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Ben Russell

Ben Russell Stone sculptor
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Building on stone heritage

  • • Ben makes sculptures inspired by organic forms
  • • He used to work in the heritage industry
  • • He hopes to reignite awe for the natural world

Growing up on the Jurassic Coast in southwest England, famous for archaic stones and fossils, Ben Russell's career already seemed carved in stone. After polishing his stone carving technique at the City and Guilds of London Art School and training alongside many skilled stone carvers, Ben returned to his home county of Dorset. Looking for inspiration, he turned to nature, its flora and fungi. “I think of the natural world now as I did when I was a child: for me it is full of mystery, folklore and wonder,” he says. Using his imagination and traditional techniques, Ben crafts contemporary sculptures of fungi and cacti, solidifying them in translucent stones, so that the light can pass through them in a similar fashion to real life.

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  • ©Ben Russell
  • ©Ben Russell
  • ©All rights reserved
  • ©Ben Russell
  • ©All rights reserved
Photo: ©Ben Russell
Umber, Sienna, Ochre

The three cacti sculptures were carved in caramel alabaster with a hammer and chisels and set in limestone pots with basalt chippings. To bring out their flowing forms and give a sheen to the stone, Ben Russell sanded and then polished the sculpture surface.

Photo: ©Ben Russell

The sculptural disc was carved from a solid piece of white Carrara marble with an organic flowing root form within. The disc belongs to Ben’s Roots and Mycelium series that explores what is beneath the surface of the soil.

Length 48 cm
Width 5 cm
Height 48 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved

The cluster was carved from Ben’s imagination following the natural forms of the boulder it was made from. With the caps sanded and polished to a fine sheen, the stalks were carved with a point chisel to give texture while holding the light and shadow within the forms.

Length 35 cm
Width 25 cm
Height 70 cm

Photo: ©Ben Russell
Specimen 37

This sculpture, featuring a cluster of fungi in glass, belongs to Ben Russell’s Terrariums series that was born from lockdown. The fungi were hand carved from a solid block of stone with a hammer and chisels, while the caps were sanded and polished to bring out the colours.

Length 36 cm
Width 17 cm
Height 49 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved

This individual fungus piece was created after Ben Russell saw a form within a boulder and carved away the excess, while keeping the natural stone form intact. Alabaster is translucent, so the light flows through the forms, much like the real fungi.

Length 60 cm
Width 55 cm
Height 45 cm

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