The making of Diddly Squat:

The inspiration: Lampy of Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. Oldest Garden Gnome in the World. 1860s

Information board at Lamport Hall. It gave me the idea to produce an information board to go alongside a sculpture for Rugby Festival of Culture 2013

The finished display board with concept sketches.

Force daughter to pose for reference material. The accurate positioning of the arms in all dimensions is going to be critical for the success of the figure. I also remembered from the mists of time that she had strange pink stripy socks, one of which would be ideal for the sock puppet Lothwaine.

The “Blueprint” concept drawing inverted, scaled up and printed off. The start of the armature; high density foam, kebab sticks, sellotape, impact adhesive, bubble wrap.

Notice an external support strut has been added at the back, just visible in this image.

On with the clay. Detailing has to be done from the bottom up, as the lower parts need to firm up before the upper parts can be built on.

His hat makes him too tall for my kiln, and the extension ring I had ordered has not arrived in time. The hat appears black at this stage – that's the carbon from the kebab sticks and bubble wrap coming out through the gas permeable clay.

The makeshift solution to the tall hat problem. This was risky, as I was not sure the ordinary bricks would take the 1000oC temperature. But they are actually old Victorian railway standard bricks, so they were fine.

That's the bisque fired piece. It took 2 days and a night to paint.

On display in Florist's shop window as part of Art Trail, Rugby Festival of Culture 2013.