This piece is the second animal I’ve ever carved; it’s an old oak tree trunk strong with good grain and a strength and weight about it, so I decided on a turtle, whose presence and quiet strength would reflect the oak it came from. I was trying for a look that made the onlooker have a reaction to the subject, whether it was, ‘aw isn’t he beautiful’, or ‘he looks like he’s deep in thought’, or ‘he just wants to turn slowly away and go on about his business’. I wanted a tactile but ultra-strong, heavy-duty subject, with a look on his face that makes you never want to not look or touch. The colours are wonderful, really beautiful, warm, happy subject. This is one of my favourite pieces I’ve done. So far.