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Carved in fine-grained Portland limestone, this elegant Ancient Egyptian lady is by far my most ambitious piece to date. I created the 16in x 11in piece over a period of two years (for a fortunately very patient customer!), but I spent about a year of that time plucking up courage to tackle the very elaborate wig, with its subtle braided tresses. The carving is based on a detail of a scene in the tomb of the vizier Ramose, near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, which is widely considered to contain some of the finest carved reliefs surviving from the Ancient Egyptian civilisation. I love the combination of complexity (the details) and simplicity (the lack of applied colour except for the eye), and the ageless serenity of the woman’s face.
– Mick Oakey