Don Taylor - Cornish Serpentine Sculpture

Exhibition: 08 FEB - 04 MARCH 2023
Wed-Sat 18:00 - 20:00

Don carves and hand polishes the beautiful Serpentine stone which has been worked on the Lizard for a long time. He aims to complement the established Lizard turners and shapes each piece by hand, eye, soul, and sometimes by foot.
Don works as sustainably as possible and respects the flora and fauna of all the areas he visits to source his stone, treading as lightly as possible upon the earth. Mainly extracted from hidden coves his base pieces once found are taken to a secret field where they are shaped with unpredictable aplomb giving each piece an unreplicable uniqueness.

Serpentine - a Hydrous Magnesium Silicate is a rock that is chemically simple but structurally very complex. The hardness of the stone serpentine measures from 2.5 to 4.6 - Diamond rates 10 on the same scale. Serpentine gained its name from the patterns within the rock which resemble snakeskin.

Typically our Cornish variety of Serpentine is uniquely coloured; dark green, red or grey, run through with contrasting seams. It has been used worldwide for over 30,000 years and in Cornwall documentary evidence that serpentine was used dates back to 1828, although it is thought to have been traded long before this.

It was brought to the attention of the public outside of Cornwall by Prince Albert during the Great Exhibition of 1851 and its popularity grew to such an extent that The Lizard Serpentine Company established a factory at Poltesco in 1855.

Like most Arts and Crafts movements the popularity of the carved stone gradually faded and now only a few local craftspeople remain to shape it - luckily for us Don Taylor is one of them...