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Village Art & Literature

If you go up to the woods today . . .

Posted on March 30 2017 at 1:17:42 0 comments

Bear, Robot and Dave

Keith Woolford meets a bear and a Robot in the Lickey Hills.

OK, let’s get the elephant in the room dealt with up front – why would a Robot sculpt a Bear?

Commissioned by Lickey resident Dave Terry to create an eight-foot animal from a Scots Pine stump, Mr Robot Cossey was identified as an obvious choice, already having a CV chock-full of similar concepts.

Robot explains his unusual moniker thus: “I was in a band some years ago and we were all supposed to change our names to Robot, and I was the only one who did!”

This was a punk group some 20 years ago – think The Clash – so this might bring it into perspective a little better.

Now all grown-up and playing jazz, Robot has been a professional sculptor specialising in wood since the new millennium.

If you think this grizzly is large, consider his Red Kite, with a wing span of more than 30 feet, located in Peterborough.

Although principally working in Birmingham and the Black Country, Robot now loves the Lickey Hills thanks to this venture.

Fashioning the Bear over just four Saturdays, come hail or shine, Robot’s tool of choice was a special short “dime tip” carving bar (chainsaw) allowing fine detail, such as the fur, claws, eyes and ears, to emerge.

The finished all-weather coat consists of a combination of yacht varnish and oil for a sealed protection against the elements at 960 feet above sea level.

So, with the prospect of an emotional investment in his creations, Robot confides: “You learn not to become too attached to pieces when you start, otherwise the garden and the house would be full of them.”

You can easily believe that the majority of his private jobs come from word of mouth. Next up for this extraordinary artist is a drawbridge, plaques for Walsall Arboretum, a fox and deer in a cemetery and a handrail for the RSPB.

Dave Terry is himself a carpenter by trade, so was it this that prompted him to consider a sculpture in the first place?

“Partly, but really for the local schoolchildren as well to be honest. I think it’s a nice feature as the kids are walking up to school, to put a bit of a smile on their faces in the morning.

“I suppose, because of living in the Lickeys, I thought it was appropriate to have a bear in the woods!”

As a keen follower of Warwickshire Cricket, Dave has named his bear “Hugh” after one of the club’s two bear mascots (the other is called Carmen). Hugh’s proud owner is delighted with the result and that he has attracted so many admirers since completion. 

More examples of Robot’s work at http://www.robotcosseysculpture.co.uk


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