Pembrokeshire Bluestone standing stones. This stone, also known as Dolorite, occurs in the Preseli hills in Southwest Wales. Known for the construction of Stonehenge several thousand years ago . Thats on Salisbury Plain over 200 miles away; scientists and historians are constantly baffled as to how the huge stones actually got there.
Starting out as a Stonemason and Quarry-man, I developed an ability and flair for shaping and carving stone. My artistic ability was unknown to me until, in my twenties, I was involved in a car accident which very nearly took my life. During my recovery I started to carve little sculptures from rocks I found in fields. At first this newfound ability to create in 3Dearned me the odd fiver but later led to greater things. After years of hard work developing this new talent I was commissioned to create a piece ‘like Michelangelo’ in Italian marble. A trip to Carrara blew my mind and I decided to live there and be part of it for a couple of years.
I have always been fascinated with Preseli Bluestone and its magical and healing properties. It is very hard, abrasive and heavy; seemingly impossible to carve and harder to polish. Thinking that there must be a way, I took a lump back with me to Carrara. In Italy I had access to all kinds of equipment and developed important techniques for cutting, shaping and polishing. In time I found methods and tools to work this magical stone and then to polish it.
The geological name for Preseli Bluestone is Dolorite, it is in fact harder than granite.
Because of its peculiar qualities it was used for the sacred healing stones in the construction of Stonehenge. Some say they can feel the energy coming out of it. My years of working with this material, touching, breaking, cutting it, have led me to believe that there is a scientific reason for its energy.
The unusual activity of cracking a boulder of Bluestone in two starts to release this energy. It always feels warm, the surface is never freezing to touch. This is the energy inside.
Once out in the open the new surface may be left or worked. It gets stronger and deeper in colour as time goes on, normally stones tarnish or become duller, Bluestone gets better, even after years of being outside.
When I am up the hills choosing rocks I break a chip off and study carefully the surface. I am looking for what look like little black sugar cubes, so so tiny, a microscope would be useful. I can see them but I am used to looking at rocks all day and know what to look for. The more concentrated the cubes are the richer in colour and harder the stone will be. This is a mineral called Zircon, which varies in colour but in this case is blue. There is a constant chemical reaction within it, but is locked in. It is started off by heat or, most likely, light which makes it intensify itself hence the deepening of colour, warmth and energy. Perhaps in times past this was how people discovered its unique healing energies.
Quarrying the material is another story, all above board location wise. With the landowner’s permission and help I am able to acquire rocks of a superb quality. This requiresa JCB, tractor, chains and pulleys, a lot a mud and graft. The process of splitting the rocks with basic quarry equipment is another extremely hard exercise. This is just the beginning before a certain kind of strength, stamina and skill is needed to form the rocks into art. Carving and polishing it is laborious, time consuming and physically demanding. It is an all but impenetrable, abrasive stone that destroys even the best quality equipment. But look at the result; like a starry night.
Over the past year I have been making these standing stones from Bluestone, responsibly sourced from the Preseli Hills. Many years working with stones, their properties have led me here.
For this display of healing stones my art is symbolic of the basics of humanity, the beginning of life and way it all is. Study the stones and you will be drawn to one of them. Somehow your personality will connect with the story and a meaning. These are a solid lumps of rock, permanent not transient, the meaning is simply life. They are what they are, a statement of honesty in the work involved to bring them here.