Dints from decades of hammering

  As long as I can remember I’ve had this little mallet for stone carving, though the exact date it came into my tool family escapes me.  It is at least ten years old, probably twenty!  It has absorbed an impressive collection of taps, beats and strikes. The ash handle supports a head made from […]

Fog and Fish

  A foggy start this morning, making everything seem heavy and cold.  I know it will clear soon enough, as there’s a warmer, brighter beaming of the background sun, which will shine and clarify. Sometimes carving feels like this, a shrugging off required of all superfluous stone, which weighs the shape down, a dense enclosure.  […]

In the Workshop today – a Stare of Owls

  The collective name most often used for owls is a Parliament – but I discovered there are many others, less well known, like Stare, what about Hooting, or Looming.  They seem to make more sense to me.  A Stooping, or Diss are suitably descriptive as well, or there’s a Wisdom of Owls. Anyway I’m […]

The Season of the Growing Sun

  Of all the many theories surrounding the origins of Easter I like the Norse eostur, eastur, or ostara which meant ‘the season of the growing sun’, or ‘the season of new birth’.  Our word East comes from the same source.  Easter is the changing of the season. On that basis it is feeling very […]

Spring Rituals

  Have you heard of the Elephant Bird? These cameo-engraved glass eggs by Gillies Jones are a new collection of pieces principally inspired by the eggs of the now extinct Elephant Bird.  Each glass egg explores the patterns made by the reassembly of their fossilised giant eggs. The fragmented patterns are universal in their structure, […]

Sun’s Time

  We lost an hour, and then nearly another putting all the clocks, timers and dials to the right spot.  It is a funny shift we’ve imposed on ourselves! It does however seem to have brought much needed sunshine and a bit of warmth. I’ve carved this little stone sundial in a simple column shape, […]

Stone adjusting to its new surroundings

  Last week a delivery of stone arrived and it was so cold and still snowing here, that I left it sitting. Today is such a pleasure unpacking, removing the wrapping and straps, letting it breathe and showing the blocks their new surroundings. I really appreciate when the quarry has taken the time to send […]

Spring Welcome

  Yesterday it said on my calendar Spring Begins – hurrah! Happy Springtime everyone        

Lastingham in the UK Heritage Awards

  Last week the prestigious ceremony in London of the UK Heritage Awards 2018 named its winners.   The awards recognise the best places to stay, finest historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites in the UK. Castle Howard in North Yorkshire was the winner of the Great Places to Eat award, but so well […]

Cadeby Stem Vase

  I’m going ahead anyway with thoughts of spring – it has turned distinctly cold with bitter wind here after half a day of warming sunshine earlier in the week.  Birdsong encourages my belief that the seasons are shifting! I’ve been making some Cadeby vases, so at least some uplifting spring stems can be brought […]