Getting There

In 2007 I selected a large pebble from several I have as garden decoration to use as a stand for my headphones. Having had some experience working marble during the renovations of our stone house in the village of Comlekci, [near Bodrum, Turkey] cutting the bottom off the pebble was simple enough, especially as it turned out to be a marble pebble making it relatively easy to cut with an angle grinder fitted with a standard 225mm carborundum disk.

I should mention that our village is very close to a band of marble that extends from the town of Milas to the regional capital of Mugla. The marble in this region is of high quality and is mined commercially, mainly for export as floor and wall tiles. It's not surprising then that most of the pebbles lying in fields, hedgerows and river beds are made of marble. Some pebbles are as large as 40cm long, so the river that created them, probably in pre-historic times, must have been Burma Girl - A marble sculpture by Cliff Fraserconsiderably larger than those in the area today.

The headphone stand proved to be both successful and practical and from certain angles and under differing light conditions I could often imagine 'faces'on the rough pebble. Many months later I decided to make another headphone stand for my office only this time I went a little further in making it look more like a head. After two hours with my angle grinder Burma Girl appeared.

That I was able to do this at all came as something of a surprise to me since I have never had much picture drawing ability. Now ideas for other 'sculptures'started to surface which led to my first real sculpture, the Senegal Bowl,

Having embarked on my 'sculpture'pastime using marble pebbles rather than quarried blocks I always try to retain a small part of the original pebble exterior on the final piece, though this is not always possible. I can however feel the beginning of a yearning to discover a larger sculpture that will require a piece of marble bigger than the largest pebble I have yet found.

Mozambique Man - A marble sculpture by Cliff FraserI say 'discover'because the sculpture that appears from within each piece I've worked on so far just appears without much conscious thought, I have an idea of what I want it to be, but what actually appears is a result of the forces of nature that work through me (being a product of nature myself).

The sculpture Mozambique Man (left) is a good example, my idea was that it was going to be the head of an African woman, but no matter what I did Mozambique Man appeared. His face, formed in marble is as unique and individual as any human face, whether nature makes faces through the natural process of human procreation or through the hands of a sculptor, it's still a product of nature, (as is an automobile).

I now try to spend at least one day a week sculpting, though once I start a piece I often spend several days back to back just to get it finished.

During 2008 I was asked to join the Bodrum Art Association whose activities cover the whole spectrum of Art in the Bodrum region. Two of my sculptures were featured in the 2009 Bodrum Art Calendar.

Bodrum Art Calendar 2009 - Click for larger image  < Extract from the 2009 Bodrum Art Calendar


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