From Quarry to Canyon

Step in stone seems to have infected me with a need to draw rocks. I went to the American South West on a road trip last year which I’ve documented thoroughly both in my blog and a fairly random sketchbook – drawing out of a moving car window, for instance. But at the Grand Canyon, once I had got over the shock of the place (actually I don’t think one ever does), I sat down for an hour or two and attempted to make sense of what I was looking at. Here’s the sketch, which is A4 size.

GC drawing 2

A4 just didn’t do it for the Grand Canyon so I enlarged it to A1 on the computer, and this is the etching that came from it.

Grand Canyon patchwork 1 for blog

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Goodbye Fairy Cave Quarry

Spent a day in the Fairy Cave Quarry last Friday, looking after the show, and was rewarded with fantastic light shows. Here are some photos to whet your appetite – last chance to see this treasure of a place this weekend.

Rowena's rocks - spot the difference?

Rowena’s rocks – spot the difference?

Amanda's colour chart - don't miss it as you come in

Amanda’s colour chart – don’t miss it as you come in

Sun coming through

Sun coming through

Who painted this picture?

Who painted this picture?

What's this doing here?

What’s this doing here?

Sally's fairy tents

A Fairy Campsite?

 What a day it's been!


What a day it’s been!

This has been part of my life for most of this year – Goodbye, Fairy Cave QuarryFCQ6 9.10

Bron Bradshaw  16/10/15

Here Be Fairies

Bronwen Bradshaw

At the Fairy Cave Quarry At the Fairy Cave Quarry

When you drive through Stoke St Michael on the Mendips, you can sense that stone is part of its story. The grey stone houses, small, mostly, workers’ homes, the huge quarry lorries that you can encounter round any tight corner. Before you get there, on the the road from the A361, you pass several working quarries, and then the basalt quarry: Moon’s Hill Quarry, with the deepest, finest basalt around.

Moon's Hill basalt quarry Moon’s Hill basalt quarry

The Fairy Cave Quarry is on the other side of the village, hidden down a  narrow leafy lane. It’s small (relatively, when you see the size of Whatley), not too overgrown, and closed to the public. So all the more exciting that it will be open to all during SAW, October 3 – 18th. I went there yesterday for a photoshoot with my still unfinished piece “Here Be Fairies”. This…

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step in stone – my story so far

Bronwen Bradshaw

step in stone – a project taking place in the East Mendip quarries this summer and autumn – gave me a commission to make work inspired by the quarries. The Quarries were indeed inspirational, but what to make to go into them? There is so much there already: stone, plants, fossils, bird life, insect life; the list goes on. After several visits and much pondering I found that the beautiful Google earth map of Westdown/Asham quarry had stuck in my head. So I made my work ‘You are here’ by increasing the scale of the map mightily, and making 10 etched aluminium plates that fitted together to make a map that measured 2 x 1 metres. Here is the story of the project so far, in pictures.

Google earth map

Image drawn with wax onto aluminium plate

the plate is etched in a solution of copper sulphate and salt.

Some of the finished plates in the garden

All the plates

My rubbings of the plate, to be displayed in the Black Swan Arts exhibition for SAW 15

Entering the quarry in pouring rain

Contrasting drills

It looks small now!

YOU ARE HERE

Workshop participants have a go at a rubbing

Rubbing close up

Back at the Earth Science Centre

Brass Rubbing 'heel ball' sticks make good rubbings of leaves etc

More drawings and rubbings.

The books are finished

Group photo

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An abundance of stones

An abundance of stones, this time at Westdown Quarry, means there is always somewhere to put things.

Fiona's Sculpture in Progress takes a rest

Fiona’s sculpture in progress takes a rest

It got quite warm so coats were abandonned

It got quite warm so coats were abandoned…

...cardigans (and a mollusc?)

…a cardigan (and a mollusc?)

...drawing materials

My sketching table

These creatures

These creatures have been here quite a long time,

whereas this one is a lot more recent

whereas this is a lot more recent

This one didn't need a stone

and this one didn’t need (fell off?) a stone.

Is this really going to work?

Is this really going to work?

And finally, Jack takes a break from filming

And finally, Jack takes a break

Bronwen Bradshaw, 17.4.2015

Fairy Cave Quarry Friday 27th February

I met up with Fiona today and we both went up – down? – to the Fairy Quarry for a drawing session.

Sketching morning

Sketching morning

What different weather we had from the Artists’ Research trip a month ago. Though pretty cold it was so bright, and the colours were changing across the rocks as the sun came out from behind a cloud (video opportunity?)

Red Rocks panorama

Red Rocks panorama

The Buddleia is going to be quite spectacular come the summer:

Buddleia

Buddleia

Being in the quarry is like being in a cave without the lid.

Stone mountain

Stone mountain

Fiona said it felt like being in Africa..

Africa?

Africa?

Spot Fiona in the landscape

Spot Fiona

Spot Fiona

Bron Bradshaw 27.2.15