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The podcast

Sarah was inspired to create this podcast by the memory of her father Christopher Monk who carved Renaissance musical instruments such as serpents, cornetts and lysarden from wood.

Materially Speaking launched in 2019 as a podcast for artists and artisans to tell their stories through the materials they choose. 

First we heard stories primarily from artists working in the small town called Pietrasanta in northern Italy where generations of sculptors have been coming to work with locally sourced marble since Michelangelo came 500 years ago. 

In 50 episodes we have also made visits to London, Paris and Venice to hear the stories of artists and artisans who work in a variety of materials. They use traditional skills as well as embracing the possibilities of the new technologies.


Sarah would like to thank the many people who make Materially Speaking possible. Most particularly, all the artists and artisans who gave us their valuable time to speak. 

Sarah also acknowledges the support and encouragement from the wider community – historians, studio heads, gallery owners and others – who offered advice, shared contacts and pointed her in intriguing directions. For the composition of the musical ‘sting’, Sarah thanks Guy Dowsett.

This website was designed and made by Ben Edmonds of We Sort and Peter Brawne of Matter using the Statamic content management system, the Transistor podcast platform and Buttondown for email alerts.

Materially Speaking is produced in London. Running Dog Productions Ltd, registered in England: 11933139

We love hearing your comments and suggestions, so please contact us by email at:

Running Dog Productions Ltd

Registered in England: 11933139