Characteristically modest about his art, and about the sources of his inspiration, he will say: ''I just like faces really, and lips''. Yet there are echoes of classical, and perhaps even more, baroque, sculpture that come to the surface, and that he will willingly acknowledge.

But, noble as they are, his masks and torsos are not the stuff of classical perfection. Slightly over life-size, they are, above all, powerful, sensual, down to earth. Lead, which has always been his preferred medium, comes from the very depths of the earth and its combination of strength and malleability is perfect for the task he has set himself, and for the gentle giants that emerge from his studio.

In his hands, even an old sheet of roofing lead is transformed by patient hammering into a human form of eerie strength and intense originality. He is also fascinated with the different effects of patination, partly induced and partly left to the chances of wind and rain. Weather-beaten, his heroes have suffered and survived.