Mark Stretton Models The Second Archer
Phase Two of the Azincourt 600 Year Anniversary Sculpture
The next phase of the Azincourt 600 year archers tribute has begun, the first archer being as complete as it can be at this stage with an incredible amount of detail involved, it will be used to marry with the next two figures as they closely inter-react to form the finished tableau.
The second archer, patiently, sympathetically and energetically modeled by the formidable Mark Stretton, the most powerful archer in the world, has had the preliminary sketches done and the patterns made on the pattern boards.
Pattern boards are 8 x 4 sheets of plywood on which I draw full-size a side view and front view.I then accurately draw on the front view the thickness of the timber that has been machined, from that I then project each slice onto tracing paper and render in soft pencil.
This method has the advantage of being reversible and because the graphite from the pencil is added to both sides it is easy to retrace elements that are lost. It is very important that the timber is machined to a uniform thickness to avoid accumulative mismatches as the figure gradually grows. The patterns being refined are then applied to the timber with soft pencil ready for being band-sawed into shape.
I have to juggle the timber pieces to make them for best match and of course to avoid the many faults and flaws in Yew wood ( Taxus Baccata) of this size and age. Wastage is phenomenal but the timber, when finished is beautiful. The choice of this specific wood represents a tribute to the Yew Warbows that the archers used at the time so although it is difficult to work and even more difficult to find usable material, the extra effort is significant and well worth it.
Once the patterns are added to the timber and redefined for clarity, they are ready for band sawing into shape. With this process I will need some help with the heavy work involved, this timber is extraordinarily heavy and I can’t manage it on my own nowadays, it can be a two man job anyway.
The next phase, after the band-sawing is the gluing up. The nature of the glue I use means that it is very important that great pressure is applied to prevent difficulties later on and is a time consuming and tedious practice. Not my favourite aspect of the job.