Watercolour study of Cambridgeshire

By , 12/13/2017 10:20 am

Watercolour study by Kenneth Baldwin-Smith depicting a view from Hill Farm, Harston looking towards Haslingfield. Probably a study for a later oil painting. He would regularly sketch local scenes of Cambridgeshire, such as Haslingfield, Shelford, Hauxton and Harston.


Blacksmith’s Little Shelford

By , 12/07/2017 12:26 pm


A print by Kenneth Baldwin-Smith is featured on the Little Shelford History website it depicts the Blacksmith’s workshop and Prince Regent (now Sycamore House) from Church Street, Little Shelford.


Self-Build New Art Studio – part 4

By , 12/06/2017 4:02 pm

I chose to clad the art studio with larch because it is affordable and very long-lasting. However, I was careful to source locally grown larch and also used a local company to machine the cladding and finishing details to order. And as I liked the wood colour I coated all the cladding with Osmo with protects against UV and algae – it is not cheap! I had to use stainless steel nails for fixing – even galvanised nails can react with the larch.

Finally, the studio is watertight:

Art studio with larch cladding

I opted for plywood for internal cladding and got a bit arty colour-washing some panels. From the start I planned to run the electrics through galvanised conduit trunking with matching ceiling roses and boxes. I ran all the wiring and then paid a sparky to wire-up the consumer box and add the circuit to the meter and off course get a certificate. I managed to source enamel light shades that match the yellow colour-wash and galvanised brackets for plywood shelves. And searching online, I found some cheap, easy to clean oil paint off, laminate flooring.


I built units for books, CDs and vinyl and worktop to hold my deck and Sonos system (that is linked to the house).


Pretty much done, the stove is in and I have added a step:


Big thanks to all those who helped me!


Self-Build New Art Studio – part 3

By , 12/06/2017 3:18 pm

I investigated many types of roof finishes but finally decided on a EPDM rubber roofing membrane because it is; hard-wearing, reasonably priced, not to difficult to for a DIYer, works within the height restriction and comes in the size I required. Also, I managed to find a company that supplied the full kit; the rubber, glues and various trims.

Below, the roof and trims are done – the rubber just needs trimming off.

Art studio with EPDM roof and trims

Next, the door frame goes in:


And then the vapour barrier is stapled to the walls and ceiling:



Self-Build New Art Studio – part 2

By , 12/06/2017 3:00 pm

Before I started the studio self-build I sat down and worked out what I wanted in the building and how I would position electric sockets. Top of my list was somewhere to store my art materials, also my CD and vinyl collection and a deck to play them on. It had to have good lighting but too many areas to loose heat, so opted for wide patio doors that face north and then lots of sockets so I have the option to switch from mood lighting to daylight bulbs for painting. Another necessity was heating and I set my heart on a log burner – although this would mean a compromise on space.

Another part of the planning consideration was height – it had to be within the permitted height of 2.5m. I spent a lot of time drawing plans on scaled graph paper and double checking material sizes. It was bit of a learning curve and a lot of watching YouTube about various construction techniques.

Images below show the build developing – the sub-floor has gone down and now the walls are going up:

Constructing Art Studio walls

Three of the garden room walls are up

Next, we stapled a breathable membrane to the OSB cladding, then nailed vertical battens to allow airflow (with angle cut to the base of each to direct moisture away) and then it was time to put up the roof joists.


Perhaps the worst job of all was cutting and fitting the insulation – it get everywhere. Below I have insulated the walls and now nail-gunning the roof boards:



Self-Build New Art Studio – part 1

By , 12/06/2017 12:59 pm

About two years ago, due to redevelopment and sale of the farm, I lost access to my sculpture studio and have since struggled to get much work done. In addition, my wife and I purchased a camper-van and decided to spend time travelling across Europe – more on this another time.

Whilst travelling and over a few glasses of wine my wife and I decided that I needed a studio in the garden, so after much mulling things over and having looked at the prices of off-the-shelf garden rooms, I decided to design and build my own.

After clearing an area and consolidating the ground I finally started, and after much deliberation, I chose to use QuickJACK brackets and bearing plates for the base as they are very eco friendly, easy to level and much faster than a concrete base – I think I went way over the recommended supports but better safe than sorry. I used regularised timber (C16 and C24) throughout for all structural work and, as luck would have it, a local supplier a really big discount on structural and facing timber. However, this meant to make the most of the savings (the offer only lasted a month) I had order in bulk instead of ordering as I needed which in turn meant I had store lots timber. Moreover, the timber needed to be covered and off the ground.

As I wanted electrics in the studio i dug a deep trench and ran armoured cabling from a point close to where the household meter is and to roughly where I envisaged the consumer unit to be position in the studio.

Next with the help of a friend and my son (along with plenty of encouragement, copious amounts of tea and snacks from my wife) I made up the base which included Celotex insulation and boarded over with SmartPly OSB and lot of nails.

Art Studio insulated base


Serpentine – Sculpture created from found objects

By , 03/07/2015 11:03 am

Serpentine is a sculpture created from recycled roll-cage tubing, scrap metal off-cuts and found objects. I fabricated the sculpture by reshaping the tubing and welding to my desired shape. I have left this sculpture to rust as I really like the reddish patina – it will outlive me.

Serpentine metal sculpture

Detail of Serpentine sculpture


New sculpture titled Immutatus – upcycled roll cage and boules

By , 03/05/2015 8:45 pm

Immutatus is a sculpture created from recycled steel tubing, steel rod and pétanque balls. I have allowed part of the surface to rust, whilst other areas have been spayed with a variety of colours. I built up the layers of paint and then in areas I used a grinder cut back – sometimes right back to metal.

I have worked on this over many months as I kept changing my mind; a layer paint, leave it for a while, another layer of paint, grind back, repaint, let it rust, repaint and so on.

Upcycled metal sculpture

Metal sculpture


Kenneth Baldwin-Smith painting on the BBC website

By , 01/15/2014 10:05 am

As part of their ‘Your Paintings‘ project the BBC discovered a painting by my great grandfather in the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust collection. The painting is a portrait entitled George Harriman (1908–1973), Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, British Motor Corporation, dated 1962.

Portrait of George Harriman by K Baldwin-Smith

View painting on the BBC website.


Coughton Court Sculpture Garden

By , 07/30/2013 11:32 am

Just installed my Grayling sculpture at Coughton Court Sculpture Garden. The fish sculpture, created from metal rods and found objects, is sited beside the lake – so it is more Lady of the Lake than Lady of the Stream…

Coughton Court, a National Trust property, stands in 25 acres of grounds and holds some of the most beautiful gardens in the country, created by the Throckmorton family – who have lived at Coughton for 600 years.

This August, the Throckmorton Family Gardens of Coughton Court are the setting for a fine, stunning Sculpture Exhibition of over 250 works from over 60 national and international sculptors from all over the UK.

Coughton Court
Sculpture at Coughton Court


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