I spotted "Pink Beard" whilst walking along the canal near to my apartment one sunny morning. His name is actually Ross but for me he was instantly "Pink Beard".
He was berthed up in his new 'Baby', a beautiful canal boat, "The Willow Moon", that he had purchased a few months before from Daventry, after loving the canals all of his life.
He had been coming to the Foxton Locks since he was a teenager and this was, I suppose, his dream. The boat was built in 1995 by high end boat builders of the time and he told me he felt it was a lucky buy for him and meant to be. It is even in his favourite colour... green.
As soon as I saw Ross I just knew after my ceramic work with artist Jennie McCall that he would make a wonderful sculpture... and with that pink beard, courtesy of his young daughter who painted it with pink food colouring, he was my kind of guy!
I dashed back down the canal for my camera begging him not to sail away until I returned! He was wearing a very striking jacket at the time, which I think he is widely known for, so I decided after making him out of white clay to get my sister to knit a little jacket to put on him.
This little bust is one of my favourite pieces to date and whilst he was drying out at Jennie McCall's house she wanted to adopt him!
I only have to look at him to make me smile... every day this little chap is happy!
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