fund the project.
“It’s not that I’m mega religious but I came across the idea when I was the artist in residence at Bedford i-lab.
“I think it will be quite striking. It will look different at a distance but when you get closer you can see the finer details.
To find out more about Paul’s work visit his website at www.paulpibworth.co.uk
You can also watch a video of him explaining his latest project at www.biggleswade today.co.uk/video