Mike Chapman is a gifted stone and wood sculptor quite local to me in Dorset. A stone's throw from Hardy's birth place! ("A sort of pun" for you Erik).
Look at the stone caved rings on the "detail" in the last picture!
See one of his beautiful works in London here: http://dorsetsculpture.blogspot.com/2006/11/dorset-stone-sculptor-mike-chapman.html
Mike runs a Summer School, dates for this year are Monday 23 July and 6 August. email email@example.com for details. Very good value instruction! He's not charging enough!