Kevin Ford stone carver
I carve my stone in a wheat barn on a farm near Leicester. The farm has set aside its wheat production in favour of growing wildflowers to benefit bees and birds. Its amazing to be surrounded by fields of colour in the early summer,
I started carving when I was 60 so am late to the process. Before that I had forty year career as an entrepreneur, in both social and commercial worlds, setting up a number of not for profit and commercial organisations, including leadership and management training for services that work with young people, public libraries and adult education.
I seem to be a late onset artist - recovering a sense of awe and wonder when I finally had the time to respond to it.
Why stone? There is something magical in the process of removing material to reveal shapes, contours and colours within the stone. Whatever emerges was always there - the sculptor just frees it and gives it life. Speaking through my hands - chipping, grinding and smoothing stone that is millions of years old. Every stone is unique. Each type of stone utterly different. Some hard. Some soft. Some compliant and others which fight everything you do before allowing a shape and form to emerge.
It is a conversation between sculptor and stone. A search for shape and flow. Looking for responses in the stone. seeking resolution of lines and curves. There is struggle when the shape does not emerge and near ecstasy when it does. 450 million year old stone, full of fossils. Mocking our hubris and self importance. Ancient time locked in the rock.
I blame my friend and mentor, maverick Welsh sculptor, poet and social worker Jon Sait for all of this. A week in his workshop in a tiny village in the mountains of Aragon, Spain and I was lost to carving.
I am largely self taught. Stone carving is a simple process. At the minimum a mallet and a chisel and a piece of stone. I have learned much from other sculptors who have always been generous with their time.
The great Michelangelo said:
“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”