Out of the Stone

Bath Stone Miners

Cold Cast Bronze set on hand carved Bath Stone

Height 28cm (11″) by 40cm (16″) by 36cm (14″)

Limited edition of 150

I used to live in a stone mining area and love to carve the stone. It is a soft oolitic limestone, more commonly know as Bath stone. The stone comes from all around the area I lived, but the best quality was mined from under my house back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Those mines are now exhausted and recently had to be in-filled as the mine ceilings were becoming weak and there was a danger of collapse.

During this time, a lot of the people recruited to stabilise the mines were ex coal miners from South Wales and the North of England. I always felt the irony of these men who had spent  their lives taking stuff out of the ground, were now employed to fill in the hole that was left.

A fabulously cheery bunch, who had a lot of respect for their forebears and the conditions they had to work in.

This sculpture is my response to those miners both past and present.

My grateful thanks go to our local museum The Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust (locally know as “the Corner Stone” – see earlier post) and the Combe Down Heritage Society who helped enormously with my research.