Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 13 April 2017
Taking home a pretty pebble from the beach
Whenever I visit the marble suppliers which is hidden away in the middle of a Wiltshire forest, I find something wonderful which I want to take home with me. The antique pillar on the left is made from a conglomerate marble which comprises of chunks of salmon-pink set in a matrix of dark charcoal black. This picture does not show the true intensity of the colours.
I once seriously considered opening a similar yard, specialising in rare and spectacular stones and marbles, but if I had, I would suffer from the same constant and boring stress of having to supply acres of dead boring material for people to make crass kitchen-tops from as this owner does, just in order to survive.
He has very similar tastes to me, but is mostly pragmatic about how few people appreciate the difference between really stunning bits of marble and material which is just considered adequate under the title of 'marble' by Russian oligarchs choosing the best way of destroying a room in a £25 million house in Knightsbridge. The irony is that money is not an object.
I once discovered seven tons of a very rare mineral called 'Cotham Marble', formed millions of years ago in the mud of a river bed which had - for some reason - dried up by changing course after an earthquake or something.
It comes in thin beds of about 3 inches to 12 inches thick, and when cut can produce pictures of a river bank, lined with trees with the river flowing languidly beneath them. For this reason it is also known as 'Landscape Marble' , though it is not a marble at all, but a limestone.
The owner of the yard came to see it and bought the lot from me - at one pound per pound weight. He still had it years later and ended up selling it at a loss, and I still have a quarter of a ton in my workshop, waiting to be opened up to see what is inside.
Do you remember when last year I spent a lot of time and money importing two tons of Tufa from Canada by sea, having spent even more time trying to find a legal source?
Well when I was rummaging around his yard this week, I discovered two tons of Tufa lying neglected in an overgrown corner, just waiting for someone to recognise it for what it was...