My workshop is based near Charlecote Mill, a few miles from Stratford upon Avon in rural Warwickshire. I began carving in 2014 under the direction of Master Carver Michael Painter, meeting one Saturday a month. I loved the sensory experiences of working with wood and the challenge of learning to think in three dimensions.

I found myself looking with fresh eyes at nature and at different periods of history. Most of all, I came to love the slow process of creating something semi-permanent, engaging over time with an image, creator or technique I wanted to understand better.

In 2021 I committed full-time to my chosen craft by building a dedicated workshop and studying at the City and Guilds London School of Art. In July 2023  I was awarded a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Historic Woodcarving and Gilding with Distinction. I have won various awards, including the Carvers' Choice Prize for London Craft Week in 2022, The Dick Onians Woodcarving Prize (2022 and 2023) and the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers first prize for carving in 2023.

My background

My background is in Classics. I taught Latin, Greek and Ancient History at secondary level for many years. Studying this rich visual culture has provided me with a strong foundation in art history and a delight in story-telling. Many of my carvings have a narrative aspect to them and are based on works from the ancient or medieval world.


Observing and copying earlier carvings is an inspiring way to develop skills and understanding. My carving of St John the Evangelist is based on a figure from an altarpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider carved between 1490 and 1492. I have added my own touch by including an eagle in the composition. In my carving of a squirrel in an apple tree, based on a carving by Violet Pinwill c.1906, I have incorporated a spiderweb and some other creatures into E.H. Sedding's original design. The carving Eve Takes the Apple is based on the fabulous stonework of Gislebertus, but the snake is my own addition. Images hidden away in churches, like misericords and bench ends, are a major inspiration. I also enjoy designing my own work, like the Wolf and Crane carving, which is an interpretation of an Aesop fable.

Current and Future work

I am versatile and able to carve traditional decorative details, lettering and elements closely observed from the natural world, including portrait sculpture. I most enjoy stylised figurative work, particularly animals and birds, either in relief or as sculptures in the round. I am happy to consider public or private commissions and can be contacted on jlwoodcarver@gmail.com.

  • Hampton Lucy, Warwick, England, United Kingdom
A huge thank you to my husband, my parents and all my family, especially my father-in-law.
To Michael Painter, Andy Mather, my fellow students, friends and all the staff at CGLAS.
To Anne and Kate Warren for many of my favourite chisels, passed on from Denis.
To the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust.