Butler trained as a blacksmith from 1941-45 and began to make sculpture from forged and welded iron in 1948. He had spent the previous year working as an assistant to Henry Moore, and before 1941 had trained and practised as an architect. 'Crouching Woman' is number 11A in the artist's record books and it was made in the first year that he used his blacksmith's training and worked in forged iron. 'Maquette for Woman' is number 20 and was made as a tryout for a much larger figure in iron. The tiles on which the sculptures stand were also made by Butler, who had worked as a designer for the London Brick Company in the 1930s.
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