08: Fold

The simple fold design is taken from rocks seen on the North Devon coast where Quartz

veins are folded and refolded by seismic movements in the crust. These movements can be

hundreds or thousands of years apart, occurring when the rock is buried deep in the crust

and behaves in a plastic way (like plasticine).

The hinges are often thickened and the limbs thinned out giving a shape that mimics river

meanders. The Oak plinths are reclaimed from Kingsbridge Harbour.


120 x 60 x 6cm


Bruce Kirby

I graduated in Geology in 1992 and worked in Portugal and offshore in The North Sea before retraining as a stonemason and carver.

My sculptural work tends to be based upon Geology seen in the rocks around Devon, Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and further afield.

Climbing has allowed me to explore areas of rock that are seldom travelled such as the ochre stained cliffs and caves below Berry Head, which is a favourite area to climb and displays the most amazing structural geology.

Often these structures make perfect handholds as you climb above the turquoise ocean. I have taken the folding of a single vein of Quartz in a remote valley in the Himalaya as a basis for many of my pieces. Folded Quartz veins such as this can also be seen on the wave washed rocks of the South West coastline.

The vast geological time scale in contrast with the seconds it takes to make a mark with a single strike of a chisel is hard to comprehend. Stone is an amazing material that has huge variety depending upon how it was formed.

The colour and texture along with any features such as fossils or sedimentary structures tell a story from millions of years ago, and the rock is already incredibly old and has a history before any carving takes place.