As a Scottish desert island, it has been a source of Olympic curling stones for 100 years

As a Scottish desert island, it has been a source of Olympic curling stones for 100 years

The uninhabited island off the coast of Scotland is the source of all the granite that has been used for almost a century to make Olympic curling stones.

Volcanic rock from Isla Craig, located 10 miles from land, is being used for curling again this week at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The island has nearly two miles in circumference and used to be a prison before becoming a bird sanctuary that is home to a large number of different species of birds.

Founded in 1851, Kays Curling has exclusive rights to mine granite for handcrafting curling stones.

According to Kees Curling, her workshop in Moklin, Ayrshire, first made stones for the Winter Olympics in Chamonix in 1924.

Volcanic rock from Isla Craig, located 10 miles off the coast of Scotland, is again being used to make curling stones used at the Winter Olympics. The games in Beijing are just one of many where every four years the stone is used in competitions.

Volcanic rock from Isla Craig, located 10 miles off the coast of Scotland, is again being used to make curling stones used at the Winter Olympics. The games in Beijing are just one of many where every four years the stone is used in competitions.

Isla Craig is home to the only known source of three types of granite, namely Common Green granite, Blue Hone granite, and Red Hone granite. Founded in 1851, Kays Curling has exclusive granite mining rights and has been handmade stones for the Olympic Games for nearly 100 years.

Isla Craig is home to the only known source of three types of granite, namely Common Green granite, Blue Hone granite, and Red Hone granite. Founded in 1851, Kays Curling has exclusive granite mining rights and has been handmade stones for the Olympic Games for nearly 100 years.

Located 10 miles from Girvan, the island has nearly two miles in circumference and used to be a prison before becoming a bird sanctuary and is now home to a large number of different species of birds.

Located 10 miles from Girvan, the island has nearly two miles in circumference and used to be a prison before becoming a bird sanctuary and is now home to a large number of different species of birds.

Isla Craig still has some buildings, including a gate, a wall, and buildings, but it has not been inhabited for some time. There's also a castle built in the 1500s during the Spanish Armada to protect the landmark between Ireland and Scotland.

Isla Craig still has some buildings, including a gate, a wall, and buildings, but it has not been inhabited for some time. There’s also a castle built in the 1500s during the Spanish Armada to protect the landmark between Ireland and Scotland.

Kays Curling, which has exclusive rights to quarry granite, collects stone only as needed. When they do, they take from 1600 tons of Ailsa Craig Common Green granite to 400 tons of Ailsa Craig Blue Hone granite to make their curling stones.

Kays Curling, which has exclusive rights to quarry granite, collects stone only as needed. When they do, they take from 1600 tons of Ailsa Craig Common Green granite to 400 tons of Ailsa Craig Blue Hone granite to make their curling stones.

When all the granite is harvested, it is transported by boat and stored in a secure room until it is delivered to the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, Ayrshire.

When all the granite is harvested, it is transported by boat and stored in a secure room until it is delivered to the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, Ayrshire.

The location near the Isle of Arran and just off the Irish coast also made Aileso Craig a strategic destination and refuge, and was also used by Catholics fleeing to safety after the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century.

The location near the Isle of Arran and just off the Irish coast also made Aileso Craig a strategic destination and refuge, and was also used by Catholics fleeing to safety after the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century.

The stone from the island before it was crushed in Kays Curling and turned into a stone for curling, which will be used in international competitions around the world.

The stone from the island before it was crushed in Kays Curling and turned into a stone for curling, which will be used in international competitions around the world.

Production manager John Brown manually refines the stone at the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, south of Glasgow. He must make sure that at each stage of the quality control, it is certified that the stone meets the highest quality standards.

Production manager John Brown manually refines the stone at the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, south of Glasgow. He must make sure that at each stage of the quality control, it is certified that the stone meets the highest quality standards.

In total, 38 stones are made per week, about one per hour. hey, every quality is tested to make sure they are ready for the Olympic Games You can see Mr. Brown looking at the stone with a magnifying glass to make sure the finish is in order.

In total, 38 stones are made per week, about one per hour. Each of them undergoes a quality check to make sure they are ready for the Olympic Games. You can see John Brown looking at the stone with a magnifying glass to make sure the finish is correct.

All stones are equipped with two new Ailserts Ailsa Craig Blue Hone, one on each side of the stone, including 8mm Olympic-specification cups that are mounted on top of the Alisa Craig Common Green Granite.

All stones are equipped with two new Ailserts Ailsa Craig Blue Hone, one on each side of the stone, including 8mm Olympic-specification cups that are mounted on top of the Alisa Craig Common Green Granite.

Kees Curling argues that Ailsa Craig Common Green granite is used for the body of the stone because its unique structure is more resistant to heat transfer and copes better with condensation, which means that it does not split when it hits another stone.

Kees Curling argues that Ailsa Craig Common Green granite is used for the body of the stone because its unique structure is more resistant to heat transfer and copes better with condensation, which means that it does not split when it hits another stone.

Perm stones go through several processes before they are finally processed. John Brown moves the stone onto a metal bench to create a smooth effect on the curling stone that has been used in Olympic competitions.

Perm stones go through several processes before they are finally processed. John Brown moves the stone onto a metal bench to create a smooth effect on the curling stone that has been used in Olympic competitions.

Case Curling argues that commonly used Blue trefor curling stones, made from granite from Wales, can suffer greatly when they crash into opponents during a curling match.

Case Curling argues that commonly used Blue trefor curling stones, made from granite from Wales, can suffer greatly when they crash into opponents during a curling match.

John Brown uses stone hand-finished stone, which can cost £175, but it can be found online at much lower prices when they come second-hand. Kays Curling also sells miniature versions online for around £30.

John Brown uses stone hand-finished stone, which can cost £175, but it can be found online at much lower prices when they come second-hand. Kays Curling also sells miniature versions online for around £30.

An employee cleans stone at the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, south of Glasgow. In the process of making these world-famous curling stones, many different quality checks are carried out.

An employee cleans stone at the Kays Curling workshop in Moklin, south of Glasgow. In the process of making these world-famous curling stones, many different quality checks are carried out.

The exact dimensions are key because during the Olympic Games they must meet the standard of 8mm Olympic specification cups that have been set for participants in the International Games.

The exact dimensions are key because during the Olympic Games they must meet the standard of 8mm Olympic specification cups that have been set for participants in the International Games.

A total of 38 stones are produced per week, which is about one stone per hour, each of which is checked for quality to make sure it meets the requirements for the Olympic Games.

The shape and balance must be corrected with the help of two types of granite mined on the island, from which the stone for curling is made.

Kees Curling argues that Ailsa Craig Common Green granite is used to make the body of a stone because its unique structure is more resistant to heat transfer and copes better with condensation, meaning it does not split when it hits another stone.

All stones are also equipped with two new Ailserts Ailsa Craig Blue Hone, one on each side of the stone, including 8mm Olympic-specification cups that are mounted on top of the Alisa Craig Common Green Granite.

Kays Curling is also a global repair and replacement center. Production manager John Brown also shows how to hand-finish the stone using the same tools the company has used over time to perfect the stones.

Kays Curling is also a global repair and replacement center. Production manager John Brown also shows how to hand-finish the stone using the same tools the company has used over time to perfect the stones.

John Brown also uses state-of-the-art equipment, including an electric buffering tool and headphones, to protect himself from noise while he moves the perm stone to better assess quality and care for it.

John Brown also uses state-of-the-art equipment, including an electric buffering tool and headphones, to protect himself from noise while he moves the perm stone to better assess quality and care for it.

Partially processed stones look shining to perfection when they are depicted in the workshop, but they are not yet quite finished and they still have to go through additional quality control stages before a product suitable for the Olympian is ready.

Partially processed stones look shining to perfection when they are depicted in the workshop, but they are not yet quite finished and they still have to go through additional quality control stages before a product suitable for the Olympian is ready.

Tools hang on the wall in the Kays Curling workshop, ready to be used by a qualified team.

Tools hang on the wall in the Kays Curling workshop, ready to be used by a qualified team.

72-year-old Jimmy Willie has been working in the workshop since the age of 15 and rose to the position of director of the company. He claims that Ailsa Craig granite has been mined on the island for "at least 200 years."

72-year-old Jimmy Willie has been working in the workshop since the age of 15 and rose to the position of director of the company. He claims that Ailsa Craig granite has been mined on the island for “at least 200 years.”

Using Kays curling stones, U.S. men Jon Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton compete during a men's curling round against Italy on the 11th day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Using Kays curling stones, U.S. men Jon Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton compete during a men’s curling round against Italy on the 11th day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Kays curling stones are the only stones used in competitions by the World Curling Federation.

72-year-old Jimmy Willie has been working in the workshop since the age of 15 and rose to the position of director of the company.

He claims that Ailsa Craig granite has been mined on the island for “at least 200 years.”

He said on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “History books tell us that curling stones have been made from Islsa Craig material for at least 200 years.

“There are two springs on the island, and in the good old days you could make a pair out of anybody.”

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