Portland Stone Carving Workshops for Beginners Weymouth Dorset
During the Portland Stone Carving Workshops in Weymouth for the Dorset Art Weeks event, I was so excited to see the passion and addictive nature of hand carving by the first time students. Each student demonstrated passion, enthusiasm and skills. Just like handwriting, all the carvers had their own particular style. Some very precious and detailed. Others were slightly rougher and brut. Consequently giving each sculpture its personality.
One particular enthused Student was so passionate that within a week she acquired stone carving chisels, stone and a sturdy table made by her husband. Now happily chipping away in the garden on the next sculpture. Others asking for dates for future workshops to advance their skills and create other unique sculptures.
Some of the Students recognised the therapeutic qualities and directness of hand carving. Which reminded me of my earlier years as an Artist discovering Stone for the first time. I had worked a lot in clay but hated the plasticity and the apprehensive moments of waiting to see your piece coming out of the kiln intact or in pieces. Stone carving happens there and then.
I set up this workshop with a local Primary School in France. The children were working on a project about the Romans and an aqueduct that they built in the local area. The border depicts the course of the aqueduct from Uzes to Nimes in the Provence. An engineering feat, with the “Pont du Gard” being its most spectacular part.
Regardless of the feat awaiting them. After an introduction to the Tools, Stone and techniques. The children carved as a team, with no preconceptions lots of passion and sweat. We then decided to paint the stone as indeed the Romans did to brighten up their final oeuvre. Can you spot the Comet? The Stone was finally placed in their Playground to inspire future generations.
Subsequently, years after I was invited back to clean the carving. Additionally, I would have the students assistance who had carved the masterpiece. However, I was, of course, surprised as they were all young adults! Time flies.
I was invited to take part in “Common Ground”. set up the D.A.R.S.E.T. project, (Dorcheter Area Rural Schools Education Team. Taking sculpture out into rural areas, connecting it to the landscape and local communities. I asked the involved schools to research any stones that were found in their locality. Using these to inspire them and to use for the design of their sculpture.
The results were amazing. One of the ideas came from a piece of Flint that the children had found by their playground. This inspired them to carve reliefs of Stone-age tools. Axes, hammers. Also what the tools could do, creating fire!
Piddle Valley First School decided to carve their school. I love the use of textures and the strong sculptural form. I think we can all appreciate the hard-work and passion that these young carvers have invested
The young budding sculptors weren’t afraid to hit hard with their hammers.
I will be holding further Portland Stone Carving Workshops in the future. Just go to my Workshops page for more details. The workshops are suitable for first-timers and also those who would like to improve their carving skills. 12 yrs+. So why not come and have a go? You can then proudly take your sculpture home to show to your friends and family.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso