Myrddin Emrys (Merlin Ambrosius), mystical magician, alchemist & druid is adorned with the symbols of nature and the Celtic religion that for him was a way of life.
From his twisted honeysuckle beard that falls from his smiling face which holds his bardic wisdom. On his left shoulder sits the dragon of natures temptation and in his hand the three sticks and a rope with thirteen knots; a druids measuring kit, in the other, a bag of healing herbs from the garden of your imagination. The feathered horn of the orax hangs on his shoulder, whilst the La Tène torc is tied to his belt.
Embroidered on his back is the story of Blodeuwedd, for in the day the eye of the owl is the open flower but at night blodeuwedd is the owl. Or tywyllwch Ir goleuni, from the darkness into the light, as meant in Welsh, to be inspired. These are the words that are carved into the trunk of Myrddin. Where the three spirals ripple from the water source, you can run your finger through the journey of life to the labyrinth.
Can you see the frog? Can you see the squirrel? Can you see the flying sparrow?
Two more pieces of work were commissioned by Cilgerran park to join the fairy castle. These included a swan drum made from Ash and Sweet Chestnut - the xylophone has many notes and can be heard from a great distance as the trunk of the sculpture is hollow and acts as a sound box.
The second piece is a Red Deer carved from Cedar.... watch out for it hiding in the grass if you visit Cilgerran.....
The beginnings of the fairy house unfurl.... carved from a giant hollowed out sweet chestnut tree with a foxglove roof..... with a few fairies having visited already.
Commissioned by Porthkerry Country Park in Barry, this large cedar carving of a pirate was inspired by a storytelling workshop in the park.
Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee and the Cheshire Cat with their final finish and just awaiting installation in Llandudno.
The cheshire cat is carved from Cedar and you can see here the development of the project. Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee are carved from a single Oak tree and are yet to have their final finish. Carved as part of a commission for Conwy County Council.
A private commission for an airline pilot. Concorde carved from sweet chestnut and mounted onto the swirling smoke to create this leaning totem. Picture in final position yet to be added.
Commissioned by Little Bealings Primary School in Ipswich. Simon created a musical dragon that had xylophone wings and many other musical notes all carved into the work, including a musical tail, feet and tongue. Carved from a whole trunk of sweet chestnut and was finished by all the children at the school who painted the dragon red.
Simon Hedger spent two days at the school working with the children to create more musical instruments made from wood and telling magical dragon stories.
A Sweet Chestnut portable xylophone using the bucket of the wheelbarrow as the sound box. This was bought by Little Bealings Primary school. The children used potato peelers to de-bark hazel poles which they then cut up to use as drumsticks.
Carved from a large piece of Douglas Fir as part of the Westonbirt annual "Festival of the Tree". Deep in the 600 acres of Westonbirt woodland you will find this carving illustrating the game 'What's the time Mr wolf?'.
Over 3ft in length and carved in Cedar, which is one of the best types of wood for outdoor use.
Carved as part of a four piece Alice in Wonderland commission for Conwy Council to stand on the promenade in Llandudno, North Wales. Carved from a giant Oak tree sourced in Berkshire
Alice is carved from the same giant Oak tree as the Mad Hatter as part of the Conwy County Borough Council commission. Alice will begin the trail around Llandudno, meeting people as they get off the train. Alice has just taken some of the magic potion that has made her extremely big.
Carved from Cedar, The Queen of Hearts is 3metres in height and sculpted from two separate pieces of wood to express her domineering influence. The Queen of Hearts is shouting "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!"
The Rabbit is carved from Oak. He will be part of the trail of Alice carvings in Llandudno and his footprints will be found leading members of the public around the trail. The rabbit is holding a large clock that points in the direction of the trail at quarter past three.
If you want to follow my process of the Alice in Wonderland carvings you can catch up with them on my facebook page.
The finished Noah and sea serpent carvings were delivered to Cardiff Heath Hospital on 20th March. They were both commissioned by the Noah's Ark Appeal for the children's ward garden which will be officially opening on 31st May.... watch this space...
The Sea Serpent sculpture has also been commissioned for Heath Hospital children's ward garden. He is made from four separate pieces of Cedar, as he dives in and out of the ocean.
This large 11ft sculpture of Noah, carved in Cedar, was commissioned for Heath Hospital in relationship with the Noah's Ark Appeal for a new garden connected to the children's ward. In his cloak and around his body are all the animals he is gathering together to take onto the Ark, whilst his beard and the top of his head represent the swirl of the ocean that he is saving them from.
This sculpture is made of Oak and was commissioned as the symbol of Capel Gwynfe.
This carving is a larger than life size statue of the pilgrim climbing to the top of the mountain. It was commissioned by the Blue Mountain security company and now stands proudly outside their head office.
The wizard is carved from a large piece of Cedar, in which the knots in the wood were used as the centres of the flowers. He was carved as part of a fundraising event for Tree Aid at Westonbirt Arboretum over a period of three days.
Simon will be returning to Westonbirt Arboretum wood festival in August 2012 to carve a commission piece.
This carving was commissioned by the Forestry Commission section of the Royal Welsh Show. It is carved in Oak and depicts the diversity of Forestry work through the ages.
These three totem poles were commissioned by Penmoelallt Community woodland. Below is some feedback from the community woodland Co-ordinator:
“The Merthyr Tydfil and District Naturalists have been developing Penmoelallt Community Woodland north of Merthyr Tydfil. Ten, self seeded Western Hemlocks had formed a copse which was starving the woodland of light. Simon listened to our requirements for the 16 ft lengths of felled wood, advised us, drew sketches and then worked with great speed, skill and tenacity. He carved ten different animals and birds then installed our three magnificent totem poles. They stand securely on a 45 degree slope in the heart of Penmoelallt Community Woodland. The totem poles are amazing! My favourite carvings are the bats in flight with mischievous expressions on their faces! Visit them for yourself? GPS N° 51 46.29 W° 003 25 30”
Penmoelallt Community Woodland
This was a private commission. A relief carving in Beech showing the shipwreck of Helvetia with Worm's Head in the background.
This carving was commissioned by Ebbwvale Council for the National Eisteddfod of Wales. The piece stands on the foundations of the original steel mill which was fed on Ebbwvale coal. Each face of the three sides of the post represent the journey of one man from boyhood to manhood... as a boy, opening and closing the vents of the mines, as a man he is leading a pit horse out of the mine and as an old man, releasing the pit pony onto the hillside as technology moved to steam.
At the very bottom of the carving, in the last few inches of wood, can be found the men on their bellies deep underground, mining the coal.
This sculpture was commissioned by St. Clears Council and is of the Rebecca Riots. Between 1839 and 1844, a group of welsh farmers dressed in women’s clothes calling themselves ‘Rebecca and her daughters’, they were protesting the high toll gate prices in the areas around South Wales.
This floodlit sculpture stands in St Clears within eye sight of the original toll gate. The three figures have been carved out of a 120 year old cedar trunk. The traditionally hand-made ash gate holds back Rebecca and her daughter in the frame of two large oak posts.