La Cernia Limestone Chair
The Quarry Series
A chair machine-cut, drilled, hand-carved and polished in Limestone from La Cernia Quarry near Neuchatel in Switzerland.
The Quarry Series is an ongoing project combining various types of stone from quarries around the world with traditional stone masonry skills and modern diamond blade stone cutting equipment. So far I have completed projects in Ladycross Quarry in Northumberland; a small limestone quarry called La Cernia in Neuchatel, Switzerland; Goonvean Clay quarry in St Austell, Cornwall; De Lank Granite Quarry near Bodmin in Cornwall; a Delaware Bluestone quarry during a two week expedition to the Catskill Mountains in New York State; and a granite quarry near Chengnanzhuang in Hebei Province, China. I use primitive hand tools and techniques to carve them - a lump hammer and masonry chisels - in conjunction with diamond blade saws depending upon the available facilities at each quarry.
The first part of the process is in the selection of the stone and each piece is selected based on the natural characteristics (size, shape and grain) of the stone. The original quarried shape of the stone influences, or perhaps even dictates, the final form of the chair - a classical approach once coined ‘direct carving’. I only carve the stone where it is absolutely necessary and each stone will suggest a different design or poise for the chair to adopt. Each type of stone has a unique grain pattern and strength that demands a different hammer and chisel technique or cutting process, but with each type of stone the procedure remains extremely physical and one of great patience.
By Max Lamb