Unleashing the beauty of natural minerals through hand-crafted traditional and innovative artworks
Derbyshire Minerals is the last remaining independent studio working Blue-John. Our master craftsman, Richard Haw, is a leading sculptor specialising in the use of Blue John and other minerals.
Richard is an expert artisan combining traditional stone carving techniques with innovative designs to create unique and awe-inspiring sculptures.
Blue-John was used in the late 18th century by industrialist Matthew Boulton to showcase the natural resources and the skilled crafts of the British Isles, something that Richard holds dear.
Preserving the rich heritage of minerals and stone carving
Derbyshire Minerals is passionate about preserving and showcasing the natural beauty of minerals through the art of stone carving. With decades of experience in the industry, Richard has honed his skills to perfection, ensuring that each sculpture he produces is a true masterpiece.
The interesting and unique coloured rocks and minerals of Derbyshire have been prized and worked for at least five centuries and probably much longer. These rocks and minerals were generally referred to as ‘Derbyshire Spar’. A phrase much used in the Peak District and further afield for at least three hundred and fifty years, now almost redundant from even Derbyshire dialect.
The name appears to have been given or applied to practically any ‘sparkly’ rocks, minerals, combination of minerals, and even fossils from Derbyshire.
Blue-John and other varieties of Fluorite, Calcite, Baryte, Galena and Quartz were all mined for decorative uses. The limestone was prized for its many fossils and was found in coloured varieties from white, red, brown, green, pink, orange and of course the coveted ‘Black Marble of Ashford’ which is actually a bituminous grey limestone that polished to a jet black gloss.
These Derbyshire Spars were often cut, shaped or polished ornaments and sold from self styled shops they referred to as ‘Museums’ or ‘Museums of Petrifaction’.
These were the ‘products of Petrification’ and those who worked them referred to as ‘ Petrifactioneers ‘
The people, materials, craft, skills and techniques once commonplace across the county, now sadly condensed over a century and a half, to just a handful of people and workshops.
So with this knowledge, it is our responsibility to preserve these crafts and traditions for future generations to both create and enjoy.
Blue-John is a rare and precious mineral found only in Derbyshire. Richard has acquired immense expertise in carving this exquisite and unique material, creating stunning sculptures that showcase its natural patterns and colours.
Richard is adept at working with a wide range of minerals, including Fluorspar and Galena. He transforms these raw materials into breath-taking artworks, highlighting their inherent beauty and uniqueness.
Repairs & Restoration
We offer professional stone restoration services, bringing life back to damaged pieces. Richard is highly skilled in repairing and rejuvenating Blue-John artefacts, ensuring their longevity and preserving their artistic value.
We collaborate closely with clients to create bespoke pieces that are tailored to their individual preferences and requirements. Whether it's a personalised gift, or decorative piece for your own home, we bring our expertise and craftsmanship to bring your vision to life.
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