Jonathan Sells is a professional award-winning sculptor / stone carver who studied architectural carving and stone masonry at Weymouth College, Dorset, where he trained with Portland stone masons. As a sculptor and artist he is self taught. As well as his own imaginative conceptions his extensive experience has enabled him to work successfully with architects, public bodies and individuals on a wide range of commissions.
Known for his large (and often quirky and amusing!) pieces, Jonathan’s stone carving is both figurative and abstract. He has a deep love of nature that is often echoed in his work. His carved and polished leaves from Purbeck marble are popular for gifts, and he produces evocative animal sculptures, capturing the spirit of the animals that he sees around him. Stone holds magic qualities for Jonathan – and his carvings often bring to life the essence of an image that he sees within a piece of stone before he begins to carve.
He has produced several large sculptures and commemorative plaques for public places such as a piece depicting Christchurch Priory where he was the artist in residence after winning a major sculpture competition for the commission. His public works are often figurative pieces representing various historic anniversaries and capturing the emotion and mood of the people at the time. In describing his Christchurch Priory sculpture he said “I wanted to create a feeling of rejoicing and celebration, but with a humorous angle.” Tregonwell, another public sculpture about historic characters, was described by the Mayor of Bournemouth as a ‘witty interpretation’ of Bournemouth’s seaside history.
Jonathan is based in Corfe Castle, Dorset and a lot of his work is created in the local Purbeck and Portland Stone, although he sometimes works other stone and alabaster. He has exhibited his work extensively in Dorset and countrywide, including the Barbican Centre in London where he was invited to give sculpture demonstrations.
He is happy to take commissions for a wide range of hand carved stonework, letter cutting and restoration work. His carvings include water features, house names, company logos, garden furniture, memorial headstones, and smaller unique gifts for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.