St Michael and the Dragon relief sculpture for Heavitree Church of England Primary School, Exeter

This sculpture, which is approximately 3 metres square, is carved in Quebecan pine, polychromed and gilded with gold and silver. It was commissioned to be placed on a curved wall in the centre of St Michael’s Church of England primary school, so the construction was very specific to the site. We submitted drawings to the school board, and once these were accepted we began work on the piece. We created a stepped structure to fit the wall, on which we carved the figures of St Michael and the Dragon fighting in a cloud. The piece has many contrasting textures and colours: the soft cloud, the sharp scales of the dragon and feathers of St Michael’s wings; the matt wings of the dragon and the highly shined breastplate of St Michael, bare wood and richly painted and gilded wood. The dragon’s scales are gilded and then rubbed down to a dull shine. We worked in Quebecan pine, a soft and pliant wood.