I heard a tapping sound coming from one of them so went off to investigate.
In a corner studio sculptor Joseph Hayton was chipping away at a block of stone, sculpting a head as part of a commission.
As I watched him at work, and looked into his studio where there are all manner of works in progress and completion, it soon became obvious that Joe is not only talented but versatile too. His work is already on display in galleries across the country as well as closer to hand, such as the Pillars Past column installation on the old railway turntable in Pateley Bridge. As we talked his passion for stone and bronze became clear, and he showed me some of his favourite pieces. He was particularly passionate about carving heads and human forms, working to commission as well as creating his own figurative pieces. There's an incredible warmth and personality in his work, full of expression.
Joe was already interested in sculpting clay when he was at school. That early interest stood him in good stead later in life when he started to produce bronge sculptures, first creating in clay then using the lost wax method to cast pieces in bronze. After school it was a natural progression to become an apprentice in stone masonry, before working as a stone mason for several years.
Joe's studio is open most days including Saturdays but it's best to call ahead in case he's out on a commission. When visiting Pateley Bridge it's worth also driving a short distance up towards Greenhow to see two other very different sculptures: the immense Coldstones Cut, and then look for the tiny mouse carved by The Mouseman at Greenhow cemetery.