Tag Archives: Cup and Ring Markings

Cup and Ring Marked House Sign

‘Stumbletree’- probably my favourite house name I have carved to date (45 x 15 cm). Entirely freehand carved from a 1 cm slab of slate. The customer had seen my work at Kilmartin Museum Shop and had commissioned me to make the sign with the addition of cup and ring markings based on those found in Kilmartin Glen in Argyll, Scotland.

Hand enamelled using professional white and copper monument enamel.




‘Bronze, Bone and Silence’

‘Bronze, Bone and Silence’

Reclaimed slate hearth stone, Cornish beach stones, wood. 37.2 x 23.1 x 17.0 cm.
Insertion of a short cist burial in a stone setting. The skeleton is a reflection upon burials such as those found at Newhaven in Edinburgh and Cladh Hallan in South Uist. The stones around are carved with cup and ring markings based on prominent constellations seen in the skies above Scotland during the four seasons (Orion in Winter, Leo in Spring, Cygnus in Summer and Perseus in Autumn). The style of cup and ring markings reflects those found at Ballymeanoch Stone Row and Nether Largie Standing Stones in Kilmartin Glen. Dimensions of the wooden base correspond to the Golden Ratio/Phi.
This was included in the ‘Shambhala at Shambellie’ exhibition at Shambellie House, New Abbey nr Dumfries (17th to 29th August 2017).

The Orion Stone

The Leo Stone

The Cygnus Stone

The Perseus Stone

Close up of the skeleton

‘Sidereal Signs’

‘Sidereal Signs’ (39.5 x 13 cm).
Based on cup and ring markings from ‘the Runic Cross’ (Innerleithen), a cup and ring marked stone found at Lamancha in 1868 (now in the National Museum of Scotland) and a cup and ring marked stone found at Lyne in 1959 (now in Peebles Museum).

Part of ‘A Sense of Place’ exhibition showing in the Tweeddale Museum and Gallery, Peebles from 5th August to 2nd September 2017.


‘An Athame for the Leithen’

‘An Athame for the Leithen’ (20 x 3.5 cm). Slate from the disused quarry at Altarstone, Stobo. Wood from one of the old church pews from the Church of Scotland, Innerleithen. Blade carvings replicate the cup and ring markings from the so-called ‘Runic Cross’, now housed in the aforementioned church.

Part of ‘A Sense of Place’ exhibition showing in the Tweeddale Museum and Gallery, Peebles from 5th August to 2nd September 2017.


Lepus Celestine

‘Lepus Celestine’ 33 x 26.5 cm. Hand carved from a reclaimed Cornish roof slate (approximately 300 years old).
Exclusively designed for Kilmartin Museum Shop. The design is copyright, except for the rock art, which is based on the patterns found  at Kilmichael Glassary.







The ‘Runic Cross’ of Innerleithen

This amazing stone was found in the Leithen Valley in Peeblesshire. There’s neither runes on it, nor is there any evidence it was once a cross…read on…

runic cross

The first alleged discovery was made somewhere in the valley and it was held in such regard that it was used by Christians as building material! It was ‘found’ for a second time by Robert Mathison when the church was eventually demolished in 1871. It was previously house in the garden of Robert’s home (called ‘Runic Cross’).

The building of churches on top of sacred sites was common- many old churches are built directly on top of stone circles and monoliths. It was the Christian way to forcibly convert the people of this country to their religion.

I wanted to make some smaller pieces using slate offcuts and to reflect some of our amazingly rich local history. I love cup-and-rings patterns too, so this design was ideal!


I used the patterns which are on the East and West face of the stone for these pieces.


We have a lovely local Horticultural Show each year (erm, I’m on the committee!) and I entered one of these into the handicrafts section.


Yay- I won 3rd prize!!


Pop into The Framing Gallery on Innerleithen High Street- there’s another for sale in the shop;