Snow Carving Championship

1 January, 2016 – 2:44 pm

Happy New Year everyone.

I have some very exciting news, I have been invited to join team GB in their attempt to bring home first prize in The Breckenridge International Snow carving Championship in Colorado.

Ollie Annaly the team captain asked me if I would be interested back in May after my fourth Stone carving festival and now alongside Marie Louise Bolland-this year’s designer and Ed Francis we are all travelling in just 3wks to Colorado.

The design is inspired by a Welsh folk song about a white dragon and a red dragon fighting. We will have just 4 days to carve a 3m cubed block of compacted snow working in sub zero conditions at 10,000 ft. We will be carving the snow by hand using gardening tools such as edge cutters and hoes, also small hand saws, rasps and bespoke constructed hand tools.

We will have to wear numerous thermal layers including waterproof trousers, mittens, shoes etc. in order to maintain our warmth, it will be a real endurance challenge.

As well as working alongside 15 other teams from the international community we will be surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains as we are hosted by Breckenridge in Colorado. This is my first trip to the USA and I know that I will be overwhelmed by the shear expanse of this country.

We will only be allowed to use the snow we are given which will weigh approximately 20tonnes and there will be techniques we can use to remove the snow as well as stick it back to create the forms and features of the sculpture.

I hope to come back with a mind full bursting with new inspiration to apply to my sculpture and stone carving.

This is an entirely new experience for both myself and Ed Francis but I know that we will be able to adapt to the material and rise to this extraordinary challenge.

For more information please visit you can follow all the excitement and progress on twitter @gobreck #BreckBecause and obviously @CarrieHorwood #Team GB



10th Anniversary

18 November, 2015 – 11:55 am

The 22nd of November 2005 was the day Cat’s Eye Carving was officially started.

I had a small workshop space that I had been renting at Harts Barn in Longhope since March of that year but I finally decided to take the plunge just a few months later.

I had been working for a commercial company nr Stroud for the previous 18mths but felt that I wasn’t able to utilise my creativity enough. I had developed Osteo-Arthritis in my fingers and thumb of my left hand following an injury I sustained as an apprentice so by running my own business I could manage that and stretch my artistic side-after all sculpture was what I had been studying at school and university.

Obviously I had to be realistic and so got myself a job at my local-the old Brunswick pub in Gloucester. I remained working here two days a week and spent 4 days a week at my workshop.


In March 2007 I was asked to repair and restore the statue of St Richard of Droitwich in Vines Park. This was the first time I could really use everything that I had learnt over the previous 8yrs.
In 2007 I again moved into a slightly larger workshop and was able to give up my job in the pub and concentrate fully on my business, I carved a simple font for Withywood Church in Bristol, Heraldry for Penhow Castle in South Wales among many other house names and numbers.


 I decided to organise and run my own stonemason festival, the first one was in May 2008

The festival attracted a variety of stonemasons four came over from Canada which was really exciting, we managed to raise about £4000 for the chosen charities. I repeated my festival in 2009 and we still managed to raise a reasonable sum even though the recession was beginning to bite. I also attended a stonemasons festival in Norway, my carving of Freya raised a whopping £1200 for the Cathedrals fund.

Following my desire for more space I moved my entire operation to Brockworth Nr Gloucester on the promise of a great craft centre, gallery, gift shop and tearoom but this turned out to be both a good and terrible move, I met a lovely woman quite by chance and she commissioned me to carve a memorial which I would need to install on the North coast of Scotland in a quiet seaside town
I took part in my second Highnam Court Spring Fair in April 2010 and my carving won first prize,

I also took part in the York Minster stonemasons festival that year and carved a nautilus shell.

But after a difficult year and no real development on the site I decided to move again, this time to Taurus Crafts Nr Lydney. I arrived just in time for the February half term (2011) and spent the following three months running my business from a small marquee! My first display carving was Cecil the boar click to see the carving. I was also honoured to carve a memorial to the armed forces which is located outside Pershore Abbey.






I took part in the Highnam Court Spring fair, on my own this year and my carving was raffled for the charities and then a stonemasons festival that I had consulted on in Ludlow in aid of St Lawrence’s Church (2011)


My man 20211 (Large)21 may 2011 056 (Large)


In May 2011 I moved into a larger workshop, it had walls and a door-I was in heaven!!

Just 3mths later a smaller workshop became available which was more suitable and I was able to continue with working on an interesting variety of commissions including 3 grotesques to be built into a local house 2 large acorns as a memorial in a large and beautiful garden. This is when I finally got to carve the cherubs for the Scotland memorial.

I took part in the Ludlow festival again and this time my carving was awarded both prizes and I was able to use the prize vouchers to invest in a piece of equipment for my workshop which takes some of the strain out of carving the Forest of Dean Sandstone.

I had been putting together a festival of my own quietly in the background and in May 2013 I ran the Gloucester Stonecarving festival at The Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester. the carving took place over 2 and a half days and raised money for The Gloucester Geology Trust and The Priory itself, the auction raised just over £2500 for the two charities.

While I am running the festivals I am also running my business and in May 2014 I was given the opportunity to move into what used to be the back of the old pottery-I jumped at the chance as this enabled me to expand my business, my shop area is larger and so my stone carvings for sale have increased. I am able to have a permanent set up for have a go at stone carving which takes place in the school holidays. I am currently working on a large sculpture for a garden and I have a 3ft bear to carve for Sept 2016.

I continue to carve house names and numbers which have been the staple of my business but I also get commissioned to carve all manner of things, I undertakes a few animal commissions a year which are incredibly taxing as the have to be like for like carvings. I love to design and carve sculptures and gifts for sale in my shop and just a few years ago I taught myself to silver solder and now make pendants and earrings. I am proud to say that through it all I have only sold what I have made and this will continue.

I can design, sculptures and letters memorials and creatures. I love to be able to source my stone from local quarries but I am hoping to be able to carve some Italian marble in the not too distant future. Often you will find that there is an Art Nouveau feel about my sculptures, this is the elegant and flowing forms that I love to create and to be able to make stone look like it is light and delicate is a feat in itself.

My ideas are forever evolving and I have no one source of inspiration-historical artists and sculptors are a source of knowledge for me I can look at the carving or modelled and cast bronze and figure out how it has been done.

In May 2015 just after my most recent stonemason festival I was nominated to become a Yeoman mason, by the then Upper warden Bill Gloyn and I went up to London in October to receive my certificate.

I have just been invited to take part in The Breckenridge International Snow Carving Championship in Colorado early next year

So the next 10yrs in business looks set to be amazing and if you would like to join me to celebrate I will have wine and cake at my workshop at Taurus Crafts  on Sunday 22nd November.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed, bought and supported me over the last 10yrs, most importantly my boyfriend Ed Francis.





Carving a passion flower

12 November, 2015 – 1:20 pm

This is my latest carving,  inspired by my beautiful Passion Flower outside my workshop.DSC_0179

I am carving it out of Portland limestone, the small chisel is a knarly old file that has been turned into a fine carving chisel perfect for this type of carving.

The stone is less than 12inches long with a deliberate broken end to make it look like a relic of times gone by.

I’ll post a photo when it’s finished



The Worshipful Company of Masons

1 November, 2015 – 6:49 pm

I am pleased to announce that I have been made a Yeoman mason of this historic institution. This title is in recognition of my service to Stonemasonry for organising my stonemasons festivals and raising money for charity.

I was nominated back in May by the then Upper Warden Bill Gloyn who was elevated to Master earlier this year. My nomination was accepted at the court in July.

Yeoman Masons

A few days ago my partner and I travelled to London so I could be presented with my certificate.

Yeoman Mason Certificate

If you would like to find out more information about The Livery of Masons please visit the website


Where is your stone from?

10 September, 2015 – 12:09 pm

An interesting article has been written by Ecclesiastical Insurance the forerunners in insurance for historic buildings, churches, fine art etc.

There has been an increase in theft from buildings of stone in the form of flags, architectural features, sculptures etc. 

Click on this link to read their press release, there is also a downloadable press release form as well which is well worth a read.

I buy all my stone from Berwyn Slate in North Wales, Veizeys Quarry in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, Albion Stone on Portland in Dorset, Forest of Dean Sandstone from Various Quarries around the Dean and other types from my reputable stonemason colleagues.