We met with Steven Clark and wife, artist Bobby Clark (and their dog Scout) at the Den- Holm workshop in Reservoir in Melbourne's north. As we stepped in from the cold we were greeted by the warmth of the studio heater and the unmistakable sound of a Scottish accent.
At Den-Holm, named for his home village in Scotland, Steven creates beautiful sculptural pieces. He makes beautiful carved artworks as well as functional pieces like planters. His background and skill as a stonemason can be seen in his body of work. He primarily works with limestone which he sources from around Australia. Steven was initially wary of the desirability of limestone, but he was convinced by his wife Bobby to try it out.
SC: I had no plan on sculpting that stone. It was never on the agenda. I always worked with concrete.
BC: We went to the stone yard - a beautiful stone yard and I was like "holy sh*t you have to get the white stuff, it's so beautiful - look it's so soft." He was like "nah, I don't like it" but I made him to get a wee block just to try it.
Steve quickly developed a passion for the stone and has been working with limestone ever since.
Steve has a laid-back approach and likes to let the stone speak for itself - to the point of not wanting to give names to his works.
SC: As soon as I attach words to it - it just sounds naff.
His favourite piece is called "That One." Bobby mentions that they are working on a catalogue and that he needs to put some kind of title.
BC: You can't just say "that one" - there has to be roman numerals at least!
Steve and Bobby came to Australia after finishing university. The trip was intended to be just a short Working Holiday before a return to the UK.
We came over here for a break, we had just finished our degrees in Manchester and we were planning on moving to London, we just thought we'd have a working holiday somewhere and just enjoy it and see something. We stayed a year and we were like, no, we need to stay here for good.
MM: Where is your favourite place to travel?
SC: South East Asia. I've not been everywhere - but from the places I have already been, South East Asia. I'd really like to go to South America because it's football crazy over there as well.
MM: Where do you get your coffee?
BC: We've got different taste in coffee. We used to sit in separate coffee shops because I hated the coffee where he went and he hated the coffee where I went. My favourite coffee is Coe & Coe which is in Cremorne. It's because the guys in there are amazing and the coffee's good. They're the happiest people in the world. The coffee's really good and you leave beaming with happiness.
SC: We've just moved to a new place in Thornbury called Jerry Joy
MM: Where do you go for a great meal?
SC: Sir Charles is my favourite for breakfast. It's in Fitzroy on Johnson Street.
MM: What are you excited for in 2018?
SC: To cement Den-Holm as a brand and have it in some top retailers and maybe even have a solo show somewhere.