Natural Fibers
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Hand Spun Yarns
Spinning Wheel
Slate Tombstones
Flintlock Rifles
Minstrel Banjos
Dough Bowls
Trenchers (plates)
Rolling Pins
" Behold the Lamb of GOD which taketh away the Sin of the World." John 1: 29
Hand Turned Ink Pens
Bread Boards
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Check out
our New Instructional DVD's!
Drop Spindles
Indigo Dyed Yard Cloth
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On the Road!
David carves each stone by hand. No computers, stencils or templates. Each letter is hand drawn directly on the stone the same way it was in the Colonial Days.
Hand Carved Slate Tombstones, Plaques, Reliefs or Quotes, all carved with a chisel and mallet!
SC Arts Commission Grant Recipient - 2014 Early American Life Magazine Craftsman
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The Gregory family of Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania wanted a design for their 10 year old son Montie that included some of his favorite things. This is what we came up with with the family, that included Montie's Whippet Dog, Dino, his Playstation Controller, Soccer Ball, Army Helmet, and Book. Montie's own signature was also included borrowing it from one of his school papers.

This Stone has now been set in the oldest Presbyterian Church Yard in Lancaster Co, being organized about 1721, Donegal Presbyterian Church.
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david@pumpkintownprimitives.com
Colonial Re-enactor happy to speak & Demonstrate at your School, Group, or re-enactment
Up until about a hundred years ago stones were cut by hand with a chisel and mallet. By God's grace I am endevouring to bring back slate stones to our church yards. Look Soon for the Grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier on Secession Hill in Abbeville, SC. Monuments can last many lifetimes. Possibly 400 years or more! Longevity is Comparable to Granite, but with better detail, and more character. Works include the Secret Garden Stone on the Reedy River Childrens Garden near the Falls Park in the Historic West End, Greenville, SC. Let me carve a stone for you that will make a bold statement and last many generations! Slate will hold a legible inscription for centuries, usually retaining the mallet tap marks in each letter that is cut. Hand cut slate tombstones are very rarely carved in SC. The Lord allowed me the priviledge of taking stone cutting classes by a grant from the SC Arts Commission. These classes were near Providence, Rhode Island where a few people still cut these stones by hand. Slate is very impervious to weathering, that is why shingles of slate are used on court houses and very "high style" buildings. My ancestor Andrew McComb carved the Indian Massacre Grave stone of John C. Calhoun's grandmother around 1785. It is still located in Troy, SC over 210 years old and is very readable! I am also in the process of writing a book on Andrew McComb.
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This marble stone cut in 1800 is already unreadable. It is the stone of John Rutledge (1739-1800) a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
This slate stone just up the street in Charleston, SC was cut in 1732 and is still as sharp as the day the guy cut it.
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Click here for a text only version of an article on Renee & I in " The State" newspaper out of Columbia, SC, which Ran Jan 10, 2008
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Read my new "Notice!"
     If you are interested in having a stone carved, I would be pleased to offer my services. I do carve tombstones, signs and monuments for the general public as well as historic sites, etc. I Generally start out by sending a CD of my photos of original slate tombstones that I have taken dated 1729-1792. This will aid the prospective client, if they desire one. After that I can work up some sketches and we can go from there. Let me carve a piece of Stone for you that will send a bold statement to the generations to follow!
I use only the best slate in North America, Buckingham Slate, from Virginia. It is a true Unfading slate that has been quarryed since the late 1700's and even Thomas Jefferson Used it for his building projects. Buckingham Slate is used on Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and The Smithsonian Castle.
Thomas Jefferson also used BUCKINGHAM SLATE !
One of the first Americans to recognize the value and architectural beauty of slate in the United States was that master architect Thomas Jefferson. Geologist W. Rogers reported to Virginia Legislature that, "In texture, density and capacity of resisting atmospheric agents, it can scarcely be excelled by a similar material in any part of the world." He further recorded the use of Buckingham® Slate (still serviceable today) on the University of Virginia, specified by Thomas Jefferson for roof covering.
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Gallery of Stones
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Montie Gregory Stone, Lancaster Co. PA , 2011 Virginia Slate
by J. David Gillespie, Stonecutter.
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Member: Association of Gravestone Studies
Member: Pickens County SC Historical Society.
Oct, 2011, David had the honor of demonstrating Slate carving at the American College of the Building Arts, Charleston, SC for the 1858 Society of the Gibbs Museum of Art.
Photo courtesy of Missy Loewe
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Click to see Our
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18" x 30" x 3"
Blue/ Black Slate, Edisto Island, SC
The Lindsay family wanted a stone that blended with stones already in the cemetery, mainly stones carved by Thomas Walker of Charleston, SC , active from 1793-1838. The stepped typanum was typical of his style. Elizabeth had a bachelors degree in music therapy and was passionately literate, knew her Shakespeare, her Bible, and her modern authors, very well.
10" x 12" x 1"
Blue/ Black Slate, Maryland
This is a copy of an original slate tombstone for Mary Owen 1749, Charleston, SC. It was carved as a gift from David R. Mould to Missy Loewe, authors of the famous book, " Historic Gravestone Art of Charleston, SC 1695-1802". The original was likely carved by William Codner of Boston.
24" x 36" x 1.5"
Blue/ Black Slate, Mount Joy, Lancaster Co, PA
The Gregory family of Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania wanted a design for their 10 year old son Montie that included some of his favorite things. This is what we came up with with the family, that included Montie's Whippet Dog, Dino, his Playstation Controller, Soccer Ball, Army Helmet, and Book. Montie's own signature was also included borrowing it from one of his school papers.
12" x 12" x 1"
Blue/ Black Slate, New Market, VA
A Small Gravestone for a special Virginia Cat, who was from the county in VA where I get my slate from, Buckingham. The owner designed the stone totally by herself! It turned out great!!
12" x 24" x 1.25"
Blue/ Black Slate, near Vonore, TN
A Stone to be mounted flat, Nikki King, the mother, opted to have Caleb, even though the doctors said the child would be still born, and suggested she have an abortion. Instead she was able to spend 11 hrs and 15 minutes with her precious son!!
Why Slate?
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Click Here to See Our Commercial on You Tube!
David's New Book on Original Slate Tombstones. See Details Below!!
"A Brief Treatise on Tomb & Grave Stones of the Eighteenth Century," David's New Book is now available for sale! 208 pages with full color soft cover. You may "Buy it Now"with Paypal button below for $24.99 plus $4.49 Shipping and Handling!
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Sample Page
David's Lecture on Book at SC Powder Magazine ca. 1713
OUR NEW BOOK!!
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David's Lecture on book at Monmouth University, Monmouth N.J.
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18" x 24" x 4"
Blue/ Black Slate, New Hampshire
This stone for the Dickerson Family, is a fairly simple stone with a refined elegance. The Chamfered edge adds dimension to the design. It will be mounted flat and represents a ledger stone that I offer to my customers.
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12" x 12" x 1"
This stone for my friend Lt. Col. Donald Gunn was mounted as a tablet, on the side of his new and beautiful home. The Simple border added another degree of elegance, and also I kept with a Colonial Style Lettering.
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18" x 43.5" x 3"
Blue/ Black Slate, Tennessee
This stone is carved across the riven texture of the slate. It yields a very visually pleasing effect, and one that is certain to look different than everyone is used to seeing. It is an upright stone, of a nice proportion.
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David has just been selected as one of America's Best, & Listed in Early American Life Magazine, in the Directory of Tradional American Crafts, August issue, 2014, page 66. The judges are Museum Curators, and Historic Material Culture Professionals from all across the US.