Tucked away in Porthleven Harbour is a tiny workshop which houses Slate of the Art.

Here, artist Nick Dow chips away at slate, putting together all sorts of wild and wonderful creations.

He uses Cornish slate (Devonian Mudstone) to produce creatures of all shapes and sizes, including wolves, reindeer and dragons. He’s not limited to animals, however.

“House signs are the main thing I would do. I work from the regular rectangular, square slate to unusual designs,” Nick said.

“I first started doing jewellery, and we went to a wholesaler by accident thinking they’d be selling big crystals. When we got there, I thought: I could do that. That’s how I started doing the self-employment thing,” he said.

Nick moved on to engraving and crafting pendants, eventually focusing on stones. His store has been running for eight years and emphasises his self-taught background.

Nick’s initial plan was to move into marine biology, but he’s always had a flair for art. Most of his work is created using Cornish slate picked up off the beach.

“It’s the stuff that’s been smashed off the cliff and is just lying in the sand. The smoothness is from the pebble beach, and I only take stuff that’s been broken. The rest of it I buy.”

Nick moved to the Salt Cellar workshops building in Porthleven after working in a third bedroom. He’s now been in the workshop, which he shares with several other creators, for around seven years.

Nick maintains a high degree of care over his production. “It’s an experience just going through finding a piece of stone, making sure there’s no flaws in it.

"Using the slate like this [imported]… it’s harder material than the local stone but it’s much more uniform, so in probably the eight years I’ve only broken about four pieces."

Nick’s store can be found in the Salt Cellar Workshops on Salt Cedar Hill, Porthleven.