Allendale Forge to exhibit work of East Boldon stone carver Pete Graham
PUBLISHED: 00:32 20 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:04 20 February 2013
Whether he's climbing it or carving it, East Boldon artist Pete Graham loves rock
The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012 issue of North East Life
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Pete Graham loves rock climbing, where he sees the prehistoric cup and ring carvings. Hell never know what they mean, but he has fellow feeling with them because he too carves stone.
As a young art student, he was fascinated by the historic carvings in cathedrals. He said: It was not something Id seen in any contemporary work. I was blown away by the skill and energy in it.
Pete trained in traditional stone carving at the City and Guilds College in London. The tutors were working masons, he said. Lots of their graduates were responsible for repairing Windsor Castle after the fire.
Now, 20 years later, Pete is working for St Georges Chapel at Windsor. My design for a grotesque was selected and Im working on it now. Spending time in London has made me appreciate the North East landscape. I especially like the moors and outcrops. Some of them Bowden Doors, for instance have a very sculptural feel. You can see the action of water on the rock, frozen in time. Its like climbing on living fossils.
Back in his workshop in East Boldon, Pete works to give life to cold stone and particularly enjoys creating animals, often fantastic or mythical beasts, including one of the four large dragons heads that stand at the front of the National Trusts Wallington Hall.
I like animals because of the challenge of expressing movement in stone. You do it by shadows and texture. Its a fascinating process. Im doing a dolphin now.
Pete, whose sculptures in stone and wood are on show at Allendale Forge, also works on restoration for churches and stately homes, commissions for private householders, and sculptures for galleries and he makes more
contemporary sculptures in wood.
Theyre the inspiration of the landscape distilled into a three-dimensional form but its not an illustration. A photograph wont do it justice you have to walk around it.
Pete also carves lettering for private clients, as well as house names and memorials, and runs workshops for those who want to carve their own lettering in stone.
Petes work is on show from March 3rd-March 31st 2012 at Allendale Studios. For more information go to the website,