A Primer on Carluke Sculpture
While modern sculpture uses glass, metal and wood, original pre-historic sculpture has depended on local stone quarries. In northern Italy this has achieved wonders using Carrara a brilliant and often translucent white or blue-grey marble prized for its qualities, found along the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres (62 mi) west-northwest of Florence.
In Scotland the predominant rock available is granite and red sandstone. Extracted from outcrops throughout the country, e.g. Corncockle Quarry near Templand in Dumfriesshire, and down to the Borders, Devonian age Old Red Sandstone has been used in the late Victorian era to build tenements in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and also to construct New York 'brownstones' in America. In the 18th Century it was the choice of masons for home building while the yellow variety sandstone was used for sculpture.
From the days of the Pyramids, using rock struck upon rock and eventually iron implements, man has created larger than life representations using stone as the material to survive centuries presenting 3-dimensional statements of his culture.
If you were an important member of society, nothing said more than having your image look down on the local population. Assuming the subject was not hated enough to be torn down after death, only time, weather and the carbonic and sulphuric gases of the industrial revolution would alter our appeciation of the sculptors work.
While you can find over fifty ancient and modern Scottish sculptors in Wikipaedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Scottish_sculptors
we will be examining just two local masons who left their mark firmly on the bedrock of the Scottish scene, Robert Forrest and John Greenshields.
In no particular order, please follow the links below to marvel at their work using just a hammer and cold chisel.