The Stone Carving Studio with Kate Semple

Alabaster, Malmesbury, and Frome Festival

Alabaster Weekend

After a mammoth drive to Holland and back to buy some Soap Stone, and a trip up to the Midlands to buy some Alabaster and Polyphant, Kate ran her first Alabaster carving weekend in May. Several of her regulars, and a couple of new faces set to designing and making small works in these exotic stones. The processes are quite different to working a limestone, much more about cutting, filing and polishing rather than chiselling. Everyone had a good time, and there were some great results, and there will definitely be another one next year.

Malmesbury Trip

There was a school trip in the Spring term to Malmesbury Abbey, the Abbey House Gardens, just next door, then over to Great Chalfield near Melksham. Malmesbury Abbey is an architectural gem, with a chequered but rich history. Michael Parroy was particularly taken by the mysterious layout, and confusing way it had been chopped and changed over the centuries. It’s always a great pleasure to see the wonderful carving in the porch. Abbey Gardens was enjoyable too, although the cold Spring meant not much was out. It is a beautifully laid out garden, with avenues and arches, and lots of espalier fruit trees. After a jolly good lunch we headed for Great Chalfield, a particularly splendid Elizabethan¬†Manor House and grounds.The huge swathes of daffodils edging the bubbling river were beautiful, and the buildings were super examples of C15th architecture, Thank you June for helping to organise that.

Frome Festival 2013

Once again Kate held a one day workshop as part of Frome Festival. The course filled on the first day tickets were available, so it was a busy and also very hot, well , more like sweltering day. It was hard work in the heat, but everyone went home with a finished carving, and it was all a great success.