Nicholas Durnan

Alabaster Carvings


My alabaster sculptures are carved from stones collected from the beach at Watchet and Blue Anchor Bay near Minehead on the North Somerset coast and from Penarth beach near Cardiff.

Some are inspired by the mobius strip or mobius band which is a surface with only one side. A model can easily be created by taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist, and then joining the ends of the strip together to form a loop. Others are inspired by Maori bone and jade carvings.

Alabaster is a crystalline form of gypsum (calcium sulphate) which is slightly water soluble. Geologically it is called an evaporite (like rock salt) which was formed millions of years ago as lakes evaporated leaving soluble materials like gypsum on the lake bed. The stone is dense but relatively soft (mohs hardness 1.5 - 2) and easily worked. Alabaster takes a fine polish and is translucent. In its pure form it is white but often has veins or clouds of pink, orange, grey and brown.

All the carvings are for sale (see Gallery). Please contact me for prices. Larger scale works in alabaster can be made to commission.