Posts Tagged sculpture

Slum to Studio

At Cold Harbour Farm we are blessed with a unique set of farm buildings which are still in use today. Our family has been farming here since 1889 so we have some knowledge of the uses of the buildings during that time.

The building on the South West corner was originally used as a saddle store and `slum`. The farm workmen would all board with the Foremans wife in the house next to the farmhouse. They all slept in the lads bedroom which has a separate staircase leading directly from the large kitchen/living room. When we restored the house the wooden staircase was well worn by the passage of workmen in their boots and we had to renew the steps.

Although the men lived in the house there was nowhere for them to sit in the evening after they had finished their meal. If they were not working they would spend their nights in the slum sitting in decrepit arm chairs or on a settle there. There was a fireplace, but with 2 outside walls, a door and a window I doubt it ever got very snug in there.

By the door there are several carved initials. 

AA was Alf Adamson who worked with us as fifth lad. This was a junior role so he would come last in the hierarchy and sit at the bottom of the dining table, at the opposite end to the foreman. He would also have the worst horses to work with. He played in the village cricket team while he was with us and would always have a bath in the horse water trough before playing a match.



Tommy Waslin also carved his initials. These are dated 1946. The junior men would probably only stay a year before moving to another farm for a more senior position.

ImageThis building has not been renovated on the inside and the remains of the chimney can still be seen.

It is now used as a stone carving studio by Peter Brown, the first artist to move into the farm buildings.




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Stone carving weekends

Peter our resident stone carver has been organising stone carving weekends for a couple of years now. He provides all the necessary tools and materials as well as lunch and a constant stream of tea and coffee  to aid the creative processes.
It is possible, in the two days of the course for a complete beginner to create a successful stone carving.

The next class is on 5 and 6 May 2012 with further ones planned for 9/10 June, 7/8 July, 11/12 Aug, and 8/9 September.
The price for the two days is £80 so contact Peter for more details on We can suggest some lovely B and Bs in our local town of Beverley or more rural locations.

Come and have a go! I did and carved an owl.


Peter is currently working on a commission for the sensory garden at Burton Agnes.

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How It All Started

About four years ago we came to the sad conclusion that we were not making enough money from the time and effort we were putting in to our pig and dairy herds. Continuing disease problems coming out of the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak at the begining of the century together with the high cost of feed was the problem with our pig enterprise. The low price of milk coupled with labour problems finished our dairy herd.

Once all the animals had gone the farm was very quiet and sad. Our traditional farm buildings were still in good repair and were great for calving a cow or housing a poorly pig but were totally unsuitable for modern arable agriculture.

The problem of what to do with them was solved by an advert which I saw in the Beverley Guardian. Artist requires studio to rent. This was the start of Calf House Studios.

The artist in question was Peter Brown. He was an advertising executive who was relocating in Beverley and wanted a studio to rent for his stone carving business. From his studio at the farm he creates tactile and beautiful stone sculptures to his own designs or for comissions. It proved to be the ideal location for artists. A friend who was looking to restart her art career soon followed with her wonderful acrylic paintings. One thing led to another and we now have seven resident artists. They all teach as well as creating their own work.

We were able to turn our weakness, remote quiet location with poor internet service into a strength as this was what the artists wanted to help develop their careers.

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Bale Art

We are having a go at making a camel out of bales for the Weetabix bale art competition. The idea was kindly supplied by our resident sculptor, Peter Brown Hopefully it will have two humps but I am not sure if we can achieve exact camelid type proportions with our bales.

As bales only come in large blocks, although they can be shaped with a chain saw so long as the band is not cut, the number of shapes that can be made are somewhat limited. I had no ideas at all but Peter kindly found inspiration form a picture aof a lego camel. We hope to construct this during the first weekend of open studios 2/3 October 2009.

This ties up two of the now many facets of Cold Harbour Farm by making a link between art and farming.

We do not need to bale as much straw as we used to because reduced animal numbers means less bedding is required. It is usually chopped to return the nutrients to the soil although this year we did sell one field of straw. Not needing to bale and cart all the straw makes harvest much shorter and allows us to get started on autumn cultivations sooner.

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