A carved wood George and Dragon for St George’s Day

Carved wood and silver gilded George and Dragon by Norbert Stiller, my dad
‘George and Dragon’ by Norbert Stiller (my dad) carved wood and silver gilded.


Just a little something to share as it is St George’s Day today.

My dad, Norbert Stiller, carved this as a part of his diploma when he was, I think, 16. He said that he had an argument with his tutor about it as he didn’t want to gild it but the tutor made him. I have no idea what wood was used.

It stands about 4 feet tall to the tip of the spear.







Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .

It’s amazing what you can find at your local supermarket

robert koenig sculpture new romney
Robert Koenig sculpture celebrating 1000 years of sheep on Romney Marsh


I popped to my local Sainsury’s yesterday to pick up a couple of bits and was both surprised and pleased to find this wood sculpture outside the front door.

It is by Robert Koenig and has been made to commemorate over 1000 years of sheep farming on Romney Marsh. There are a lot of sheep around here!

There has been a lot of artwork appearing around the marsh recently which is due to Briony Kapoor and the IMOS Foundation.


Do you have any artworks by your local supermarket?















Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .

Christmas Exhibition at Avocet Gallery

Heron wood sculpture by John Mainwaring
Heron wood sculpture by John Mainwaring

The lovely Avocet Gallery has a new Exhibition that started on 24th November and runs right up till 23rd December. We went to have a look the day after it opened and neither of us were disappointed by what we saw.


It is billed as a Christmas Exhibition but rather than there being loads of Christmassy type things to buy its more a chance to buy interesting things to give as Christmas presents.


This beautiful Heron wood sculpture by John Mainwaring caught my eye, I love the fact that it is ‘essence of Heron’ rather than a detailed rendering. I also love that the colours are more of a ‘wash’ than solid so that you can see the grain of the wood through them. I would be more than happy to give this room in my home.


One thing I have been very bad about this visit is to find out the proper names of the pieces on display. I only realised what I had done when I started to write this post and didn’t have any idea of what most of them were called. I make sure I take a picture of the name of each piece but completely forgot to move the labels enough so that I could see what each piece was called, I do apologise.


These delightful little sparrows were nestling on top of a set of shelves looking as though they were about to take off at any second. I have attributed them to John Mainwaring but I cannot guarantee  that as I couldn’t see a name next to them. I really do hope that they find a home as a group as they look so sweet there together.


Sparrows, carved & painted wooden, by John Mainwaring
Sparrows, carved & painted wooden, by John Mainwaring


At each exhibition there are both new works by artists you have seen before and also works by new artists. Lucy Hook is a new artist at this exhibition and I really liked a couple of her pieces.


Ruth Hook Trees & pig
Ruth Hook piece ‘Sussex by…..’
Ruth Hook 'Sheep'
Ruth Hook ‘Sheep’


This image by Annie Soudain caught my eye, I really like the colours and the way it draws your eye out towards the back of the landscape.


Annie Soudain 'Dusk'
Annie Soudain ‘Dusk’


The painting that I would take home if I had the money is this one by Cliff Howe, I cannot put my finger on what it is I like about it but it had me mesmerised for ages, and I went back for a second (and third) look! Though I do apologise for my particularly bad photo.


Cliff Howe painting
Cliff Howe Painting



I am pleased to report that they have now started to serve Hot Chocolate again, something that they don’t do in the Summer, and my mum says the mince pies she had were lovely.

And just to prove it is a Christmas based exhibition they have a lovely Christmas tree by the door.


Christmas Tree at Avocet Gallery
Christmas Tree at Avocet Gallery


So there you have it a little snapshot of the Avocet Gallery Christmas Exhibition, I highly recommend that you go and have a look yourself if you’re in the area. The exhibition does change over its run as pieces are sold and new pieces are hung, it is open Thursday – Sunday 10.30am – 5pm. Though if you want to double check dates and times they are open please check with the gallery direct.







Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .

Horse Netsuke – is finished and I have fabulous news

Finished Horse Netsuke in pear wood
Finished Horse Netsuke in pear wood

I am really pleased to say that not only is the Horse Netsuke now finished, but she, yes she, has a name. She is called ‘Trouble’, I have no idea where that name came from but as soon as the thought arrived it seemed right and so has stuck.

Getting this Netsuke finished was a lot more stressful than I hoped it would be, not because of the piece itself but rather external circumstances that had nothing to do with it. Also I had a deadline to work to which I have been working towards for a few months now, more on that later.

The main thing that needed to be done following on from where I left off in the last Horse Netsuke post was the sanding and finishing as all the shapes and places of things were locked in already. The mane and tail needed a little work too just to finish them off.

Working on such a small scale the finish (the look of the surface) is incredibly important, each piece gets minutely scrutanised by the people who look at it and the person who, hopefully, buys it. That person will spend a long, long time looking at it and admiring it.

I always forget how long the sanding takes as there are not only quite a few grades of sandpaper to work through to get a lovely sheen, but also technical difficulties in getting the sandpaper into the places you need it to go!

Actually I find it a very calming thing to do, it is so nice to handle the piece as it gets smoother and smoother.

Once I am happy with it one of the last things to do is to apply some Danish oil, to give it a protective coating but also to bring out all the sheen you have been working towards with the sanding.

It wasn’t until I was taking some final photos of the horse that I realised I had forgotten to sign it! That was soon rectified as you can see.

Horse Netsuke offside showing my signature
Horse Netsuke offside showing my signature

My signature has changed a little since I started carving Netsuke, at first I tried to include curves but I soon realised that it was too difficult so I’ve now got a trimmed down all straight line version.

And the fabulous news? If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I was in London at the National Gallery the other Sunday. The National Gallery wasn’t the reason for my trip, it was an added bonus, I was there to submit the Horse Netsuke for possible selection for the Royal Society of Miniatures Annual Exhibition. That was also the deadline I was working towards.

I didn’t find out until last Friday but I am so pleased to say that she has been accepted for the exhibition (yes there was dancing and much happiness when I found out the news!).

The exhibition is being held at The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London and believe it or not it opens tomorrow 16th October (2pm – 8pm), I know its short notice! The official opening is at 3pm on 17th and it carries on until 28th October 2012 10am – 5pm each day though on the last day it closes at 1pm.

I must say that I am really pleased with this Netsuke and I have learned a lot through making her, actually it was quite hard to leave her at the selection committee when she was so newly finished. I hope she enjoys her time being admired at the exhibition.

If you’re in London and like miniature work go have a look, if you do have a look let me know what you think.







Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .