Catherine & Carly
Richard James Hughes was born in East Glamorgan Hospital on 18th June 1959. He was educated in Parclewis Primary and Pontypridd Boys Grammar School. He left school in 1976 before completing his A- Levels to join the family firm, although he had been working there in a professional capacity since he was 12 years old!
Encouraged and inspired by the work of his father and their shared love of the game of Rugby Union, Richard began a 30-year apprenticeship at the clay face. He started by making Welsh Celts following John’s example, but was soon inspired by the likes of JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards and Mervyn Davies. Early on, Richard’s enthusiasm for the study of faces sometimes exceeded his technical ability, as he moved too quickly to a figures head while the clay legs were still wobbly, leading to some famous disasters!
Over the years, Richard’s style has diverted somewhat from the traditional Grogg idiom. However, he reserves a love for the caricature form, as well as more academic studies. His only bugbear is even though he can capture a likeness quickly, his insistence on a quality product means it takes a long time to finish each figure, much to the frustration of his father and our eager customers!
Richard in his own words....
Favourite Film: King Kong (the original) – a huge influence on my life!
Favourite Music Artist: Bob Dylan and David Bowie – there are so many others I could mention but I could not separate these two musical innovators.
Favourite Album: Bob Dylan’s Planet Waves – without this record my wife probably wouldn’t have married me!
Favourite Song : Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ – self-explanatory if you know this song.
Favourite Food: Chilli – tough call between this and curry, but chilli gets the vote!
Favourite Sporting Moment: Wales versus England, Wembley 1999 – After all the highs of the 70s and the lows of the 80s and 90s this was such sweet revenge.
Favourite Try: 'If we discount the obvious of Wembley '99, Roy Beriers' charge down for Llanelli against NZ is probably the score that started by obsession with the game & yes, I was there!
Favourite Place: The Taff River – it was the Arms Park before they knocked it down, and Sardis Road before they stole our rugby, but nothing ‘nothing beats watching the river flow’.
Favourite Foreign Destination: Amalfi in Italy – a piece of heaven on earth.
Favourite Artist: Bernini & Velázquez both audacious talents.
Biggest Influence: My father.
Favourite Hobby: Looking for logs for my log burner.
Favourite Book: ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway – I don’t read many books twice, but I read this often.
Favourite TV Programme: ‘South Park - never fails to cheer me up! Plus I still love Monty Python especially Pantomine Horse.
Favourite Actor: Al Pacino
Favourite Actress: Hazel Court
Favourite Author: Ernest Hemingway – in his prime he was a one-off.
Dislikes: People who copy other people’s work, liars and rip-off merchants.
Ambitions: To make a 60 feet statue of Neil Jenkins to be situated on Ponty common, overlooking the town.
Favourite Saying: “It is the tragedy of human endeavour that so much, so often goes unseen and unnoticed” – Somerset Maugham.
Sporting Hero: Neil Jenkins – not because of his obvious talents on the rugby field but because of the way he handled the unfair and misdirected criticism he was dealt when he was a player. To me he sums up Hemingway’s definition of courage, ‘Grace under pressure’.
Favourite Grogg: 'Sounds big headed but the Large Eric Cantona is the piece I still enjoy looking at everyday'.