Sizing up stone


selecting a stone block

I love visiting the quarry and hunting round for blocks of stone which are suitable for my sculpture.  The stone block has to be the right quality, and have the right appeal, but also be the right size of course – well, roughly the right size.  It is very rare that a block of raw stone is exactly the dimensions required. This one feels about the right width, but it is double the length I need.  It is a block I like, and they know me well at the quarry, so before I can say any more it gets loaded onto the sawbench and cut.  I will also be able to see the very heart of this lump I’ve chosen.

stone block being sawn

So as the saw does its back and forth work of sizing the stone, it gives me chance to ponder my carving of it, and is an excuse to sit quietly surrounded by huge sandstone blocks, which is always a big pleasure for me.  Can’t wait to get it unloaded and into my shed.

Stone block on the sawbench






  1. Comment by Amanda:

    That is a large piece of stone, do you all ready have a idea what you are making ? do you ever find the stone first and it shouts out to you what you have to make from it?
    Amanda xx

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      It does seem big – they always do, but I’ll be chiseling quite a lot away! The block is for a commissioned piece, so I knew what size and type of block I was after, and what it will look like when I’ve sculpted it. There is a danger every time I go to the quarry, lumps of stone seem to leap out saying ‘look at me!’ I can easily end up taking home far more than I need. Mostly those pieces go into my stock shed, but I go in there and see them often, and you’re right, some stones just want to tell you what to do. Some stone I’ve had for years, then all of a sudden I’ll know exactly what I’ll carve it into. Stone is magical stuff!

  2. Comment by countrysidetales:

    I am the same as you in fabric shops, could easily give in to every piece of material that calls out ‘me! me!’.

    I love the pic of you with the stone at the top :o)

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      So extremely satisfying when you do give in though isn’t it! And there’s something deeply pleasing about going and making selections from your cache too, I find. Thanks re pic – I was showing the forklift driver the rough size needed – but I do spend time embracing my lumps of stone, getting to know them, walking round, talking to and sitting on them – more fulfilment!

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