I had a wonderful weekend running a stone carving course at the Dutch House and am over-the-moon with the sculptures made by my first time carvers.
It is astonishing to me how much progress is made, and how quickly participants get the hang of using the chisels confidently, creating beautiful pieces of work, which they all proudly take home with them. Although everyone starts off the same, with a block of stone, each carving is so different, each individual giving a little of themselves and their personality into the work.
What a cold weekend it was too, but not noticed by my hard-working group, all concentrating on roughing out their shapes, refining the forms and putting in details with tools new to them. When concentrating how to use a claw chisel and mallet, or bull-nose, or flat chisel to get the shape required, the time soon flyes by and lunchtime came before we knew it. All were warmed and renewed by the delicious home-made soup provided by Cecile and her kitchen helpers.
Sunday was horrid weather, really wet, windy and dark - so we lit a brazier and carried on chiselling. With spirits high and another tasty lunch, creativity flowed and craftsmanship flourished. Thanks to all.
I'm so proud to share with you the results of the two days.
There is something very satisfying about making something with your own hands, and often we have to work hard to put some time aside to do this - but just seeing the happy faces and feeling the sense of achievement of my stone carvers this weekend, it is well worth the effort. If you think creating a sculpture or stone carving might be for you, there are still some places available on the May course at the Dutch House.