step in stone/inspirED WORKSHOPS & GUIDED TOUR

The Project:
step in stone is a collaborative multi-stranded art trail around 3 disused and working quarries in the East Mendips during summer and autumn 2015, to illuminate these spectacular, hidden landscapes and explore Somerset’s heritage and beauty.

Fourteen invited and selected artists will develop and create a series of research-led site-specific temporary artworks for a curated trail in response to the nature of quarries. Contemporary sculpture, land art, photography, textiles, painting, drawing, sound, spatial poetry and printmaking will be installed within these environments, aiming to surprise, delight, challenge, fascinate and inform.

In partnership with Somerset Art Works – FREE Workshops offered to InspirED subscribing schools

In partnership with Somerset Art Works (SAW), step in stone will engage school groups through workshops and guided walks via inspirED.

Workshops will be run from Somerset Earth Science Centre (SESC) and tie in with the overall art in quarries project.

Learning Outcomes: Workshops will be run by step in stone artists, to inspire and enable young people to explore a range of creative skills linked to the step in stone project.  Some outcomes may be exhibited as part of the Trail, others may be taken back to school by students.

Workshop Artists and Workshops Offered:

All workshops are now booked however we have one free artist led tour available. To take place during Somerset Art Weeks, for an InspirED school, contact [email protected]

All workshop leaders are experienced educators, have CRBs or equivalent, and/or work regularly in schools and the wider community.


Fiona’s work reflects an interest in our relationship with the natural world, nature’s cyclical persistence and the essence of life.  Fiona drawings inform mixed media sculptural pieces wrought as primal, nest-like structures, often as 3d drawings in space, using found and recycled materials.

Alongside her practice as an artist, Fiona teaches art, runs community projects and holds artist-in-residence posts.  She is a SAW rep and the curator and manager of step in stone.



Wednesday 8th July, 9.30am – 1pm at Somerset Earth Science Centre


Thursday 9th July, 9.30am – 1pm at Somerset Earth Science Centre


Friday 16th October, 9.30am – 1pm at Somerset Earth Science Centre

 AGES: Fiona’s workshops can be tailored to suit either primary or secondary ages from 8 years old upwards.

GROUP NUMBER: Up to 30.  Groups of over 15 ideally require 2 members of staff to assist.

A chance to explore 2-d and 3-d work in wire, recycled and found materials.

Students will explore concepts around the theme of quarries, their re-colonisation by nature and fossils from the carboniferous period.   From imagery and resources provided, (eg. silver birch seeds, fossils and catkins), students will experiment with a range of techniques to create small 3-d group or individual pieces.  Pieces made in the July workshop will feature in the step in stone Trail or indoor exhibition.  Those made in October will be taken home after the workshop.

Students will:

research and select appropriate information and resources
understand the process of design through to final sculptural work referring to a brief
explore and develop 2-d and 3-d skills including drawing and construction methods using wire, found and recycled materials
produce mixed media artwork for a public exhibition

Held at the SESC, there will be an opportunity to explore the centre and its surroundings.


A multi media artist.  Passion, protection & preservation for the environment inspires her work.  Using traditional and modern techniques she incorporates natural, found and man-made materials – clay, paper, felt and fabrics.  Suzie is an experienced educator, Arts Award Advisor and Young Curators Facilitator.



Friday 10th July, 9.30am – 1pm at Somerset Earth Science Centre

AGES: Suzie’s workshops can be tailored to suit either primary or secondary ages from 8 years old upwards.

GROUP NUMBER: Up to 30.  Groups of over 15 ideally require 2 members of staff to assist.

Using a material that has a long association with the heritage of the Mendip area, wool, this textile based workshop will explore the ancient process of wet felting (using wool, soap and water).  The outcome will result in creating organic 3d vessels and shapes to be displayed in one of our step in stone venues during the Trail and Somerset Art Weeks Festival Exhibition.

Held at the SESC, there will be an opportunity to explore the centre and its surroundings.



Christina’s prime interest lies in post industrial archaeology. She makes systematic explorations through the landscape by walking – her photographs showing evidence of mineral extraction, some dating from the Roman occupation. The Mendips hills have been exploited for limestone from east to west not only historically, but as an important industry today. The landscape changes everyday at the interference of man. It is one Christina engages with as it forms part of a historical heritage which cannot be ignored. Disused quarries such as Westdown have gone through a process of ‘re-wilding’, nature has reclaimed but not transformed. History cannot be repeated, the landscape will never return to its former self. The feeling of melancholy is tangible, it may not bring us closer to understanding the human activity in blasting or drilling limestone, but it does bring us closer to the history of our planet.



Wednesday 14th October, 9.30am – 1pm, lunch, 1.45 – 3.30pm at Fairy Cave Quarry

AGES: Suitable for Secondary School pupils, preferably 14 year olds upwards. 

GROUP NUMBER:  Ideally 15 with 2 accompanying staff.  (A larger group will need 3 members of staff to accompany and assist).

These workshops will work best in a quarry situation i.e. Fairy Cave Quarry.

Learning outcomes:
Morning: This workshop will engage students with the flora, which would link with the afternoon’s guided walk. The workshop will revolve around pinhole camera work and photograms.  Participants will expose prepared papers against vegetation in the quarry, to the sun. These then get washed in water to reveal the image.
Afternoon: Guided tour in Fairy Cave quarry in collaboration with SESC – relating to morning’s workshop

Logistics and materials:
A gazebo can be erected if weather is poor. Blackout material may be used, good quality watercolour paper, chemicals, trays and water containers will be provided.


International artist of “miniscule sculptures.. constructed from bits of organic material, such as roots, leaves, and dead insects.. tiny spectacles … evolve as something alien and futuristic… apocalyptic narratives of a microscopic underworld..” Awards include Vivien Leigh Prize, a sculpture residency in King’s Wood, Kent, and Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award. In ‘07 nominated for The Times/The South Bank Show Breakthrough Award.  Exhibitions include Odyssey at Bath Abbey, Unwelcome Visitors at Holburne Museum, Bath ‘14, Thinking the Unthinkable at The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, Miniature Worlds at the Jerwood Space, London, and The Terror at Firstsite in Colchester.  Undertook a residency at the Natural History Museum, London ‘07. Her work is in collections worldwide, including the Saatchi Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum and the David Roberts Collection.



Thursday 15th October, 9.30am – 1pm, lunch, 1.45 – 3.30pm at Somerset Earth Science Centre

AGES: Suitable for primary or secondary students over 8 years old.

GROUP NUMBER:  Up to 15, with glue gun each.  Up to 30, glue guns would be shared.

Students will be constructing creatures (eg insects, skeletons, mythical creatures) from gathered natural materials such as twigs, bark and leaves.  Glue guns will be used for sticking the pieces together. Materials will be provided but feel free to bring along any finds that you would like to use.


Ralph is a sculptural & spatial poet based in Bristol.  He creates voiceworks and sculptural pieces.  Projects include Bristol Alliance, Cabot Circus; Bristol’s floating harbour verse; Bristol Legible City; Garden of the 4 Jewels; The 3 voices of Heavitree; Landmarks Banner.



Friday 16th October, 9.30am – 1pm, lunch, 1.45 – 3.30pm at Fairy Cave Quarry and Somerset Earth Science Centre

AGES: Suitable for Secondary School pupils.

GROUP NUMBER:  Up to 30.  Groups of over 15 ideally require 2 members of staff to assist.

‘Genius Loci’ Poetry (poetry inspired by place):

Guided walk in a quarry (Fairy Cave), working, as the Romantic poets did, ‘en plein air’ (taking notes, seeing, listening, recording in whatever media form)
Back to SESC for composition session.
Perambulatory poetry in the quarry (going around with group, reciting/performing poems in location poem was inspired by)

School groups will need notepads/writing materials
Will look into borrowing sound-recorders and/or cameras

General Workshop information:

July workshops will be offered in advance of the Phase 2 & 3 quarry installations.  They will be aimed at primary or secondary school groups, wishing to create pieces for exhibition in the Trail, inspired by the quarries theme and artwork on show at SESC.  Outcomes will be shown at Black Swan Arts during Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2015, (3-17 Oct).

In addition to the quarry venues, linked exhibitions will be held at Somerset Earth Science Centre (SESC) (8th July – 17th Oct) and the Black Swan Arts Centre and Frome Museum (3rd -17th Oct).

* If participating in an October workshop, it would be beneficial to arrange a school group visit to the quarry and indoor venues in advance of the artist-led workshops or watch the step in stone film in class.

Venue:Somerset Earth Science Centre is next to Moons Hill Quarry, Stoke St. Michael, nr Radstock, BA3 5JU.  Tel: (01749) 840156
Students should wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Schools are responsible for their own travel arrangements.

How to Book a FREE workshop for your school:

Email [email protected] by Thursday 30 April
Specify workshop artist and dates of a first and second choice workshop.
Provide your name, school name, year group and number of pupils to attend, details of the best way to contact you eg phone number or email.
We cannot guarantee all interested schools will receive a free workshop as numbers are limited.  Please respond asap for an improved chance of getting the workshop of your choice.
We will confirm places in May.

For further information about the project please visit:

step in stone film

step in stone Facebook page

step in stone Twitter

 A step in stone Sculpture Design Competition

step in stone‘, is also offering young, budding artists an opportunity to exhibit their work alongside international artists.  A step in stone Sculpture Design Competition for under 20 yr olds will run from 1 April – 18 May.  The winning designer will work with a professional artist to create their design in 3-d, and have the work featured in the step in stone art trail.  All entries will be shown during our exhibition at Black Swan Arts.  Please encourage entries: