Big projects in a small cowshed
When you meet Henry Moore for the first time you get a real surprise. He is quite unlike the culture-hero you have been led to expect. He is utterly without self-conceit or sham: the hardness of his thinking, which one respects in his essays of 1934 and 1937, is apparent when he talks about art in private discussion.
I have been asked to say what it was like working as his assistant. When I was with him there was only a small converted cowshed to work in. Nevertheless he carried out some big projects, such as the carvings on the Time-Life building in Bond Street, the King and Queen and others.
He preferred to work out his ideas alone, and a small room was set aside for this purpose. He worked to a routine, and the proximity of the studio and house enabled him to retain a continuity of thought between his sculpture and his domestic life.
Whie I was there he was fascinated by the lost-wax process of bronze casting, and under his guidance a bronze foundry was built and operated for casting small pieces. This interest was the starting point for new works, for he experimented with the material, pushing its possibilities to the full, dipping the wax into hot water or cutting out the sheets like a tailor.
He taught me about drawing, on which he places great importance, and he gave freely his help and criticism of my earliest sculptures. Much of what I now take for granted about the understanding of volume and space comes, I realise, from him. I owe him a great debt. The doors of a whole world of art which I had not known as a student he opened for me.