Begin main content:

Email Discussion Group

Stone Conversations Mailing List

Conversations is an open email discussion group — the only place on the Internet which brings together people who work with stone from different countries, cultures and endeavours. Our international membership includes sculptors, carvers, stonemasons, architects, geologists, quarry workers, artisans, students, professionals — all learning from each other.

The main focus of discussion is stone as a physical material (eg: comparative properties, geological formation, methods, tools, techniques) but also as a component of our working lives (eg: quarries, suppliers, markets, workshops, training), and as a material with cultural connotations (eg: landscapes, architecture, art). We invite everyone who works with stone, whether by hand, eye or imagination, to join the group.

How to join Stone Conversations

It's very easy! All you need is an email address.

  • Either
    • Send a blank email to the list management address:
    • In the ‘Subject’ header, put the word SUBSCRIBE
  • The mailing list program will send your email address a request for confirmation (this is to prevent hoax subscriptions). Usually all you have to do is reply to the request within three days.
  • You will be a member as soon as the mailing list program receives your confirmation.

To unsubscribe, just do the opposite ...

  • Either
    • Send a blank email to the list management address:
    • In the ‘Subject’ header, put the word UNSUBSCRIBE

Frequently-Asked Questions

1. Who may join?

Anyone, everyone.

2. Who may send messages to the list?

Subscribers only.

3. What topics are discussed in the list?

Anything related to stone, but most of all topics that focus on stone as a material that people work with. We are especially keen on topics that straddle disciplines, as one of the motives for establishing the list was to encourage exchange of ideas and information between people who work with stone in different ways.

For example, it is our experience that sculptors can learn from geologists, who can learn from stonemasons, who can learn from quarry workers, etc. However, ultimately the content of this mailing list is determined by its members.

This list is strictly non-commercial. However, if you have a commercial service that might interest other subscribers (eg: stone supplies), you are welcome to post a brief message drawing attention to your existence.

Announcements of new web sites, exhibitions, symposia, workshops, training facilities, etc, are always acceptable.

4. How do I send a message to the list?

Just email it to
Please make sure the subject line of your message is appropriate and descriptive.

5. How do I reply to a message to the list?

Just hit the ‘Reply’ button in your email program, edit your message (delete any superfluous text), then send it.

6. Who will get the messages I send?

Everyone who has subscribed. And thousands more who read the messages in the web archives.

7. Can I send images to the list?

No. Sorry — we tried it and it didn't work out. Attachments are not allowed. If you have images that you would like members to see, you can offer to email them to people who request them, or put them somewhere on the World Wide Web, and tell the list where they are.

8. Do you have any way of preventing junk email?

Yes. First, messages from non-subscribers are discarded. Spam can never get through to subscribers. Second, anyone who abuses the list may have posting privileges revoked (it's never happened).

9. How many messages get sent to the list?

Stone Conversations is intended as a low-volume list, but it varies a lot. There are often long gaps with nothing happening — then someone will send in a message that sparks off a flurry of replies. The chart below shows the current rate of stone posts. The average seems to be about 5 messages per day. Dynamic chart showing the recent daily rate of posting from the stone mailing list.

10. Is there a digest version of the list?

Yes. Subscribers get full details when they join.

11. Is the list archived on the Internet?

Yes. Our recommended access to the archives is gmane.culture.stone, which seems to be wholly reliable and easy to search and navigate. Starting September 2004, list posts appear on the news.gmane.culture.stone newsgroup.

The list archives from June 1998 until 21 September 2004 are no longer available.

12. I've just joined — what next?

You can lurk for a while, or you can dive straight in — it's up to you. Some people like to start off by sending in a very short personal or professional introduction — in 50 to 500 words, say who you are and how you work with stone — message subject should be 'Introducing myself'.

13. How do I unsubscribe?

Send a blank email message to the list management address: with the word UNSUBSCRIBE as the subject.

14. What about my privacy?

We take your privacy (and ours) very seriously, and we do nothing that might compromise it.

The only information that is required to join this list is your email address. If you disclose any other information when joining, we don't receive it.

Your email address will be used solely for the stated purpose — distribution of Stone Conversations messages. We will not use your email address for any other communication.

Stone Conversations is a hidden list — access to subscribers' email addresses is restricted to the list administrator. Subscribers have no access to the email addresses of other subscribers. The Ecartis command WHO has been disabled for this list.

Subscription email addresses are never divulged in any circumstances to any third party, individual or organisation.

Subscribers' email addresses are stored safely in a database on the mail server. No other copy is made. When a subscriber leaves the mailing list, the email address is immediately deleted from the database. There are no records of former subscribers.

Stone Conversations messages are also archived by FreeLists, and like all other lists, may be archived elsewhere on the World Wide Web. Our own archiving software removes email addresses in message headers to prevent abuse. Most other archives do the same, but of course, we cannot guarantee that this will always happen.

15. Is there a web interface to this list?

Yes. You can use the Freelists ‘stone’ interface to subscribe, and to manage your subscription.

16. Can I post messages from the Internet?

Yes. If you are a subscriber, you may post to the stone list from the news.gmane.culture.stone newsgroup or the gmane.culture.stone web interface. You will get details when you subscribe.

17. Was this once known as the ‘Learning Stone’ list?

Yes. From 1997 until October 2004, this was Learning Stone. On 6 October 2004 we transferred the name and the domain (now unused) to the Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust so they could use it for their new Learning Stone Centre. Our current domain was already an alternative name at that time. We just changed our templates and carried on as usual. About Stone still functions as a support site for the Trust.

End of main content.

©1997-2012 About Stone. Designed, maintained and hosted by Diversity Studio.

This page was updated 08 July 2010.