During my recent travels, I managed to fit in a visit to Nigel Owen Stone and topped up my stock of Polyphant (Soapstone) and also bravely acquired a few lumps of marble, and alabaster.
I say bravely, as I haven't worked marble or alabaster before, so it is a bit of a leap of faith - into the unknown. Something completely new.
The methods and ways or working these materials are different from the cutting and carving of sandstone, and I am looking forward to getting to grips with the material, seeing how it behaves and experimenting with polished finishes. I feel really excited about my little blocks - the marble is Portugese Rose Marble and you can see the pinky colouring and veining.
Carving in marble of course brings to mind the many famous pieces we know, for example the Pieta by Michelangelo and the Rape of Persephone by Bernini. These sculptures almost defy belief and leave no doubt as to what can be achieved in this material.
But I've also been looking at some contemporary sculptors who have chosen to use marble, and am excited by their work. Mel Fraser carves very beautiful pieces, as this one, called Serendipity, in Carrara marble.
And Wings of Desire.
Also inspiring is Louise Plant and her sculpture, this piece Caesura is very expressive.
Golly, it could all be quite daunting - but I have my own ideas for these little blocks I've brought back to the workshop and I'm itching to get sculpting them.