Working on Charlotte’s sculpture

A good day working with Charlotte McKeown, the young sculpture design competition winner, in the Strode College workshop. We made good progress with the development of her fantastic sculpture ideas in advance of the launch day at The Somerset Earth Science Centre next weekend.

eCharlotte STEP STONE

 

 

Duncan Cameron 30/6/15

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More on-site experimentation.

Spent a terrific couple of hours in Fairy Cave quarry as the sun went down, this silent and huge sunken world echoing with the calls of roosting crows. Excited to find clear animal tracks along the retreating muddy margins of a large puddle but without my plaster casting equipment this evening so I had to console myself with the experimental collection of lost metal artefacts by using a large magnet to ‘drag’ for treasure. I only collected a series of small pins and nails but I think the techniques has potential and I may rig up a simple wheely mechanism so that I can keep the magnet pointing straight at the ground as I walk the quarry. Made notes about horizon features and considered my mapping ideas and the recording of tree silhouettes before returning to the van, parked amongst the derelict buildings in the dusk.

eSTONE magnet

 

Duncan Cameron  29/6/15

Considering Quarry Bones

e Quarry Bones

I’m considering the deer bones that I collected in the quarry and how they can form part of the cabinet collection. The vertibra are particularly beautiful and I’m considering casting and drawing from them and also how I may raise them up within the cabinet I am now building. The bones are of course also a testament to the vertiginous nature of the excavated quarry walls and tragic evidence of the lost lives of the luckless creatures that have fallen over the edge, their bones now winkled from the rocks by an enthusiastic forensic artist.

Duncan Cameron  23/6/15

Collett Park and Sustainability Show

We had a couple of stands last weekend at Collett Park, Shepton Mallet and Sustainability Show, Taunton to promote step in stone to the public.  Our newly printed leaflets were handed out to plenty of passing visitors and it was wonderful to receive so much interest in the project.

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Fiona Campbell  18/6/15

Making a relief.

The pit edge

The pit edge

I am making a relief out of black materials, card and paper, old prints. I want to build up layers of strata, and show where these have moved over time. Our intervention has altered the landscape of the Mendips irreversibly by mining the black limestone and other minerals. A friend asked me how the quarries could be filled in, by excavating a huge pit somewhere else. Dig a hole to fill a hole!!

Looks like Fiona and the team had a wonderful day in Bristol , the pics look great.

Cath Bloomfield  15/6/15

Looking for sites at Westdown/Asham and Fairy Cave Quarries

Artmusic was formed in 1999 to produce and promote collaborative work between artists working in different disciplines, and to create site-specific and participatory work.

For Step in Stone visual artist Rowena Pearce and I (composer, Helen Ottaway) are working in sculpture, found sound and music to produce ECHO a work reflecting the transformation through quarrying of smooth rock to scree.

At Westdown/Asham and Fairy Cave Quarry we were looking for suitable sites  – sloping areas with scree to place Rowena’s ‘stream of boulders’ and open spaces for trumpet performances.

Westdown/Asham Quarry

Possible site for ‘stream’ of boulders at Westdown/Asham Quarry

 

 

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Later, with Fiona, we took a few boulders and the trumpet to Fairy Cave Quarry.  The use of the trumpet is inspired by the idea of the ‘blast’ – a word used both for the process of quarrying and for the sound made by a trumpet.  But also by the shape of rugose coral fossils commonly found in limestone.  At Fairy Cave we came across a piece of half buried masonry very reminiscent of this shape and behind it a sloping area perfect for Rowena’s boulders.

bureied masony at Fairy Cave Quarry

buried masony at Fairy Cave Quarry

 

 

 

 

 

site for boulders?

Playing around placing the trumpet on the stones made interesting shadows, reminisent of quarrying machinery – or is that just too fanciful……………

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……and looking around for high places to play from, I found that, surprisingly, I could get up to the top of this rock face – a great place for a trumpet blast.

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The day we visited fairy Cave was a gorgeous clear blue sunny day.  Step in Stone is a fantastic project which we are very happy to be part of and we’re very pleased to be off the starting blocks.

Helen Ottaway, Artmusic 14/06/2015

In the spotlight at Big Green Week’s Hub, Bristol

We had a fun day out in Bristol yesterday speaking publicly about step in stone at the Hub for Bristols’ Big Green Week.  Christina, Ralph, Fiona, Nick and Charlotte (our young sculpture design competition winner) took to the platform – a symbolic BGW green chair draped with examples of our work – to explain our forthcoming project to a drop-in audience.  Ralph treated us all to a snippet of his new poetic soundwalk – due to be located in the quarries.  The Hub is sited in the city centre near the cascade steps, so plenty of people stopped by, some listening throughout, and a few asking questions about the concept.  Jack Offord, our film maker came along and took some excellent pics.

Ralph trumpeting step in stone BGW Photo Jack OffordFiona speaking step in stone BGW Photo Jack OffordRalph, Christina step in stone BGW Photo Jack OffordRalph step in stone BGW Photo Jack OffordNick step in stone BGW Photo Jack OffordChristina step in stone BGW Photo Jack Offordstep in stone signed big Green Chair BGW Photo Jack OffordCharlotte McKeown - our young sculpture design winner

Later the same day, we met up with radio presenter Martin Evans (BBC Bristol and Somerset), who interviewed us for a pre-record – due to be broadcast nearer our opening week at the beginning of July.

step in stone - Fiona interview with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offordstep in stone - Christina interview with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offordstep in stone - Ralph interview with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offordstep in stone - Charlotte interview with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offordstep in stone - group interview with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offordstep in stone - group photo with Martin Evans - Photographer Jack Offord

An afternoon of Trials

Yesterday was an afternoon of trying out some of the felt pieces in two of the quarries:

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Fairy Cave – trying out the best location for a number of small white balls in Fairy Cave.

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The “Island” of choice for “homing” the white balls against the steep wall of the quarry.

sample small white ball

A sample small white ball beside some of the new flowers that have grown up since my last visit to Fairy Cave Quarry.

 

Westdown Quarry – trying out felting a huge stone!

The process:

Choosing a possible stone  and   wrapping the stone to make a template

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The felting process with supervisor!                  Its hard work keeping track of what is happening!

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“Trialing” out the piece on the stone in Westdown Quarry.

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Suzie Gutteridge  5/6/15