For 25 years, Rob Law was a gamekeeper for the Duke of Devonshire on his Derbyshire Estate, and for the past 10 years he has been involved with security for the same family.Chatsworth.org
Where did it all start? I suppose it all began when I was a youngster, walking along the beach collecting sea-shells. I think I was born a magpie - a collector of all sorts - I still am, and love adding to my collections to this day. Which leads me to where the fish carving started. I collected old fishing reels and in the course of looking for them, came across an old carved salmon on a board in an antique shop; at the time I couldn’t afford to buy it. Thinking one would look good amongst my fishing reel collection, I approached a friend of mine, a gifted woodcarver, and asked if he could make one for me. His response was “why don’t you make one yourself ” … so I did. I made and painted my first fish; it was terrible. That was in1989; since then and some sixty fish later I’ve improved slightly.
My work is folk art, simple stylised shapes, made with a few simple tools, enhanced greatly by the artists who have worked with me over the years, not forgetting Kate Rhodes who has handwritten the legends on each board beneath the fish.Kate, a professional sign writer, also painted two or three fish.
The other artists who have painted my carvings are Betty Germain, Graham Payne – sadly now deceased - and latterly Jack Fishwick.
Each artist has his or her own style and has made an excellent job of bringing to life my simple woodcarvings.
The fish I have carved are actual fish that have been caught. Working from photographs and measurements I’ve drawn a life size outline onto paper and then cut out a paper template. The paper template is laid onto a piece of jelutong or lime, the woods I have used for carving, and the fish shape is then drawn onto the wood. I use a band saw to cut away the waste wood, followed by mallet and chisels; then a craft knife to get some detail. The final touch is a rub over with sandpaper.
Oh, by the way, I still collect sea-shells!
Contact email : - [email protected]
Rob's Photography Website: www.photographer.gb.net