037 – Ladycross Sandstone Chair

Ladycross Sandstone Chair
Ladycross sandstone

A chair carved from a block of sandstone by hammer and chisel. The stone is from Ladycross Quarry in Slaley, Northumberland, England. This was my very first experience in stone carving.

The first part of the process is in the selection of the stone and each piece is selected based on the natural characteristics (size, shape and grain) of the stone. The original quarried shape of the stone influences, or perhaps even dictates, the final form of the chair – a classical approach once coined ‘direct carving’. I only carve the stone where it is absolutely necessary and each stone will suggest a different design or poise for the chair to adopt. With the Ladycross Sandstone Chair I only carved a small section on the top of the chair to create the seat and back surface, but the majority of the work was done on the underside. A large section of the stone had to be removed and many hours spent carving a level base to make the chair stable. I find it is interesting that much of the carving can’t even be seen.  Each type of stone has a unique grain pattern and strength that demands a different hammer and chisel technique, but with each type of stone the process remains extremely physical and one of great patience.