Discover the unique slate sculptures piece by piece
Natural stone statues have been made for over 30,000 years. Statues of small pieces of natural stone are made only since the beginning of this millennium. It's not a special technique, you see in the photos. It is the passion of a man for natural stone, in this case for slate. Stephen Kettle is a British sculptor who found in slate not only the strength of a tough natural material but also the significance of these textures. Attractive textures found in all types of slate: decorative slate or SKIN flexible slate. So, this is the amazing art of slate sculptures!
"No substance on earth, natural or man-made, expresses beauty better than slate. When it is dry, slate is silky and shines when it's wet. It splits perfectly, making slate unique in terms of durability" said Stephen Kettle in an interview.
Alan Turing's statue is made up of tens of thousands of pieces and weighs over a tone and a half
Stephen Kettle was born in 1966 in Castle Bromwich and, after seven years of Royal Navy, has worked for over 15 years in constructions with his father. He tested several jobs, most of which working in the field of interior finishes (painting, installing wallpaper etc.). It is worth remembering this detail: his experience with the wallpaper, hence the attraction but also the ability to paste and imagine objects by bonding them together.
In the early 2000s he developed his own style and technique to create statues. Probably Stephen Kettle's art is all the more appreciated by the way he most often chooses to give his work the form of human body over the non-figurative, abstract structures so widespread in contemporary art.
"Alan Turing" (detail)
Kettle has become a sculptor following a happening that has radically changed her life. In 2002, he witnessed a tragic event, while he was a member of the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club. A young man of only 19 years loses his life during an attempt to fly over the Thames, thrown out of a catapult like those in the middle ages. And Kettle flew over Thames in the same charity event.
In order to prove his entrepreneurial spirit and adventurer at the same time (but in a less risky form, we should add!), he decides to dedicate himself to the sculpture using slate plates. He had discovered this passion in a holiday with his family.
Stephen Kettle uses in his art various types of slate, brought from different parts of Wales. He works 60 hours a week, dedicating a lot of time to slate processing for bringing the pieces to the desired size. Work has to be extremely difficult if we consider the hardness of the material, although, being very compact, the strips can easily detach.
Beyond talent and creativity, his important creations are infused by a definite attitude: patriotism. Three of the sculptures that made Stephen Kettle famous include three great British personalities who have historically marked the recent world history: Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and R. J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire fighter plane.
Winston Churchill (detail)
Creating the statue of R.J. Mitchell took over 2,000 hours and is displayed in the London Science Museum.
Rediscover the charm of slate by visiting sections of slate-based PIATRAONLINE products: slate splitface cladding, SKIN flexible slate, and slate tiles.
To find out more about the art of interior and exterior design, slate or any other type of natural stone, we are looking forward to hear from you over the phone at +40318.222.333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo sources: mymodernmet.com, pinterest.com and stephenkettle.co.uk