Road trip: York stone, slate and granite

Dan and I have had a rather busy few days. We left the workshop on Wednesday morning in a large luton van, complete with tail lift. We were taking a large York stone memorial to Dalton Church near Liverpool (pictured below). This stone is interesting in that the lettering is carved in three different ways. The name is carved in relief, raised by around 12mm, which means taking back the surface to leave the material for the lettering. This is surrounded by incised letters. On the back of the stone (see second picture) the lettering is created by carving the spaces around the letters. This technique means the lovely surface of the stone could be left intact too. redmond4 copy redmondbk3 copy

We then journeyed on to Wales to collect some slate and explore a little, and then on to carve a massive 9′ tall x 6′ wide monolith in Snowdonia. It was in a retreat centre called Cae Mabon, near Llanberis. I had been sent pictures of the stone but was unsure what we were in for. It turned out to be granite as opposed to Welsh slate, and so we braced ourselves for a few hard days work. We had some lettering and various other symbols to carve into it. The lettering was around 9″ tall and took some carving being granite. We carve everything with hammer and chisel. The stone was so hard that we noticed it sparking as it grew dark.


Then there were various other symbols; a Kokopelli figure (a sort of ancient American mystical figure linked to fertility and storytelling) a Triskele, or triple spiral (a pre-Christian symbol often linked to fertility) an Aboriginal sun/star symbol, and another Aboriginal symbol representing a meeting place. We also carved some ogham script, a kind of early medieval runic writing system from Ireland. I translated three words into ogham; taliesin (an early poet) iachau (healing) and hud (magic). I painted the lettering for legibility as it is a sign as well as a sculptural object. See below;

cae mabon1 copy


cae mabon bk2 copy cae mabon handprint copy cae mabon kokopelli copy cae mabon ogham copy cae mabon spirals copy  cae mabon2 copy cae mabon3 copy

One Reply to “Road trip: York stone, slate and granite”

  1. Thanks Teucer
    They are lovely, and in keeping with being in their natural surroundings. I think the gravestone in such a style would cause some acceptance problems in a rather traditional churchyard such as HT in Loddon, cf in a remote highland burial ground. Will be in touch again soon


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