From the Rookery


Bird stone sculpture - Fumblefot

This bird sculpture is carved in Springstone (a hard Serpentine stone mined in Northern Zimbabwe) and I’ve called it Fumblefot.

The piece of stone is actually an off-cut from a sculpture I previously carved (Fugol), and in a similar way I’ve retained the golden colouring at the outer edge, inside the stone turns to deep, rich black.

Bird sculpture - Fumblefot

The sculpture is very much inspired by nestlings and young birds just flown or who accidentally find themselves out of the nest – they are often wobbly on their legs and seem to find difficulty in controlling their limbs – innocently wide-eyed, big-footed and precarious.

Bird sculpture carved in Springstone - Fumblefot






  1. Comment by Keith Grant:

    Wonderful Jennifer, how did you finish the surface? Its so shiny & gloss.
    Was it just elbow grease or something oily…or both!
    I took a bit of similarly coloured stone from your spring course, ? Soapstone, but it is not nearly as lustrous.
    What’s the secret?

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Hello Keith – this serpentine and the soapstone you have polish about the same. It is just a matter of going through the grades of sanding. Your soapstone needs to be polished up to around 1000 grade wet and dry (Fumblefot I polished finer as the stone will take it) and you need to be thorough in all stages. Starting 80 grit and working upwards (120, 240, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000), being meticulous at each stage and making sure to use clean water at every stage and rinse piece of any slurry often. This process actually polishes the stone. You’ll see when it is dry and you handle it a beautiful sheen. You can then give it a coat of wax polish (which helps bring out the colour) to add to the shine (the more coats the glossier) and protect the surface. Some carvers also oil their stone (raw linseed) which darkens and can enrich colouring, but sometimes you can lose the stone detailing. Leave to dry before polish. Your soapstone will not be as dark as Fumblefot, it is just a different stone, and more mottled, but your sheen should be as good.

      Hope this helps – let me know how you get on.

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