Monthly Archives: August 2013

An early attempt at a Pictish Stag

A piece from March 2012. As with my first carvings of the Pictish wolf, I was still using metal engraving burrs when I carved this.


This stag is from a Class I Pictish Stone from Grantown-On-Spey and was originally found at a place called Cnoc-an-fruich (Freuchies or Frenchies Hillock).

The Pictish stone is now housed in the National Museum Of Scotland in Edinburgh.


Pyramids Of Slate

As I rarely turn down an offer of reclaimed slate, I often end up with large amounts that are not suitable for carving or making roofs on birdhouses/wood stores. Part of the ethos of HatchBurnCarve is to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, so I try to use as much of my collected material as I can.

Although some slates are unsuitable for carving, they can still be used to create pieces such as slate pyramids. Tucked away in a corner of a garden (or in the middle of a bed or border) they provide layer upon layer of microhabitat for garden insects and larvae.


I view a garden as a complete ecosystem made up from niches, each of which will be inhabited by insects, animals, birds. By caring for the smallest of creatures, you are providing the very basis of grounding for your whole garden. Get out there. Get mud under your fingernails.

I can make these to order. Send me a message using the contact form, or email

An early attempt at a Pictish wolf

Another piece I carved in 2011 when I was still carving as a hobby.

It was based on the Class I Pictish Symbol Stone from Ardross in Ross and Cromarty (now in Inverness Museum).Image

As I was teaching myself, I didn’t realise that I was using burrs designed for metal engraving back then (silicon carbide and diamond burrs should be used for stone). This was also a hard piece of slate that I was carving with an old, under-powered Black and Decker ‘Electric Wizard’. Despite the inappropriate tools (and the consequent shaky lines), this is where I started and this is what got me hooked on rotary tool carving.

If you are starting out carving stone with rotary tools and have any questions, or would like some tips, please use the contact form to get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to answer questions and share my knowledge.

Where it all started…

My parents took me to places like North Wales and Easdale  for holidays.

Landscapes full of disused slate quarries. Places to explore, stones to hold and collect.

This grounding and background has forever been coupled with my intense love and respect for the earth and nature. Mix in a fascination for  Pictish and Celtic art, folklore, magick, spirituality and all things hidden.

Carving started as a hobby for me back in 2010 or so. I’ve kept some images of my first attempts on this site to show the differences that hours, days and years of trial-and-error experience can make.