Press Releases

Slate of Hand Book Launch

Slate of Hand - Stone for Fine Art & Folk Art

Presentations and Book signings highlight artistic qualities of slate at two of North Wales’s major slate venues.

Two of North Wales’ major slate venues ( Inigo Jones at Penygroes and the National Slate Museum Llanberis)  will host a book launch and presentation this month, detailing how slate has inspired artists around the globe and investigating slate quarry regions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Written by American writers Judy and Ted Buswick, the new book  Slate of Hand”,  demonstrates how Welsh slate has been used by Welsh artists have such as featured artists Bill Rice, Howard Bowcott, Ivor Richards, Sara Humphreys and Bill Swann as well as many celebrity artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long and Philip King with works on display internationally.

'“Slate of Hand begins” with an overview of folk art created by quarrymen and craftsmen and then focuses on the fine arts and is based on interviews with artists from Wales, England Scotland , the united States and Canada;' explains Judy Buswick. '“However, Welsh artists are prominently represented in the book. Sculptor Ivor Richards uses slate’s riven textures or polishes it to a sheen; Howard Bowcott stacks slate into monumental forms and W J “Bill” Rice turns cores of slate into goblets that highlight the textures and colours of the rock.'


'We suspect that people think there’s not much to talk about beyond roofing, when slate is the topic but the art work we found goes from wafer thin to monumental in size, spans a range of colour and textures with art exhibited and used in museums and galleries as well as homes and external spaces. Artists respond to the textures and colours of this metamorphic stone and use slate in a notable array of art forms. Our book profiles the artists who use slate and examine their artistic choices. Each artist found slate inherent qualities well worth the challenges of the work. Hopefully , we provide the reader with an insight into the creative forces as well as slate’s artistic potential.'




Marketing Officer at the National Slate Museum Llanberis , Julie Williams, commented:

'This book and its subject matter again makes the link between the communities of slate quarrying areas across the world.  On 19 May  we will be celebrating our ‘twinning’ with the Slate Valley Museum in Granville New York  and 3 April we will be playing host to the Pennsylvania based band, the Bangor area Slaters Marching Band – another slate quarrying area in the USA – showing that slate links communities across the ages and the miles.'


The first talk and book signing will be at the INIGO JONES slate centre in Penygroes on  23 March 2007 at 11.30am and the second will be at the National Slate Museum Llanberis on 28 March  at 11.00am . All are welcome but please contact the site beforehand to check availability.

Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

 Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven national museums across Wales.  These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales celebrates its centenary in 2007.  For more details go to the 07 pages on our website –

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For further information, please contact Julie Williams, Marketing Officer  tel: 01286 873707




Notes to Editors:

1.      Judy Buswick is a freelance writer and video producer. Her articles have appeared in Artists’s Magazine and Planet amongst others. Ted Buswick is an oral Historian, archivist and writer. Both will be available for interview at the individual sites.


2.      Photos are available if required.