These carvings are created using traditional masonry and carving tools. They are created by hand with a mallet and chisel.
Most small stone carvings for sale on the interweb are manufactured by machinery, either sandblasted or cast from cement and stonedust. The difference can often be seen by a flatness of engraving and a lack of fine lines and sharp points (serifs). A sharp chisel will give V shaped incisions, often with visible striation marks, and shadow forms that change with the light direction.
Thank you for your message and the photo and, more importantly, for the bookends which have just arrived. They are as beautifully done as I expected. I was wondering if these are Portland stone or a different kind of limestone? They obviously look very different to the wedding stone I had from you and I was wondering if this is because they are unpolished or whether it's a slightly different stone.
Thanks again. Jenny
Glad you like the bookends.
Thanks for the query. Yes they are Portland limestone.
Portland stone comes in 3 beds:
Roach, which is made of small fossils and has lots of voids, not suitable for carving ;
Whitbed, which has lots of very small shell and sometimes a few larger shells, it is good for building as it weathers well and can be carved although the less shell the better for carving, the layers in the stone can be seen from when the stone was formed on the seabed;
Basebed, which is the softest stone with no shell, it is the best for carving but doesn’t always last a long time when exposed to weathering.
All 3 stones can be seen on buildings when walking in London.
The pebble I carved for these bookends is a shelly whitbed. I try to choose Basebed for carving, as in the wedding stones, but when looking for a suitable pebble this was the only one I could find, I was hoping it was a shellfree stone but with some pebbles its not until it is cut open that the shells can be seen. I went ahead and am pleased how it turned out, any more shell and I might have rejected the stone and not been able to make the bookends. In fact cutting letters on a rough surfaced pebble is quite tricky, a smooth line is hard to draw and to correct. When carving starts the pencil lines become a rough guide as it is the slope of the incision and where the 2 slopes meet that defines the letter shape.
Thank you again for the order. Andrew
Thank you so much for the gorgeous wedding stone. We have it on the windowsill in the lounge and it looks amazing! - G and A; London
It arrived safely thank you and it is beautiful, very beautiful.So good in fact that I hope to send you more orders next year, I have three nephews getting married over 18 months so keep your tools sharp.Thank you again for your expertise and imagination. - R; Sydney, Australia
The wedding stone was delivered today and we are delighted with it. Many thanks for all your effort. - S; Cheshire
Hi Andrew, It's absolutely beautiful. Thank you so so so much. - J; London
Our wedding stone is beautiful - thanks so much ! Have been showing it to everyone. - R & T; Jersey
Dear Andrew, just wanted to write to say how we are both so very pleased with the stone. It has turned out really well and it is going to fit beautifully in the space it has been designed for. Many many thanks again. With best wishes. - H ; Somerset
We received it to-day and are both absolutely delighted with it. It was exactly what we wanted and is beautiful. Thank you so much! - C and J; London
Our very own piece of stonework is absolutely stunning. It is beautiful and we feel priviledged to have it. - S and P; Devon
Just received the Wedding Stone, it is lovely - thank you very very much! It can definitely be used as a bookend, as it is large enough and heavy enough to support large books.- P; Cumbria