The Stone Carving Studio - Short Courses and Weekly Classes
Stone Carving at Frome Festival
Kate is once again doing a one day workshop for the festival and is one of the fist events to sell out. It runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday the 13th of July, outside the library.
The Old Kennels
Each year Kate takes her Mobile Studio to The Old Kennels art centre in the heart of the Blackdown Hills, just into Devon. She runs two day workshops there, and this year the theme was Owls. Kate always enjoys her time there, because it's in such a beautiful spot, the lunches are yummy, and Tracey Bell the owner is such a wonderful host. 
Warminster School Stone Casting Project - Bench
Exhibition at Glastonbury Abbey
7th June - 27th September 2014

Kate Semple along with calligrapher John Rowlands Pritchard have produced work inspired by this wonderful venue especially for the exhibition. John has referred to the manuscripts of St. Dunstan for his painted canvasses, while Kate has used the Romanesque detailing of the Abbey for her abstract sculptures in Portland stone.

There is also a display of work made for Elysium Memorials. Here they both work within a group of highly skilled craftspeople producing artworks for the home or garden that commemorate and celebrate a life or event.

Kate is running a two day stone carving workshop at the Abbey on the 26th and 27th of July.

John is also a musician, and is running a chant workshop on the 20th of September, and is performing with his group Opus Anglicanum on the 27th of September.

The exhibition opens on the 7th of June and runs until the 28th of September, and is included in the admission charge to the Abbey.

Warminster School Stone Casting Project - Bench
Warminster School Stone Casting Project - Bench

Warminster School Casting Project

Branching away from her usual stone carving, Kate had the pleasure of planning and running a casting project at Warminster Prep School in April, producing a splendid bench for the school grounds. Every pupil in the school took part, with ages ranging from 4 to 11years, and they all really enjoyed rolling up their sleeves to make the moulds, design the panels, mixing and pouring the concrete.

Kate, and head of Art, Maria Chambers, were thrilled with the results, and thought the designs inspired by Edouardo Paolozzi were fantastic. Kate said "it was a hectic week, but my goodness, well worth it, we all worked together as a team to produce all the panels for the bench."

Kate and her good friend Ed Humphris fixed the bench by building a core of concrete blocks, and fixing the panels to it, then capping it with a wany edged piece of oak.

left from top: Ed Humphris putting the bench together; finished bench with Oak seat.
Spring & Summer 2013
Stuart finishing his alabaster sculpture - alabaster carving course
Alabaster Weekend
After a mammoth drive to Holland and back to buy some Soap Stone, and a trip up to the Midlands to buy some Alabaster and Polyphant, Kate ran her first Alabaster carving weekend in May. Several of her regulars, and a couple of new faces set to designing and making small works in these exotic stones. The processes are quite different to working a limestone, much more about cutting, filing and polishing rather than chiselling. Everyone had a good time, and there were some great results, and there will definitely be another one next year.
left: Stuart finishing his alabaster sculpture
Malmesbury Trip
There was a school trip in the Spring term ro Malmesbury Abbey, the Abbey House Gardens, just next door, then over to Great Chalfield near Melksham. Malmesbury Abbey is an architectural gem, with a chequered but rich history. Michael Parroy was particularly taken by the mysterious layout, and confusing way it had been chopped and changed over the centuries. It's always a great pleasure to see the wonderful carving in the porch. Abbey Gardens was enjoyable too, although the cold Spring meant not much was out. It is a beautifully laid out garden, with avenues and arches, and lots of espalier fruit trees. After a jolly good lunch we headed for Great Chalfield, a particularly slendid Elizabethan
Manor House and grounds.The huge swathes of daffodills edging the bubbling river were beautiful, and the buildings were super examples of C15th architecture, Thankyou June for helping to organise that.
Students stone carving at the Frome Festival
Frome Festival
Once again Kate held a one day workshop as part of Frome Festival. The course filled on the first day tickets were available, so it was a busy and also very hot, well , more like sweltering day. It was hard work in the heat, but everyone went home with a finished carving, and it was all a great success.
left: Students busy stone carving at the Frome Festival
September 2012
Stone carving course student Sheila with her sculpture  
Talent in the Studio
We've had some great work coming out of The Stone Carving Studio over the past few terms. Kate has been really pleased and impressed by the quality of the design and carving of the students, and feels there is a real surge of talent coming through the studio.
left: Sheila with her swan's head sculpture.
view more photos...
3 day gargoyle course hard at work  
3 Day Gargoyle Course
The Gargoyle course was full once again this year, which took place in May. The participants were incredibly keen and hard working, keeping Kate on her toes,but my goodness,what results! There will be another one next year, the new schedule will be out in the Autumn. Let Kate know if you are interested in taking part.
left: 3 day gargoyle course students hard at work.
view more photos...
Roche Court Stone Sculpture  
Day Trip to Roche Court
Most terms The Stone Carving Studio goes on a trip. In April they went for a tour up the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, and a guided tour around the Roche Court Sculpture Park. We had a great time despite the rain, and saw some marvellous stuff!
left: Sculpture by Peter Randell-Page at Roche Court in Wiltshire.


Tudor Rose stone carving  
Frome Festival
The tap tapping of stone carving could be heard in the streets of Frome during a stone carving workshop as part of the Frome Festival. During a busy one day course, 10 students each made a fine Tudor rose to take home. Great fun was had by all.
left: Margaret with her Tudor rose carving.


November 2011

It's been a busy year at The Stone Carving Studio, with full courses and some great work being produced. The quality of work made by beginners never ceases to amaze. This year a couple of more experienced and particularly adventurous students have been carving black Kilkenny limestone, which can only described as being like iron! Undaunted, they are galloping along brilliantly with their projects.

School Stone Sculpture Project  
Totem Pole Project

One of the highlights of last year was the Totem Pole project Kate did with Kingsbridge Community College in Devon. She went with her Mobile Stone Carving Studio, and assistant John Candler, and set up in the school grounds for a week. 20 students were selected by the art department, aged 14-15. After looking at North American source material each student designed a head on paper and in clay. In 2 groups of 10 they each spent two and a half days carving their heads, two on each block of stone. The results were fantastic, and some weeks later during the summer holidays Kate returned with her fabulous fixing team and erected the carvings into a Totem Pole, which stands proudly as a 3.5m public sculpture in front of the school.

left: Kingsbridge Sudents working on the Totem pole.

view more photos...

The Stone Carving Studio now has a Face Book page with the same name, set up by Myriam, who comes stone carving on Tuesday evenings. People post their photos on their, and swap nice and or funny comments on there. Please feel free to join in if you're a stone carver.
Somerset Art Week - Kate Semple Sculpture  
First Gargoyle Course a Resounding Success

The Stone Carving Studio ran it's first "Gargoyle" course last October, which was a resounding success. It was a busy 3 days, with a full class, all of them designing and making their own gargoyles from scratch. Everyone had a great time, and they produced some excellent work.

Thank you Greg for the photos taken during the course, which I think give a good taster of what went on during the course.

left: Sudents on the Gargoyle course, October 2010. Photo courtesy of Greg Tourte.

Artist in Residence at Kingsbridge College

Kate is artist in residence at Kingsbridge College in Devon in May. She's working with the students to produce a 14 foot high Totem Pole, to be constructed at the school entrance as an impressive welcome to anyone visiting the school. The students will each design a head and carve them in the stone, there will be 2 to each block, these will then be constructed one on top of another to produce the Totem. Kate is greatly looking forward to working with the school to produce a large public sculpture for the grounds, and will post some photos on as the project progresses.

Courses coming up at The stone Carving Studio

The weekly courses starting in March are all full. The summer term begins on the 4th of June, there will be some spaces then, so if you'd like to join Kate for some stone carving Saturday mornings, afternoons or Tuesday evenings BOOK EARLY!!

The 3 day Abstract Sculpture course running from the 30th of April until the 2nd of May is full, please contact Kate if you would like details of future dates. If demand is high enough she can schedule another course.
Archive News...
  • July 2010 - Stone Carving Studio opens - view
  • December 2009 - Workshop and studio expansion - view
  • May 2009 - The Mobile Stone Carving Studio working with Matravers School and St Stephen’s Church - view

July 2010
The Stone Carving Studio

As soon as the courier picked up the sculpture for the cruise ships, Kate set to work preparing and renovating 2 adjoining farm buildings in sub zero temperatures into a studio/workshop space suitable for teaching stone carving and sculpture classes and courses. Once again, it was a tight deadline, but The Stone Carving Studio opened for business in March. All courses filled up rapidly and names went on a waiting list for subsequent terms. The studio provides workshop space for up to 8 students at a time and an adjoining cozy tea room and small library of sculpture reference books and related material.

December 2009
Stone Carving Classes - New Workshop  
Workshop & Studio Expansion
Having had numerous enquiries about running stone carving classes, and following the great success of the mobile studio, I have just taken on the workshop next door to expand into running courses starting next spring. This winter's project is to renovate and equip the studio and transform it into a cosy, welcoming space able to accommodate 8 students.
MAY 2009
Mobie Stone Carving Studio Westbury Mobie Stone Carving Studio Westbury
The Mobile Stone Carving Studio working with Matravers School and St Stephen’s Church
The Mobile Stone Carving Studio has been out and about this month at Westbury, Wiltshire.  Working in conjunction with Matravers School and St Stephen’s Church, Kate and 40 members of the community are creating carvings to be incorporated into stone seating for a hidden garden next to the church. The garden will be officially re-opened in September as a place for the local people to meet and enjoy.

© Kate Semple 2014