Kevin Carman is carving a Green Man from a block of pumice stone. He picked it out from some of the Featherstone rocks we are using to shore up the base of the Irish Tower (the roof of which is being completed this month).
Green Men, most commonly depicted in architectural carvings, are traditionally foliated faces of men (rarely women) with leaves, vines and branches covering their faces as well as coming out of their hair and beards.
In talking to Kevin he remarked how easy the pumice stone was to carve. He says he's excited to do a face next in marble, which obviously would be harder and much more satisfyingly 'heavy'. However getting even pumice stone to take on such well defined features and proportions is really impressive.
One thing Kevin told me that he learned from sculptor John Fisher was to work from the corner of a block of stone, rather than the flat side of the block, to create the proportions of the human face. That way, as you chisel away material, the nose and the angles of the cheeks and chin are more effectively revealed.
When you think about it, the human face has more of a V shape than a flat look to it. Recognizing and working that 'angle' certainly gives the face more energy and expression.
Many breeds of dogs have V- shaped faces and all kinds of wild animals have elongated mouths, presenting an elongated V-shaped appearance.
The tradition of the Green Man is one associated with nature and wildlife, and it is seems even more 'natural' that Kevin chose to sculpt the angle of the head from a 'corner' orientation.
Well done, Kevin.