A commission from 2013- a design I was asked to create and carve as a Christmas gift.
Here’s the sketch (© Hatch, Burn, Carve/Martin Wilson);
Below is the design drawn up with chalk pencil on a reclaimed roof slate;
Just after carving and still covered in slate dust;
Finished and washed;
Cleaning Slate- I’m often asked how to clean slate, so here are a couple of my top tips;
– slate is a naturally absorbent material and will absorb any liquid and will extract oils/moisture. I have some Cornish sea slate pebbles that will extract moisture from hands as you hold them.
– the simplest way to clean slate is using very hot soapy water- this should remove most stains, especially from newer slate.
– for cheeseboards, an effective way of preventing stains is to rub the whole surface lightly with olive oil. Be aware though- this will not only darken the slate, but also the carvings- they may end up not quite so obvious on the surface.
– for wall plaques/exterior trivets (for non-food items), you can rub lightly with WD-40 or a proprietary slate sheen or oil. This really brings out the natural qualities in each slate piece (but again, may darken down some carvings).
– or just leave the slate to age and form a natural patina over the years (the trivets that I use in my kitchen are un-treated).
– you can even put slate in your dishwasher. BUT- I won’t be responsible for either the slate, or your dishwasher should you want to try this out. Use your own discretion.