Art With a View Exhibition Garden

Learning to Carve Stone

Learning Stone Carving

I remember well the first stone I carved. Carving a Water Bowl for the Zen Garden created by the Sculptor Phillip King at the Tout Quarry Sculpture Park on Portland, Dorset. Grazing my knuckles against the rough Portland Stone. Stretching my tired muscles and becoming addicted to this beautiful medium.

So when I teach and think of the skills I’ve learnt over time. I can really relate to my students on their first Stone Carving Workshop. Learning how to hold the tools. Getting the right angle and hit from your hammer. Trying to execute your idea and making it real.

Portland Stone has its character and needs constant adjustments when carving. Being a Sedimentary Limestone its made up of tiny sea creatures, shells, changing its hardness. Around 70 Million yrs old and used to famously construct St Pauls Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Students Hard At Work

These are a few examples of Stones I’ve carved over the time. Some personal Sculptures and others decorative. Carved for the restoration of certain classed buildings. The techniques are always the same. Roughing out, refining and finally finishing.

There is a real satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when you take a block of Stone and transform it into your unique design. Using hand techniques that haven’t changed from bygone times. Its very meditative and I adore the sound of stone being chipped. Music to my ears. Much nicer than the noise of machines. Although I’m sure if the Romans had electricity they would of been the first to use them!

So if you feel inspired? Why not have a go at some chipping? I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can create.

I,d love to get any feedback about my work, feel free to comment.

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