TWO sculptors from Uralla are busy putting the finishing touches on a lasting heritage trail immortalised in sandstone rocks on Pensioners Hill at Gunnedah.
Artists Carl Merten and Joan Relke began work on the four sculptures in March 2008, gradually chipping images based on Gunnedah's history into the large sandstone blocks.
The artists and partners for 30 years said they had enjoyed working together, but that they would be happy to get back into their separate studios.
"It's one of the secrets to our relationship, our separate studios. I'm horribly messy," Carl said.
Featuring a miner, an Aboriginal warrior, an early settler and the heads of a ram and bull, the images are a nod to Gunnedah's rich coal-mining, agricultural and indigenous cultures.
With the official unveiling of the sculptures planned for sometime in September, the sculptors have been visiting their open-air "studio" every few months to work on the project.
"It does get a bit chilly in the winter," Carl said.
He said he was looking forward to finishing the project.
Carl and Joan are well-known through Gunnedah and created the miners' memorial project in Woseley Park which has proven to be a tourism drawcard to the area.
Gunnedah shire councillor Hans Allgayer said the partly finished artworks were creating a lot of interest from interstate visitors, with many positive comments received.
"I think it's great to have our history out there for people to see," Cr Allgayer said.
Carl said leaving an artistic legacy for other generations to see was a nice feeling.
"They'll last for hundreds and hundreds of years, hopefully long after we're gone," he said.
The project was funded through a grant of $28,000 from BHP Billiton.
Gunnedah businesses assisted the project by donating and supplying equipment.
The project was initiated by the Rotary Club of Gunnedah West.