Alastair & Kezia

Each Conpot planter’s material make-up starts with the choice of stone. Over a relatively small land-mass Britain has a rich geological diversity. In formulating the composition of our planters we strive to visit the source, to understand both the extraction process and the provenance of the stone.

Our visit to Hermitage Quarry began with an investigation of locality; to discover the nearest source of stone to our Peckham studio and its place in the regional history. Kentish Ragstone is the only hard rock available in the South-East, circling Kent in a band which was laid in the sea bed around 100 million years ago. We drove to the quarry, some 30 miles from the studio and toured the pits, discussing the extraction and processing of the material. The stone, although similar to the Derbyshire Limestone we currently use, has a darker composition with a brownish tint.

The selection process of the materials we use can be long and considered, with Ragstone we like that there is a careful approach to the effects of quarrying. After the stone is extracted from the pits, they are then filled with any demolition material that cannot be reused. Once filled the pit is then converted into forest with planting chosen to best accommodate local wildlife. The stone is perhaps not appropriate for the needs of our future products, but the trip was an insight into a sustainable and considerate mining process.