II Editha R Plowden 548

There was some difficulty in overcoming Miss Plowden's diffidence to allow examples of her work to appear in this series. It seemed, however, very suitable that our notice of the late Mr. W. H. Grimwood should be followed by examples of the work of one of his most successful pupils.

It was at first the intention of Miss Plowden to follow painting as a career, and, going to Paris, she worked for some months in the studio of Carolus Duran. She felt, however, that she would never get to the foremost rank of painters, and so she turned her attention to wood-carving, working for some time in Paris by herself, first modelling her designs in wax before carving them in wood. On her return to London she became a student at the School of Art Wood-carving, and in 1893, the first year that the examination was held, took a first-class teacher's certificate for wood-carving. The same year she attended the late Professor Roger Smith's lectures on the "History of Architecture," at University College, and at the final examination passed in the first-class, with honours, being second on the list. After this Miss Plowden engaged in teaching and designing, and has since published " Progressive Studies and other Designs for Wood-carvers" (Batsford & Co.). She is now preparing a fresh series, which, it is hoped, may be ready by the autumn. Architecture is a subject in which she is keenly interested, and she has written six lectures on Gothic architecture, illustrated by lantern slides, which have been much appreciated. Miss Plowden has an excellent voice and delivery, and has lectured on drawing to scale and on construction, at the School of Art Wood - carving. She prefers teaching and lecturing to the work of the tools, and the beautiful pulpit for St. Saviour's Church, on the Cliff, Shanklin, Isle, of

Wight, which is illustrated herewith, is the first large piece of carving she has undertaken. It was given to the church by Mrs. Trevor Molony in memory of her sister, Mrs. Wheeler, who was the daughter of the late Mr. William Chichele Plowden, of Ewhurst Park, and a cousin of Miss Plowden. How seldom is it that we can create

Staircase of Pulpit Designed and Carved by Editha R. Plowden

Staircase of Pulpit Designed and Carved by Editha R. Plowden

(For enlarged details, see p. 134.) and carry out the memorials to those whose names we wish to honour !

The pulpit, which is carved in oak, stands 6 ft.

Memorial Pulpit In St. Saviour's Church, Shanklin, Isle Of Wight.

Designed And Carved By Editha R. Plowden. Fig. i.   Lily Panel.

Designed And Carved By Editha R. Plowden. Fig. i. - Lily Panel.

(2 ft. 10 1/2 in. X 8 1/4 in.)

Fig. 2.   Panel (Passion Flower) of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

Fig. 2. - Panel (Passion-Flower) of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

(Dimensions: 2 ft. 10 1/2 in. x 1 ft. 3 1/2 in. Relief, 3/4 in.)

Fig. 3.   Central Panel of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

Fig. 3. - Central Panel of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

(Dimensions

Fig. 4.   Details of the Pulpit Staircase in Saint Saviour's Church Shanklin Isle of Wight

Fig. 4. - Details of the Pulpit Staircase in Saint Saviour's Church Shanklin Isle of Wight

Designed and Carved by Editha R. Plowden

Designed and Carved by Editha R. Plowden for the complete

Staircase

Fig. 5.   Panel (Rose) of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

Fig. 5. - Panel (Rose) of the Carved Pulpit, by Editha R. Plowden.

(Dimensions: 2 ft. 10 1/2 in. x 1 ft. 3 1/2 in. Relief, 3/4 in.)

3 in. high. The construction of the buttresses going down to the ground, and being tied together by a base, with mouldings, was suggested by a fifteenth century pulpit, and is certainly more satisfactory than the more general "wineglass" arrangement.

The panels are carved out of three-quarter inch stuff, and, as the church is dedicated to the Saviour, embody the symbols of Christ - the Vine, the Passion Flower, the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily. In the centre panel is the sacred monogram enclosed by a crown of thorns, surrounded by a glory and surmounted by a celestial crown with stars. On the right is a panel of seven passion flowers, and on the left one with seven roses. These panels are a little overcrowded, though the distribution and the carving are excellent. A long narrow panel adjoining the staircase has the lily, round which is entwined a scroll with the inscription "Ad Dei Gloriam." Above the panels is the inscription, "Tu Rex Gloriae Christe" (Thou are the King of Glory, oh ! Christ), the letters adapted from a beautiful inscription on Henry the Seventh's tomb in Westminster Abbey. The importance of lettering and numbers cannot be too strongly emphasised, for how often do we see a fine piece of carving ruined by the inscription and the date.

Panel (Water Lily) in Mahogany (14 x 14 in.).

Panel (Water-Lily) in Mahogany (14 x 14 in.).

Designed by Muriel Moller, and Carved by Lily Harcourt. Shown at the recent Exhibition of the School of Art Wood-carving.

The vine leaf moulding at the bottom is carved on a convex-shaped moulding, so that the little holes or eyelets in the leaves are pierced through. This carved member is fitted into a concave moulding, which gives depth to the shadows and contrasts well with the high lights. The staircase, which was designed after the pulpit had been put up, is admirably conceived, the vine being again used, so that in the intricacies of its growth the two become united. The panels are pierced, which make them very effective at a distance, and the branches and stalks are treated so as to get the best effect of light and shade, which is not obtainable by a purely rounded surface. The diagonal crossing of the branches emphasises the steps, and the value of repetition is obtained without recourse to the usual geometric tracery. Incised on a panel at the top of the steps is "Ego sum vitis vera" (I am the true vine).

Clock in Louis XV. Style, in Walnut.

Clock in Louis XV. Style, in Walnut.

Designed and Carved by Walter Hassall.

(Height, 15 in.; at Base, 8 in.)

Shown at the recent School of Art Wood-carving Exhibition.

Miss Plowden says she shall always gratefully remember that she was one of the late Mr. W. H. Grimwood's pupils, as she feels sure had it not been for his excellent teaching she never would have accomplished the work just described. To Mr. Belfrage, A.R.I.B.A., she is indebted for assistance in the construction of the staircase, and to Mr. Herbert Grimwood, who superintended the execution of the cabinet work.

It may be mentioned that Miss Plowden has had the honour of carrying out a design by H.R.H. the Princess Louise of a Celtic bracket, which was afterwards carved at the School of Art Wood-carving, and presented by the Princess to H.M. the King. Eleanor Rowe.

The School Of Art Wood= Carving Exhibition student work to which we referred last month was, above everything, notable for varied scope of subject and style. Together with examples based on Gothic, Renaissance, and even French Rococo models, were others showing the vigorous, modern, and truly British art of Lewis F. Day and George jack. For purposes of study, of course it is only

Whatever might be said in criticism of the School of Art Wood-carving at South Kensington, no one could charge the teachers there with working in a groove. The recent interesting exhibition of

Cigar Box in Walnut, lined with Copper.

Cigar Box in Walnut, lined with Copper.

Designed and Carved by Ethel Hendrey.

(5 in. high X 7 in. wide.)

Shown at the recent School of Art Wood-carving Exhibition.