Our objective is to promote sustainable use of waste stone for innovative design. This is realised through collaboration, eductation programmes and skills transfer. At Stone|Work|Space we have amassed and collated an extensive record of information that is inextricably related to the creative process and transformative value of the landscape itself. This knowledge and communication across different interests can be used to explore the creative process with new directions in peoples work, and innovative uses of the material.
Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust has been keeping a record of geology revealed through the quarrying process that links the present to past with evidence of life at the molecular level – and connections to similar environments around the world today in which the stone was formed. This includes the best example of stromatolites – the earliest living thing– a single cell algae growing in water that gave oxygen to the earths’ atmosphere. The fossil record from the whole section of Portland strata – with fragments that show evidence of life and environmental change – from the sea to terrestrial landscapes where trees in forests once grew and rivers flowed, to today’s thin soil bed that supports the fragile ecology and environment on which we all depend.
Quarrying and geomorphology have created the unique contours and landscape of the Isle of Portland 1.5 miles wide X 4 miles long. Divided into ‘lawn sheds’, the land was worked by family quarrying crews and set out into quarrying districts with their own names. The quarrymen left behind landmarks to show where the land surface once stood with the whitbed and based bed having a commercial value and everything else above and below that being waste.
PSQT has been sharing the personal histories and knowledge that has shaped Portland’s landscape and identity, teaching the traditional skills of working and carving stone – giving a greater understanding of the land and our relationship to it.
The traditional methods of splitting stone with plugs & feathers is still used at the Stone|Work|Space – a hand method that puts people into contact with the qualities of the stone – its sound – density and structure. The experience of hearing the stone split is extraordinary and reveals the inside of the stone for the first time since it was formed. We work with different forms of boulders and stones with all shapes and sizes and have lifting equipment up to 3 and a half tons, a custom made Achilli stone saw capable of cutting at any angle can be used along side hand carving and other power tooling– to support the development of individual work/project ideas.
Stone|Work|Space is situated between two major Stone Companies and their working quarries, so there is a wide selection of stone to choose from. We help with stone selection and movement of stone to the Stone|Work|Space.