Philip Cullen


Carving stone is a very intense physical activity. I use two stone types in particular - Kilkenny Marble, (which is in fact a Limestone) and Carara Marble from Italy (which is a marble). In the past I have experimented with Wicklow Granite, Cork marble, which is red in colour, and Portland stone from England. I have used found fieldstones too which can be really interesting, particularly the heavily fossilised pieces. I first learned about stone-carving in the Crawford College of Art & Design in the late eighties. The initial piece was made from a small piece of Carara Marble. I remember carving it using a small lump hammer with a point chisel, then a claw and finally with a flat chisel. I polished it for hours in my grotty flat with wet & dry sandpaper. Watching the form become smooth and emerging from its rough state is quite amazing. No matter how many times I have completed that process since, it is still wonderful and satisfying. As a sculptor I never try to imitate reality, always acknowledging the material and physical processes by leaving chisel marks








Copyright Philip Cullen