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What I did this Summer – part 1

Relativity – from the Incident Series, Vicky Forrester 2011

There is something delightfully absorbing and unwinding about stone carving; after my first experience I was hooked – and last month I returned once more to Charlotte De Syllas’ stone carving course at The London Met.

I have an ongoing personal project around found objects… but you will have to wait a while for me to explain more – there’s a whole exhibition in it, I hope, one day… suffice to say that I decided to dedicate my course time to replicating my found object in as precise detail as possible, in stone.

The process is slow but immensely satisfying; over 4 days I worked a piece of blue lace agate from rock  -

blue lace agate

using these tools

Stone-cutting saw
grinding wheelsGrinding wheels

and then these

useful tools for grinding stoneuseful tools for grinding stone

and these

3 nice files3 nice files

to make this

Water (back detail)

I’m delighted with my result. I’m not sure yet whether it will be an object to wear – I like the idea of it being a conundrum, a curiosity, a museum piece – a future relic. I’m still thinking about it’s deeper symbolic associations with water/life/preciousness…..the way we live now…

Back to the course -

There were 6 of us on the course, and over the 4 days our stories unfolded -  new threads of connectivity span the country, ideas spread, life changes. Another wonderful element of being a student is in this serendipitous meeting of others with similar drives, diverse approaches. And how delightfully different our finished pieces were – sorry, no photos to show, but I did particularly love the smokey quartz cicada wing :-)

We were all inspired by our tutor; Charlotte’s work is beautiful. I love her fluid forms, and as she described the pieces in her folio we were drawn to look more closely at her work;  it was evident that each piece presented technical challenges that only a master could achieve with such ingenuity and (?) simplicity. I was also inspired by her approach to jewellery  with colour as the foundation for her pieces – precisely the opposite place from my own usual starting point!

Charlotte is deeply knowledgeable about stone and carving it, and she is a very generous teacher (and a great entertainer – so sorry I had to miss the end of course drinks) and if you think your hands can take the punishment (wet/dry/wet/dry/wet/dry) sign up for the next course now – I thoroughly recommend it!

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