As the countdown clock starts ticking, I brought the ladder to get on with jobs in hand, thinking the day would be quiet with last beach days before the schools restart. It turned out to be busy all day, with new visitors travelling from Horsham, Petworth, the Czech Republic… and Crawley – as well as a few regulars passing by.
The pike form progressed a little with help of a cycling fisherman – a little of the curve taken out of the back; I also learnt its Czech name today.
Much apprentice work took place with a consequent shortage of mallets throughout the day. It was pleasing to hear that people who had come across the community stone project through social media were amazed at the opportunity offered to get involved.
The heron form is becoming upright; the cow now has a front leg (which does yet not quite ‘read’ as a front leg). Branches are becoming more prominent as the shadows around their edges are deepened. The tree canopies at the top of the stone are regularly being seen as buffalo and gorilla heads which suggest that the ambiguous nature of those masses is about right – liveliness is encouraging observers to wait a while and consider what personal story they see.
The educational benefit of this project is seen through the valuing of persistence, observation and being able to discuss openly what one sees or visualises in raw stone. Improvisation ultimately rewards. The process is a rich but not a fast one – but this stone has to sit around for the next thousand years, so it is worth the effort.
Next carving: Weds 4th, Sat 7th, Thurs 12th, Sat 14th all 10-4.
Remember the end is approaching rapidly… spread the word before it is too late for participation!