LAMBS & FOXES

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Lower Right - Carrick on the left with student George Mancini.  Carrick recognised Mancini's high standards of craftsmanship and was a great encouragement in his ambition to set up a foundry in Edinburgh.  It was Mancini's foundry which cast many of Carrick's later bronze figures including 'Safety' and 'Security' for the GRE Building in Saint Andrew's Square; and I believe the 8 foot figure of Sir William Wallace for the Gateway of Edinburgh Castle.

There are some remarkable photographs of the casting of 'Security' at Mancini's Foundry which appeared in the Scotsman newspaper in May 1939.  Unfortunately no copies of the photographs have survived.  The sculpture was cast in two pieces which were fitted together with a socket and flange and fixed with three bronze threaded bolts.  The joint was then hammered to produce an invisible finish, a method which Mancini employed as it was superior to welding.

 

Arguably Scotland's greatest figurative and portrait sculptor of the 20th century Willie Lamb's relationship with Carrick is something of a mystery.  Always a loner Lamb did attend ECA for a short time while Carrick was head of sculptor, but while he often mentioned his drawing classes he made little no reference to sculpture.  He spurned the academic approach and what Carrick's influence might have been cannot be guessed.  Although Carrick was older the two would have had much in common, being from ordinary backgrounds and east coast towns, both were trained stone masons and had served as ordinary soldiers on the western front.  Lamb even modelled a bust of Carrick which I have never seen, yet in one letter Lamb scathingly attacked the staff who he claimed had never served in the war, a comment which must have been cutting for Carrick.  On the other hand Lamb maintained a lifelong friendship and admiration for Mancini, sometimes cycling all the way from Montrose to Edinburgh to stay with him while working on a casting.  Many of Lamb's works can be seen around Montrose and at his studio were his RSA Diploma can be seen in his study, bearing Carrick's signature at the bottom.  With or without Carrick's help Lamb went on to become argubaly the greatest Scottish sculptor of the 20th century.

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Right - 'Fox and Pheasant' by Phyllis Bone.  Bone was a near contemporary of Carrick's and a lifelong friend.  Born 1894 she joined the Edinburgh College of Art in 1912 and gained a European wide reputation as an Animalier or animal sculptor and it was through her involvement in work on the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle that she managed to get Carrick involved in the project, initially carving the virtues of 'Courage' and 'Justice' for the external niches.  In 1944 she was elected the first ever female academician at the RSA.  She was also responsible for the animals carved on the face of the King's Buildings at Edinburgh University where Carrick's figure of 'Geology' can also be seen.  The photograph was supplied courtesy of the Stewartry Museum in Kirkcudbright where she settled.  The museum has a few of the artists smaller works on display as well as collections of WWI posters and is well worth a visit.

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The long overdue autobiography of Montrose Sculptor William Lamb 'The People's Sculptor' by John Stansfeld is a comprehensive and incisive look at one of Scotland's greatest sculptors and his work.

 

Click on the link below to obtain your copy.

BIRLINN