Ammonite carved from Whitby Sandstone. 1.2 metres by 1 metre.
My childhood spent on Whitby beaches collecting fossils greatly inspires me with this concept. The spiral shape; natural pattern of growth, is the basis for all my artworks.
I have carved quite a few of these pieces, mostly in Whitby Sandstone. A nice size is about one metre or just bigger. The stone works with the shape, weathers beautifully and this sculpture is always a welcome addition to any garden.
Fallen Abbey, Whitby Sandstone. 1.4 metres by 1.2 metres.
Trois graces, my version of this beautiful Greek sculpture from about 2000 BC. The figure are one piece of Whitby Sandstone suspended on a block stone base on stainless steel pins. Overall 1.4 metres by 1.2 metres high. The original piece has been interpreted and remade many times, including the famous 'Trois Graces' held in the Louvre, Paris.
I tried to capture the essence and charm of he original here, I would like to make it agin one day perhaps in fine white marble.
Seahorse, Carrara Marble, 1.55 metres by 0.9 metre. This was craved over several months. The marble was sourced in Carrara, Tuscany and one month spent there roughing this piece out. Shipped home it was finished in my studio in Pembrokeshire. Displayed in The Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby, and at my solo exhibition in the House of Commons, Westminster. This was certainly one of if the best I made; the balance, proportion and workmanship make up a resolution for a beautiful concept in a beautiful material. Later on my Seahorse found a home in a private collection in the South of England.
Celtic Rebirth. 1.3 metres by 0.75 metre. Carved from Watts Cliff Gritstone. A millstone grit from Derbyshire. A pleasantly attractive piece combines legend, nature and artistic integrity.
Emerging Curves, figure carved from Serpentine stone. Sourced near Lavagna, Liguria, Italy.
0.6 metre high. This one was strategically designed, once I had found the streak of white quartz running through it. This stone is hard and can splinter when working but patience is rewarded when you get to a high polish.
White Whale, Carrara Marble. 0.6 metre by 0.55 metre.
Classical bust of a famous Pembrokeshire racehorse, carved in Carrara Marble. Life-size.
The fun at the start of this wonderful commission was taking measurements, photos and sketches of the actual horse. Once some kind of blueprint down on paper; then I made a wooden template which proved easier to use to form the marble block which was then carved. The marble used was simply a 'rock' of the material and had to be entirely cut out.
The block was then refined and details carved, in between several visits back to the yard to study the horse. The second head was copied from the first.
Both sit proudly on tall pillars outside the stables. The ears were finished once they were in place.
Ammonite in Portoro Marble. 1 metre high. This stunning stone comes from a tiny cliff near to Portovenere, Italy. Fragile and difficult to work. The name literally means 'door to the gold'. The final natural shine justifies its name and description.
Availability is very limited, in fact I have to go and pull the rocks out of the ground myself. The largest piece I have managed to produce so far is just over one metre.
I once made a little Whale out of Bluestone. Somebody bought it, liked and commissioned a huge one. It is installed so that the tide comes in every day and washes it.
This was a monumental task, five tons or so was carved down in unforgivingly hard Bluestone. Placed where it is and finished off in situ. I walk past it occasionally and its looks so good encrusted with barnacles and seaweed.
This one is carved from a very hard Sandstone. Obviously it weathers well-this picture was taken ten years after it was made. Less than one metre high and wide. Repose was a much admired piece and was carved again in Bluestone.
The other, I call Wind, is also a large bluestone boulder, probably a couple of tons. This picture is in my studio, unfinished.
Carrara Marble about one metre square. I saw this raw piece of marble in a stockyard in Carrara. It was of such fine quality I just had to have it.
I thought I must keep for something special, it sat in my yard for nearly a year. Then the arrival of my baby daughter was an injection of blissful magic into my life. One evening sat with her holding her tiny little hand in mine suddenly thought-thats it-the special sculpture! My camera was to hand to I snapped the scene, to remind me of that moment.
Weeks of fine scraping and refining were needed to make this carving. All the power and strength of this huge hand carefully holding a tiny delicate little hand.
A moment marked; I guess I am going to spend the rest of my life looking after my little girl.
Now owned by a private collector.
Pembrokeshire Bluestone standing stones. This stone, also known as Dolorite, occurs in the Preseli hills in Southwest Wales. Known for the construction of Stonehenge several thousand years ago . Thats on Salisbury Plain over 200 miles away; scientists and historians are constantly baffled as to how the huge stones actually got there.
Starting out as a Stonemason and Quarry-man, I developed an ability and flair for shaping and carving stone. My artistic ability was unknown to me until, in my twenties, I was involved in a car accident which very nearly took my life. During my recovery I started to carve little sculptures from rocks I found in fields. At first this newfound ability to create in 3Dearned me the odd fiver but later led to greater things. After years of hard work developing this new talent I was commissioned to create a piece ‘like Michelangelo’ in Italian marble. A trip to Carrara blew my mind and I decided to live there and be part of it for a couple of years.
I have always been fascinated with Preseli Bluestone and its magical and healing properties. It is very hard, abrasive and heavy; seemingly impossible to carve and harder to polish. Thinking that there must be a way, I took a lump back with me to Carrara. In Italy I had access to all kinds of equipment and developed important techniques for cutting, shaping and polishing. In time I found methods and tools to work this magical stone and then to polish it.
The geological name for Preseli Bluestone is Dolorite, it is in fact harder than granite.
Because of its peculiar qualities it was used for the sacred healing stones in the construction of Stonehenge. Some say they can feel the energy coming out of it. My years of working with this material, touching, breaking, cutting it, have led me to believe that there is a scientific reason for its energy.
The unusual activity of cracking a boulder of Bluestone in two starts to release this energy. It always feels warm, the surface is never freezing to touch. This is the energy inside.
Once out in the open the new surface may be left or worked. It gets stronger and deeper in colour as time goes on, normally stones tarnish or become duller, Bluestone gets better, even after years of being outside.
When I am up the hills choosing rocks I break a chip off and study carefully the surface. I am looking for what look like little black sugar cubes, so so tiny, a microscope would be useful. I can see them but I am used to looking at rocks all day and know what to look for. The more concentrated the cubes are the richer in colour and harder the stone will be. This is a mineral called Zircon, which varies in colour but in this case is blue. There is a constant chemical reaction within it, but is locked in. It is started off by heat or, most likely, light which makes it intensify itself hence the deepening of colour, warmth and energy. Perhaps in times past this was how people discovered its unique healing energies.
Quarrying the material is another story, all above board location wise. With the landowner’s permission and help I am able to acquire rocks of a superb quality. This requiresa JCB, tractor, chains and pulleys, a lot a mud and graft. The process of splitting the rocks with basic quarry equipment is another extremely hard exercise. This is just the beginning before a certain kind of strength, stamina and skill is needed to form the rocks into art. Carving and polishing it is laborious, time consuming and physically demanding. It is an all but impenetrable, abrasive stone that destroys even the best quality equipment. But look at the result; like a starry night.
Over the past year I have been making these standing stones from Bluestone, responsibly sourced from the Preseli Hills. Many years working with stones, their properties have led me here.
For this display of healing stones my art is symbolic of the basics of humanity, the beginning of life and way it all is. Study the stones and you will be drawn to one of them. Somehow your personality will connect with the story and a meaning. These are a solid lumps of rock, permanent not transient, the meaning is simply life. They are what they are, a statement of honesty in the work involved to bring them here.
This stone circle is on display at The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, near Carmarthen SA32 8HN. +44 01558 667149
These beautiful gardens are a must to visit, have been hailed a great success by visitors from far and near who have enjoyed all that the 568-acre parkland has to offer, its historic and futuristic buildings, its horticultural displays and flower meadows, its lakes and walks, its shops and cafes
These standing stones are made from the same Preseli Bluestone rock in the inner circle of stonehenge in Wiltshire. Here is my theory of why they were chosen for Stonehenge.
When you crack open a boulder of bluestone, it always feels warm, the surface is not freezing to touch. This is the energy inside. Once out in the open the new surface gets stronger and deeper in colour as time goes on, normally stones tarnish or become duller.
My art is symbolic of the basics of humanity, the beginning of and the way it all is. Study the stones and you will be drawn to one of them. Somehow your personality will connect with the story and a meaning.
How could you be a sculptor without carving the female figure? The brilliance of natures design, every curve, every line is a thing of beauty to be embellished.
White Carrara Marble seems to be a traditional material, the stone lends itself to be perfect for carving the human figure. Have a look at the vast amount of classical sculpture all over Italy. The way the material can be honed and its translucent quality does capture light in the most sumptuous way. The most romantic is under candlelight.
Love fish. The design and shape. Perfect animals. I have made lots in all stones, sandstone, bluestone, marble. The bold skeleton scales are a bit of a Yeadon trademark, and work especially well in Whitby Sandstone.