Out and About

Direct Carving in Stone

  Direct carving, carving direct – ever since I picked up my first hammer and chisel I’ve been working stone in this way.  I didn’t know it had a name, or that at one time it was considered revolutionary.  I just took for granted it was the way sculpture came into being and was how […]

Shades of Yellow

  A wheat field and its boundary stone wall in matching August colourfulness. Weathered stone and the crackling and rustling of crops ripe for harvest.  I’m on a high from champagne and golden tones, of lemon, mustard, ochre, citrine and bright canary – all organised, perfectly balanced and matching in hue, bursting intensity, softness and […]

Sunny Bank Mills Gallery

  Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, near Leeds was originally founded by a group of local clothiers in 1829 when they invested together to purchase land and build a woollen scribbling (combing and carding) and fulling (scouring and milling) mill. It has quite a history – in 1882 the majority share-holder Edwin Woodhouse became the […]

Stone Carving Workshop

  On Saturday I was at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes running a stone carving workshop.   It is lovely to see when someone starts to get the feel of the mallet and chisel, and gains confidence with their carving.  I saw lots of this from nervous starters, imagining they would damage the stone, […]

The Story of Star Carr

  Last night I joined the Appleton History Group for one of their evening talks given by Professor Nicky Milner from York University. Star Carr:  An early Mesolithic site at Seamer, near Scarborough Star Carr is a Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) archaeological site, dating to around 9000 BC, just centuries after the end of the […]

My favourite symbol

  Most of us I think like to set off on little expeditions to seek out the new or adventure close to home.  Walking explorations nearby are my favourites.  I like to get the map out and plan a little route, usually there are features marked – old workings, a monument – I like to […]

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust – work day

  Yesterday I spent a brilliant time with a group of volunteers at Appleton Mill Farm on one of the conservation work days with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.  The Farm is managed in partnership with the Trust and the day’s work involved clearing a steep, wooded, muddy bank of all the scrub and branches left […]


  I’m looking forward to this evening, when the new moon, or ‘supermoon’ will show itself in the night sky.  Because of our planetary positioning it will apparently appear larger to us here on earth than it has done for many years, in fact since 1948.  To ward off cloud-cover I’ve taken my moonstones out […]

Stone, a bird, and a man in a top hat

  This stone is an example of 19th century rock art (graffiti) at an ironstone industrial railway site in the North York Moors – it shows a man in a top hat, and a bird.  Someone has spent time in carefully carving out this image, it is no idle sketch, there are charming details, feathers […]

Stone in some form

  What a brilliant episode this week’s Gardeners’ World was (did you see it?) and quite a treat when Joe Swift visits Chelsea gold medal winner and stonemason Martin Cook to see how he uses contemporary rock sculpture within his Buckinghamshire garden. So much talk of stone – I watched eagerly – rockeries, incised stone, […]