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Berkhamsted’s Charles Elliott On His Unique Sculptures

Unique commissions, bronze beauties and why Berkhamsted is just perfect for Charles Elliott and his Elliott of London sculptures

What’s the background story to Elliott of London?

Elliott of London is a thriving haven of hand forged metal artwork. Each piece is initially designed and handmade by myself and my small, devoted team in their sculpture studio on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Every sculpture captures the real movement, character and energy, bringing each piece to life.

Since we last spoke in the summer, how have things been going?

It has been very busy here at Elliott of London. We have been creating new sculptures, getting commission sculptures ready for installation, updating stock at the outlets we showcase at – and we’ve even been out at a few exhibitions.

What’s new from Elliott of London this autumn?

We have some new sculpture designs ready for the autumn including our Beech Seed Sculpture, which is finished in a rustic patina – we love it and have our first one to install very soon. We have also been busy with our bronze sculptures, so there’s a few really exciting ones currently off being cast at the foundry. But our most exciting creation is our 4m high Horse Head – we can not wait to see the end result of this monster piece.

Elliott of London's Bronze Jumping Horse
The Bronze Jumping Horse

What can you tell me about the unique features of the bronze sculptures?

Bronze sculptures are timeless, but I think that the methods have changed and evolved over the years. In recent times the patination has modernised bringing in more contemporary colours. Our Kingfisher Bronze, for example, has a lot of coloured patination, whereas our Bronze Show Jumping Horse has a very vintage style of bronze sculpture, with a smooth finish and dark rich coloured patination – the two couldn’t be any more different! The methods of the texture in the bronze world has also grown with so many different ways to finish the sculptures.

As we head into the festive season, do you get a lot of enquiries/commissions about creating work as a Christmas gift?

We get a few more enquiries coming into the festive period for our interior sculptures and gifts. We have a huge amount of interior art pieces that are affordable and all of them can be adapted to suit each customer’s needs. We welcome these commissions as there’s no better feeling than creating something that’s going to be gifted to someone to keep forever.

What would you say has been the most unique commission to have come your way in the past?

We’ve been involved in some very heartfelt commissions, that have seriously touched us and that we’ve been honoured to work on. I think one of my favourite commissions was a flock of Blackface Sheep we created for a family fairly local to us. They were great fun and we really enjoyed working on a different method to show the sheep’s wool fleeces. Since we made them, the owner has added to the flock and they now have a few Lamb Sculptures and a Sheep Dog Sculpture they’ve named Colin!

Charles Elliott At Work
Charles Elliott at work

How long have you had your studio and gallery in Berkhamsted, and what’s great about the space you have?

We have been here for almost six years. It’s a great space with plenty of room for us to create our larger sculptures. We are lucky enough to be able to welcome people up to see our sculptures and see how we create them.

What do you love about the Berkhamsted area?

The area is just beautiful, being so close to Ashridge and the Chiltern Hills allows us all to enjoy the wildlife. I love driving into the studio seeing all of that. It’s a lovely town with everything you need in one place.

When you do get time away from the studio, do you have favourite places in the area to head to?

We have Labradors so dog walks are generally what I head off to do in my spare time. We are lucky to have Albury on the doorstep – we tend to take the dogs for a good walk around there then head to The Greyhound Pub for a good bit of food. We also spend a lot of time at Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground shooting the competitions and practicing. They cater for all abilities and have brilliant facilities. Our new favourite place is Hanako in Berkhamsted, a florist with a twist – you pick what flowers you’d like in your bouquet and while you wait you can enjoy afternoon tea and a glass or two of fizz.

What can you tell me about your ambitions for a sculpture park in the area?

This is something we are so keen to get going. Our plan is to invite other sculptors to exhibit their artwork and offer a lovely day out for everyone. We will have our studio there with open days for demonstrations and workshops. We hope to have a café on site and would eventually love to have a really cool glamping site too. We are still seeking the location and we’ve put the word about, but we are still looking – so if anyone knows of anything we really welcome the information.

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