Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Grief is a Stone

 One of the joys of being in Scotland is the access to stones, and pebbles and rocks. They are such a feature of our north coast and I revel at all the different types and how each beach or cove offers particular 'types' of stone. Or so it seems when we go looking.

We are possibly the only folk I know who head off on a beach wander with a metal tape measure in our pockets, picking up stones and giving them a quick measure to see if they will be fit for purpose.

As mentioned previously, I brought the Grief Is A Stone calligraphy in steel with me, and we have been searching for rocks that might suit the work.

Barry has kindly carved a straight line the length of several rock stones to test the idea. We have learned a lot along the way.

The groove needs to be cut 1cm deep so it is important that the stone has enough depth along its length.

I enjoyed playing with pebble placement afterwards.

Different rock, different pebble play. I do like how it echoes and references the 'o' in stone.

Same stone, turned around with the wording towards the back.

This slightly different calligraphy is longer (about 20cm) which has made it that much harder to find stones that will let it shine.

Having a flat surface for the full length of the stone is also important, otherwise some of the lower bar sits too proud, but this one works pretty well.

Because we have so much driftwood and so many timber off cuts in our shed here, I couldn't help but wonder how it might look in a long length of timber, and Barry obliged by carving a recess into this piece.

If you look closely you will see how beautifully the curve of the 'o' in stone references the rusty staple in the timber. I do love those moments.

And of course piling pebbles alongside to see how they might balance the work, or balance themselves is fun as well.

We collected a stash more stones on Sunday afternoon and are beginning to think we have enough to go on with!

There is also the choice between brushed and shiny metal to work my way through. Any thoughts on whether shiny or brushed works better would be welcomed!


  1. I thought the stone was the most perfect base ... until I saw the wood base with its bent nail and wee cairn ... I'll likely feel much the same in any future iterations, whether brushed or shiny

    1. I have really enjoyed pursuing this artistic idea and testing it in many ways. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the rusty staple alongside the o. They have a quiet strength and elegance I think. Our suitcases will be that much heavier on the return trip!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.