Basalt Quarry

After my failed attempt of collecting basalt in a romantic fashion from Sand Point.  I was faced with finding a new source.  After a chat with Professor Kathy Cashman we decided the best route forward would be to investigate quarries.  I quickly learnt that there is another whole world of aggregates and building materials available which didn’t really help my quest for just Basalt. Luckily after several calls I found Chris at Stone Suppliers Limited who said he knew a quarry that only mined basalt. He said he would give them a call and give me a call back.  By that afternoon I had confirmation that there was 40 kg of basalt waiting for me in Radstock.

I travelled with the help of fellow artist Alice Cunningham to John Wainwright and Co Ltd.  The weather was weirdly misty so as we approached the industrial plant a sense of eeriness loomed.  This feeling of displacement quickly disappeared as I saw a small yellow sign which filled me with joy.  The sign stuck out of a large pile of black rocks and clearly stated “BASALT 10MM”.  If only finding Basalt in the field was this easy!  We found reception and was kindly donated 60kg of Basalt dust which I could use for experiments.  I think everyone was slightly perplexed at what we were doing and why we need a relatively small sample – normally you buy basalt by the tonne. Never the less, everybody we encountered was very friendly and we even helped by a member of staff carrying the surprisingly heavy bags of rock back to the van.