Carving out opportunities in Gartcosh

Tom Allan
Tom Allan

A professional sculptor whose works have been displayed at a local museum has opened a new workshop in a North Lanarkshire village.

Tom Allan recently moved into the Gartcosh premises where he will be producing his artworks - the subject of a solo show at Kirkintilloch’s Auld Kirk Museum in 2009 - as well as teaching classes in stone carving.

Tom has been carving stone since 1977 and gave up the day job to became a full-time sculptor in 1999.

His career has taken him and his works overseas to such places as Serbia and Canada.

He also studied techniques in Carrara, in Italy, where the blue-grey marble famously used by Michelangelo is quarried.

But now he’s settling back into life in Scotland, where he believes there is a place for traditional sculpture alongside ore experimental art.

He said: “Scotland has a long tradition of art in stone, and just because it’s been done for thousands of years is no reason for it to stop.

“Stone appeals to something very deep in our nature.”

He added: “Stone-carving demands some patience but it is in fact one of the fastest ways of producing a sculpture.

“It doesn’t involve lengthy moulding and casting processes, or very high-tech equipment, it just takes a hammer and chisel and a block of stone.”