On Friday 21st September, H.G. Wells' 152nd Birthday, the statue was installed into his final home at Victoria Gate, Woking. This will be his permanent home and forms part of the H.G. Wells heritage trail through Woking.
Its great to see him here in the public square and I hope the people of Woking enjoy the statue, and maybe even pick up one of his novels!
The H.G. Wells statue has spent nearly two happy years under the care of The Lightbox but is now finally moving to his permanent home in Victoria Gate. At the moment he is in the good hands of the Morris Singer foundry for a spruce up during the move.
It'll be great to see him unveiled (again!) in his new home in the Autumn, exact date to be confirmed.
Welcome to my website detailing the creation of the H.G. Wells Statue commissioned by Woking Borough Council for the 150th anniversary of his birth. The famous author lived in Woking and wrote many of his most famous novels, including the War of The Worlds during his time in the town.
The statue was unveiled on the 21st September 2016 outside The Lightbox Gallery in Woking, and is currently situated in the gallery courtyard. This is a temporary location for the statue which will be moved in 2018 to its nearby permanent location outside the Victoria Gate Building on Victoria Way.
After, many months of work the H.G. Wells statue was unveiled outside The Lightbox gallery in Woking on the 21st September to celebrate Wells' 150th Anniversary.
The Wells in Woking team at Woking Council put on a fantastic afternoon's celebration of the author, with engaging talks from Stewart Ross, Stephen Baxter and Dominic Wells. Music was provided by the exceptionally talented Shane Thomas who performed a piece composed to celebrate the Wells event.
The event gathered members of Wells' family from across the globe with 16 members attending and it was a great honour to have them present for the unveiling.
With the statue unveiled I hope all those who attended and anyone visiting in the future feel that it is a fitting tribute to the great author. I would like to extend my thanks to Woking Council, the Wells in Woking team and Riette Thomas for their continued support throughout and giving me the opportunitiy to create this monument.
With less than six weeks until the unveiling we are now at the very final stages of creating the H.G. Wells statue. This is the exciting part after all the many stages of sculpting, moulding, wax casting and clean up, when the statue is finally cast into bronze.
First following the "lost-wax process" the ceramic moulds of the wax cast are heated in a high pressure heated oven. This process causes the wax to melt out of the cast, leaving the impression of the sculpture in the hard ceramic shell, ready to receive the molten bronze.
Heated to around 1200 celcius the molten bronze is taken out of the furnace ready to be poured. The molten metal is stirred and quickly and carefully poured into the ceramic shells.
Supported within sand filled containers the ceramic shells are left to cool for several hours, then the shells can be smashed open to release the solid bronze.
We're getting very close to the final stages of the HG Wells creation. The wax cast is now dipped into a strange looking mixture to cover it in a hard, ceramic shell.
The cast is dipped multiple times to create a suitable thickness of shell, once hardened the wax is then melted out and removed. This ceramic shell needs to be strong enough to hold the hot, molten bronze in the next stage of production.
The sculpture is cast in separate individual sections which will later be welded together. The strange looking tubes coming out of HG Wells' nose and other parts of the sculpture are 'runners' and 'risers' used to allow the bronze to flow into the cast and for air to escape, to get a complete cast.
Most of the remaining work on the H.G. Wells statue is now in the capable hands of the Morris Singer foundary so I have been spending the last few months working on other projects. For H.G. Wells the next stage in his creation is to produce a wax cast.
The silicon mould is carefully painted with a special casting wax which is slowly layered on to produce a cast of the sculpture. The wax is layered up until it reaches the desired thickness of the bronze, as the sculpture will not be a solid lump of bronze because this would be far too heavy, expensive and actually weaker than a hollow structure.
The wax is delicately applied to avoid any air bubbles or lumps and to ensure it captures all the fine detail in the sculpture. This stage is also an opportunity for me to do any final refinements and finishing touches to the sculpture before it is covered in a ceramic shell and cast in bronze.
Even though the clay sculpture is now completed there are many more processes that follow to create the final piece out of bronze, the next stage is to create a mould of the sculpture.
The mould is created out of silicon which is painted directly onto the clay in several layers. Once it is firm it is covered in a fibreglass jacket to hold the silicon in place. The mould is made out of a many different sections so it can easily be taken apart and then put back together at the foundry.
A mould of the sculpture is needed so that a cast can be made out of wax for the foundry to use to create the bronze statue. Its important that a good mould is made so this process is straightforward.
Creating the mould is quite technical so I have enlisted the help of Liz Turner, who has done a fantastic job creating the mould, allowing me to take a bit of a backseat as her assistant. Now that the mould has been successfully made and sent to the Morris Singer foundry the clay sculpture has done its part and...
After a busy four months of sculpting the first and most important stage of creating the statue is now complete! I have now finished sculpting the figure out of clay which goes on to be moulded and sent to the foundry. It's hard to step away from sculpting as I always feel like there is more to do, but I'm happy with the final result and am excited to see it progress towards the final bronze statue.
I was visited by Riette and Sue from the 'Wells in Woking' team, who seemed very happy with the work and it was great to have such positive feedback. I've also had some input from other sculptor friends, as it always helps to have some additional technical critique when you are working on your own. One of the most useful areas of input was on the portrait where I picked up that the measurement of the eyes was slightly out. While only a small change was needed this required some dramatic cutting out of part of the face to reposition the eyes and ensure the most important...
Last night Woking Council launched the Wells in Woking celebrations of the Borough's connection with H.G. Wells and the 150th anniversary of Wells' birth. I was invited to join the launch at The Lightbox gallery in Woking where a special visual celebration has just opened. This exhibition includes a brilliant range of pictures submitted from a public competition to produce original screen prints inspired by the Wells in Woking celebrations. The two winning designs by Neville Godwin and David Dragon are both fantastic.
The exhibition also includes my original maquette of the H.G. Wells statue. Its an exciting moment to now have the design on public display. The maquette is a draft, sketch version of the sculpture, and this version is cast in aluminium with some added wooden elements. This maquette was produced as part of my proposal, so following my commission and discussions with the council there will be some differences between this and the final public statue to bett...