Ancient Images' designs go through several processes to transform the original carved stone into the callico cotton images seen on this website.

This page follows the process of reproducing the eighth Century Pictish Calf Stone from Portmahomack, Tarbet in Ross-shire, Scotland.

The first stage of the process is to photograph the original stone carving (right).


Calf Stone, Portmahomack, Ross-shire
Calf Stone in situ, Portmahomack, Ross-shire.

Stages of stone carving.

The photograph is then used to make a freehand scaled down drawing, in most cases, onto a piece of weathered sandstone.

The designs are hand carved by Leslie Reid using the traditional method of mallet and chisel to replicate features from the original ancient stone.



A portrait of the artist...
Unbleached calico cotton is stretched over the top of the stone, and then coloured beeswax blocks are applied to the cloth, faithfully tracing the contours and textures of the original design. The resulting image combines the textural qualities of the carved sandstone and the delicate calico fabric.



Handmade bees wax crayons
Many of the crayons have been handmade by Leslie and pigmented to create a sympathetic colour effect for the ancient art work. There can be as many as fifteen crayons used in the colouring of some of the images and as each one is rubbed in sequence going from light to dark, no two images will ever be the same.
 

Stages in the rubbing

The complete image transferred to the fabric
Finally, the details are hand written on the cloth, and the image signed and dated.
       
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