West Cork Stone Symposium 2018

Victor Daly sculptor

The West Cork Stone Symposium celebrates stone as part of our environment and as a source of inspiration throughout the ages

The event will be held in Ahakista on West Cork’s Sheep’s Head peninsula from 23-25 March 2018, as Victor Daly welcomes the best stone carvers and dry stone wallers from across Europe to this rugged part of southwest Ireland’s coastline, on the Wild Atlantic Way touring route.

Come to the symposium to be inspired by a rugged coastline that’s home to Ireland’s most creative communities. Discover how stone has shaped our lives and imaginations, and unleash your own creativity as you learn from stone masons, carvers, and sculptors whose work carries ancient traditions into the future.

For generations, artists, makers, producers, and dreamers have been inspired by the stone that forms our peninsulas, islands, rolling hills, and valleys. Stone tells a story that unlocks the flavours, textures, landscapes, and creativity of our Wild Atlantic shoreline.

Book Now

Booking is now open for workshops with some of Europe’s most acclaimed dry stone wallers and stone carvers.

Great Progress from Wilf!

Last year Wilf Stock came to visit me on the Sheep’s Head peninsula for a weekend stone-carving course. Wilf took to stone-carving like a natural, and it was a pleasure to pass on to him some of the skills involved in carving letters in stone.

After the course, 75-year-old Wilf bought himself some chisels, and since then he’s been working away on projects, and developing the skills of a letter cutter.

Wilf returned to show me his work today (pictured below). I’m so impressed by what he’s achieved, all hand done by himself. Congratulations to him on his progress and the example he’s setting to anyone who would like to give this ancient art a try!

Wilf stone carving

Find out more about with Victor. You’ll find upcoming dates at http://livingthesheepsheadway.com/whats-on.

Hand-Carved House Nameplate

Hand-Carved House Nameplate

Hand-Carved House Nameplate

This handsome, hand-carved house nameplate was commissioned to identify a holiday home here on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.

The Celtic lettering is in keeping with the rural landscape on Ireland’s south-west coast.

It’s good to see householders choosing traditional ways of marking their properties out for visitors. Carved signs have a timeless quality, and holidaymakers appreciate seeing signs of traditional crafts around them during their stays here in West Cork.

Carving a Modern Ogham Stone

Modern Ogham Stone

Victor’s Modern Ogham Stone

It’s interesting, as a sculptor in the twenty-first century, to get the chance to experiment with a type of stone-carving that was at its most popular in fifth-century Ireland. Ogham stones served as a means of commemorating someone, and the lines along the side of the stone spelled out their names, and sometimes details about property ownership, in the ancient Ogham alphabet, made up of a series of intersecting lines.

Holed Ogham Stones

This modern Ogham stone commission involved including a hole in the stone, a striking feature which is present on some of the original stones still standing in Ireland. Though there are not certainties about what the hole first signified, they say that you can renew marriage vows or seal contracts by touching thumbs through it!