Scottish Sculpture Work-shop has an axe to grind ...


Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) have joined forces with The University of Aberdeen, to recreate a ceremonial axe as seen on the Rhynie Man standing stone.

Lumsden’s SSW’s project, From Turf to Tools is an ongoing investigation of landscape, material and craft, inspired by archeological investigations in Rhynie and now through smelting and forging locally sourced materials, artist Eden Jolly and master blacksmith Darrell Markewitz, with Dr. Gordon Noble, archeologist at the university hope to re-create the ancient weapon.

Throughout the two weeks in August (11-24), the team will be attempting to create the closest possible historical model of a bloomery furnace - this is the extracting of workable metal from raw materials.

This ‘bloom’ will then be forged to create a replica of the Rhynie Man axe. Although there is little information available regarding how these complex processes were undertaken at the time, looking to other excavation sites, such as Culduthel near Inverness, helps establish ideas of how it might have worked.

For the duration of the project, the team will be joined by a number of artists, archeologists, craftspeople and students in a cross-discipline discussion regarding landscape, materials, resources and history.

Of particular interest is the sourcing of a local iron ore - one suggestion being the rare Macaulayitye found at Bennachie. This is the only known source of Macaulayite in the world, and is proposed to be a similar material to that found on Mars. SSW are actively looking for input from all areas, and welcome any information or skills that are available

The project will culminate in a public open forum during the weekend of August 22-24, with demonstrations as well as a sharing of knowledge, skills and ideas.

For further information contact the SSW office on 01464 861372, or email