Sculptor behind Wellingborough’s ‘Black Prince’ unveils his latest work

Mick Henson in his workshop
Mick Henson in his workshop

The sculptor behind Wellingborough’s ‘Black Prince’ has been busy working on his latest creation.

Mick Henson’s eye-catching sculpture went on show in Wellingborough’s Market Place earlier this year to help promote the town’s medieval festival organised by Wellingborough Business Improvement District (BID).

Mick with his new sculpture

Mick with his new sculpture

He uses steel and fibreglass for his sculptures, which have gone on display at locations including in Northampton, Wicksteed Park and Billing Aquadrome.

His latest piece of work is made of wood and is in celebration of Northamptonshire’s shoe-making heritage.

Mick, who lives in Wollaston and worked as a full-time sculptor for many years before going back into the shoe industry in January, said: “Many of my sculptures have been made from and inspired by the machinery I’ve worked on over the years.

“And my latest sculpture is no exception, based on the two different types of lasting pliers used by cobblers in the making of shoes for over 100 years.

The 'Black Prince' sculpture

The 'Black Prince' sculpture

“The sculpture is made from wood, a material that’s not always associated with the shoe trade but it has played a big part in the industry from the lasts used for making the shoes on.

“Wooden shanks are also used in the inside of the shoe to reinforce the sole and heels.

“Clogs use wooden soles with leather uppers and even wooden pegs are used instead of nails for fixing soles and heels on for munitions factories so not to cause a spark.”

Mick works for Barker Shoes as a maintenance engineer and his new sculpture will be on display at the factory shop in Earls Barton during September.

Plans for a steel sculpture are well under way using embossing plates from the Pearce’s tannery so both traditional trades are represented in the sculpture.