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Gildencraft Stone Masonry C.I.C.: quality products made under the guidance of Master Masons, backed up by over 900 years of excellence and tradition.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Van Funds Appeal Auction: Royal Mint Print of Two Pound Coin Design

Bruce Rushin's design of the two pound coin

Message from Bruce Rushin:

"As Artist-in-Residence to the stonemasons' Guild of St Stephen and St George, I'm auctioning this limited edition print by the Royal Mint of my award winning design for the £2.00 coin. All proceeds from the winning bid will go towards their Van Appeal (click on link: Just Giving: Van Appeal). Your contribution will enable the apprentices to gain paid work, not only because they need transport to commercial jobs, it will also allow their social enterprise to considerably cut the costs of the stone."

Auction finishes at midnight on 1st September

In order to submit your bid, please email the Clerk of the Guild via: clerksoffice@gildencraft.co.uk

The current highest bid is:

£60.00

We will send or deliver the framed pictures to the winning bidders.

Norwich Cathedral Painting For Sale!



Message from Bruce Rushin:

"As Artist-in-residence to the stonemasons' Guild of St Stephen and St George, I'm auctioning this original watercolour painted by myself in order to raise funds towards their Van Appeal (click on link: Just Giving: Van Appeal). Your contribution will enable the apprentices to gain paid work, not only because they need transport to commercial jobs, it will also allow their social enterprise to considerably cut the costs of the stone."

Mounted and framed the painting comes to 20 x 16 inches. Auction finishes at midnight on 1st September

In order to submit your bid, email the Clerk of the Guild via: clerksoffice@gildencraft.co.uk


The current highest bid is:

£200.00

All monies raised will go to the Van Appeal. 

We will send or deliver the framed pictures to the winning bidders.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Our apprentice in Canada - The Assyrian church


I remember the words of Professor  Saana Svard of the Assyriology department in Helsinki University very clearly: “it [Assyria] is an ancient culture with a dead language.”  What I witnessed earlier this month was anything but dead. It was a display of pride in heritage, strong community values and spontaneous acts of kindness, all centered around the church they built with donations. 

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We made the 5 hour drive to Toronto two weeks ago and while that journey warrants an entry on its own, I decided I won’t write about Toronto and it's architecture till I’ve had time to get to know it better. Someone in Ottawa told me that the Assyrian community spoke Aramaic and I needed to see this. The best place to go, I thought, would be an Assyrian Church. 
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I went to see the Holy Mass held on Sundays in the Catholic Church of St Mary, a prominent Assyrian church in the outskirts of Toronto; and I have to say that I was completely at awe by what I witnessed and left a little speechless afterwards. 
As soon as we made the turn into Skyway Avenue the traditional exterior of the church caught my eye. Not the kind of traditional that I had become accustomed to in England, where flint walls and tracery windows were the norm. It was the kind of traditional building that Inanna could have called her home. The brick building is a replica of an ancient Mesopotamian church traditionally found in Northern Iraq.
It was absolutely packed despite the fact that it was just a regular Sunday. The interior of the great hall was just as modest but as elegant as the remainder of the church’s interior. We lit candles as we entered and I turned around to admire the altar when it struck me that there was no imagery of Christ or even the slightest symbolism referring to the Stations of the Cross.
There was no imagery, be it on stone or otherwise, of any saints or beast. Or as in the words of an Assyrian church goer: A truly non-pagan worship. The altar was decorated with two stained glass windows and a back-lit stained glass cross. The images on the stained glass were in the neo art-deco style and of abstract shapes and fruits of harvest.
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Stone Inspired Stories- 'The Wanderer's Journey'



Gleeman makes his Guild debut © Heritage Snapper, 2017 
The life of a classical craft guild like ours is incredibly rich and multi-layered. One aspect of this is story. With our continuous lineage stretching back unbroken to our founding Master, Robert de Bessie, in 1080, many stories have been passed down to us. It is not just that our forebears occupied the past, they were also always itinerant. They wandered in pursuit of coin and, as they did so, they were part of some of the massive events in history such as the French Revolution (who do you think had the know-how and tools to break down the Bastille!). 

These stories are part of the intangible heritage we embody. With this in mind, we work with a professional storyteller, Dave Tonge, who is working these into performances to be delivered at events we feature in. The name given to the guild storyteller in our tradition is the 'Gleeman'. Dave is the Gleeman for the Guild of St Stephen & St George and is proud to be so. 

© Heritage Snapper, 2017
Earlier this year, as part of the fantastic Flintspiration event celebrating Norwich's legacy of medieval churches, the Gleeman made his debut, regaling the public with stone-inspired stories. At the same time, our apprentices were busy nearby demonstrating their carving skills and answering questions from the public in our portable lodge. 


© Heritage Snapper, 2017
We are delighted to announce that the Gleeman will be performing once again, this time as part of the Norwich Maker's Month celebrations in early April 2018 in the Norwich Forum. We still have to finalise details, but we are discussing the possibility of a talk by the Master and Clerk interspersed with stories around the theme of, 'The Wanderer's journey'. Who knows, we may even be able to persuade one of our German Journeymen brothers from the CCEG to join us to share their experience of this tradition. 

We will update you once everything is finalised.