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"We are inspired by influences as diverse as art and architecture, geometry, nature and the written word. Proportion, harmony and contrast are key and the tactile aspect of the work is an important consideration. "
Zoe Cull and Alex Evans met during our training in stonemasonry and architectural carving at Weymouth College. With respective backgrounds in graphic design and interior decorative techniques, we came to the craft with different ambitions which we initially followed independently - Zoe through further study of letter cutting aided by a grant from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, and Alex through gaining experience as a banker mason and draughtsman working for two major Dorset-based conservation companies.
After receiving a commission requiring a large setting-out space, we took on our first workshop in 2003. Alongside ‘bread and butter’ commissioned jobs we began combining complementary ideas and skills to develop a range of original works under the name Stoneform - notably the signature piece, the Knot bench - which was exhibited for the first time during Dorset Art Weeks in 2004.
We initially found defining the scope of collaborative work problematic: it was neither traditional architectural masonry nor sculpture, but rather functional art in stone, motivated by the desire to see an age-old craft brought up to date through striking modern design.
A breakthrough came when we were approached to design and create a baptismal font for a church in Hertfordshire. This initial commission came with the potential for further work as the reordering of the church progressed, and ultimately resulted in the creation of an entire suite of liturgical furniture over the following six years. Shortly afterwards Stoneform won the company’s first public art commission for three sculptural seats in a newly-created courtyard garden at Salisbury District Hospital.
A Crafts Council Development Award granted to Zoe in 2006 enabled further investment in tools and equipment and precipitated a move to larger premises as the volume and scale of Stoneform’s work increased. In 2009 Stoneform was selected to join Design-Nation.
Their highest-value public commission to date is a memorial garden dedicated to children and young people at Poole Crematorium. Stoneform’s innovative proposal to create a contemplative space (rather than an object) won the brief. The project allowed us to explore fully the multi-sensory aspect of our work through the inclusion of planting and water in the scheme.
We are inspired by influences as diverse as art and architecture, geometry, nature and the written word. Proportion, harmony and contrast are key and the tactile aspect of the work is an important consideration. Symbolism is employed, particularly in their ecclesiastical works, to add a cerebral element for those who seek it.