Emma studied stonemasonry in Bath and has been making and selling her sculpture for the past twenty years. She has also taught sculpture to adults in her studio, written on art and applied art for galleries and periodicals, and worked in stone conservation. Today she lives in Oxfordshire with her young son and carves stone more or less full-time.
I love the gentle hues and carveability of our British limestones, though I like the challenge and contrast of stones that are new to me. The Kilkenny and marble, for example, that I’m showing here.
I usually work towards my forms by drawing, and whittling small clay maquettes which help me understand the form in the round. Having learnt to carve entirely by hand, it’s the method I prefer. For harder stones pneumatic tools are helpful, but I’m always relieved to get back to regular chisels and relative quiet.
For inspiration I go to museums and draw. The Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers, and British Museum are my favourites here, but I love the ones I found in Guatemala and Mexico which are more like village houses stuffed with amazing objects and sculptures; no labels, no guards, hardly a visitor, my kind of place.