Talented stone sculpture Shawn Williamson, FRSA, of Maryport, Cumbria, has created a seven-tonne heritage figure commissioned by the Canonbie Village community, Scottish Borders, which was unveiled at a ceremony at Rowanburn. The unveiling was carried out by MEP David Hulme and Fiona Armstrong, ITV. The monolithic stone creation of Lang Sandy Armstrong, a Border Riever from the 16th century and acclaimed as an ‘essential cultural asset to the history of the Borders between England and Scotland’, has been carved by Shawn using Makita power tools, the number 1 professional power tool brand.
A 10-tonne block of Stoneraise, a hard red sandstone donated by Lazonby Sandstone of Chesterfield, arrived at Shawn Williamson’s outdoor studio at Gordon Greaves Slate Limited, Windermere, Cumbria, last summer and work commenced in late August. The larger-than-life fearsome Reiver was craned into position on Friday 1 April. He replaces a wooden statue which had begun to rot and has now found a home in the Clan Armstrong Museum in Langholm.
“This will be one of the largest pieces of stone sculpture in the North of England,” says Shawn, “and I’ve been helped to create this enormous giant by Makita
, my power tool brand of choice for many years.”
The creation of the Lang Sandy Armstrong piece required the use of a Makita
HM1213C AVT demolition hammer, which is capable of producing 26 joules of impact energy and between 950-1900 blows per minute, ideal of initial roughing out work; a 230mm GA9020KD angle grinder and a 125mm 9555NB angle grinder for detail and delicate work.
“I have used Makita
power tools for my stone work for several years, and I’ve never been happier to receive these new tools working with this particular material. This type of sandstone is very hard and durable and Makita
equipment is the best there is for a project of this type,” continues Shawn.
Shawn draws the inspiration for his work from his deep connection with the ancient past. Most of his pieces have a spiritual dimension, whether a statue of Madonna and Child, Pictish rock art or a carving of a bird. Often this involves interpreting the vision of his clients’ into stone. He has carried our commissions for all kinds of organisations, from town and parish councils, charities and trusts to universities, churches and corporate bodies. His work is divided into four main areas: monolithic stone sculpture; sculptural functional features; smaller stone sculptures and sketch models – small pieces in plaster of paris, or plastiline, for casting in bronze resin.
Monies required for the commissioning of Lang Sandy Armstrong were raised through village activity and Heritage Lottery funding.
Previous work by Shawn Williamson includes the 19-ton Herdwick Ram at Cockermouth which was unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales in 2004. “Of course, Makita
tools have been used in all stages of this creation too,” concludes Shawn.
More details of Shawn Williamson, a qualified stonemason and sculptor, can be found on www:lakestay.co.uk/shawnwilliamson.