Martin Preston

This site showcases a selection of my past projects. It covers a wide range of different forms of sculpture focusing mainly on woodcarving and bronze casting. However I have also undertaken many other projects including creating  a replica of Star Wars robot, war gaming scenery and bodycasting. I have also included a few of my Botanical paintings for which I have been awarded a Grenfell Silver Gilt Medal for exhibiting with the RHS.

A Journey of Curiosity

I think there are two threads that weave through my life as a sculptor; curiosity and a love of nature and its forms. I don’t feel constrained by any one medium or the need to explore a theme. Curiosity and a love of ‘giving it ago’ lead me from one medium to the next. I feel there is a commonality to all I do – a common style that comes from me. People used to ask Ray Charles if he was a blues singer or a jazz singer. He would reply that he was neither, he was a singer who sings the blues and a singer who sings jazz. I know exactly what he meant.

I came to sculpting late. Pen and inks was really where I started and a lot of caricaturing but I came upon botanical watercolours at Art classes at University. I spent many years painting flowers, contributing plates to the RHS Dictionary of Gardening and exhibiting with the RHS and Society of Botanical Painters.

It was my Mother in Law that suggested I might be good at carving wood so I bought a piece of lime and the piece I call Hylas was the result of this first experiment. If I had to choose, wood would be my favourite. The depth of shine and richness of colour adds so much to any work. I like a sculpture that looks good at a distance and rewards a closer look. There should always be more than you can see at a glance.

From there I moved to sculpting in plasticine and waxes, creating a series of animal portraits. I began with the farm’s Jersey house cow but I have probably made more dogs than anything. Constant experimentation has developed my mould making skills to the point where I now almost know what I am doing – every piece brings a new challenge and needs a different approach. Its what keeps it so interesting.

I suppose the piece that encapsulates my approach the best is the Beaulieu Kitchen Garden Fountain. I pitched for this work having never cast a thing in bronze. The concept came first and the necessary learning followed. In this day of the internet, information is so readily available and I hope I never stop being curious to learn. My latest project required a full 3D design so I undertook to learn 3D CAD. With Blender free and YouTube tutorials, ‘Watch the Birdie, My Deer’ is the result. Planning out something I’ve never tried before is what keeps me interested.

If you would like to talk about a project please contact me using

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