I have a small workshop on the Cornwall and Devon border near Launceston. For the past 10 years I have been working with slate, it continues to surprise me in how versatile a material it is. I love the creativity involved in making sculptural features and it is very rewarding when people want to put them in their gardens.
In a world where everything has been done before I enjoy the challenge of using materials in a new way. Different materials are now becoming more appealing to me and offer new textures and colours. The future is exciting, I am looking forward to seeing some of the ideas come to fruition.
It is my policy to use only local Cornish slate and everything is made in the Launceston workshop. I oversee the production personally to keep the workmanship and production standards impeccable, nothing leaves the workshop until it is checked and double checked.
All of the slate I use is Cornish – often from Trevillet Quarry, but also from Delabole Quarry. The quarry may only be a few miles apart but the slate has slightly different characteristics. These characteristics are prevalent in the two colour options for the Waterspheres™, natural grey slate or a mixture of more rustic brown and grey coloured slate. All of the Waterspheres™ use Cornish slate.
Slate was formed millions of years ago from shale or volcanic ash, fused together under pressure. It formed into very fine layers, which are individual to every slate, much like the grain of wood. Slate is carefully split along this grain to leave the flat surfaces which are so recognisable. A good piece of slate with no defects will ring when tapped. Some slate has tiny flecks of iron pyrites in it (fool’s gold) or other minerals, which gives individual pieces a sparkly, coloured or rusty appearance, adding to the unique character.
In some of the products I also use reclaimed slate, which has been taken from roofs across Cornwall. Reclaimed slate often has holes in it, or marks from the original use. This makes each piece unique, and therefore all the items I make from reclaimed slate will be slightly different from one another.