'If you were feeling in any way daunted by the thought of the one day stoneworking course, you should think again. The four of us chose to go, all with very different backgrounds and abilities, and it was a very satisfying and eye opening day for us all.
I have never had much ability with practical work, the other three have a variety of craft experience from woodcarving to watercolours to a wide range of DIY - none of us had ever attempted to carve stone before.
After a couple of hours you’ll have found out a few basic principles of how to use the tools and how the stone responds. You’ll find yourself understanding the craft, skill and concentration required to produce more finished pieces. You’ll look at the buildings around you with a new eye. You will know more about the detail of those buildings than the guy standing next to you.
You don’t need to commit to a whole day. You’ll find that half a day gives you a good initial understanding. It’s your personal choice to continue to refine your work over the day or to take your piece away at lunchtime to admire at leisure. One of us chose and was encouraged to come back the next day to begin a second piece.
It’s a very friendly and inclusive environment; it’s a rare treat to be able to access the advice and guidance of a Guild Master. Apart from the practical skills he’ll pass on, you’ll find out as much as you wish about guilds, restoration, geology, geometry and, apparently, why the Cotswolds might be a preferable place to live than Norwich……and he’ll make you a cup of tea to keep you chipping on happily.
And you will all, however little a craftsman you think you are, come away with your own piece of work that you wont want to part with.
The donation the Stonemasons ask of you is very small for the experience you will find.
Dave McRoberts, Sept 2016
Our carving workshops cost £80 and take place on a Saturday or a Sunday. Stone and tools are included and customers keep their resulting piece. If you don't complete your carving in the course of one day you are welcome to return and finish it on another day.
If you are interested, please email our Guild Clerk via: