Workshops and Educational Services
Workshops, Demonstration, Talks and Lectures
Examples of work produced on our courses and workshops
Practical Workshops in Stone Carving, Letter Cutting and Stonemasonry
An achievable project is chosen within the skill level of the attendees; this may be pre-assessed or determined informally within the session introduction (works well in longer sessions). The choice of design/theme will depend on the interests of the group or individual. A basic set of skills will be taught in a relaxed, interesting manner and students should find the experience fun and encouraging. Teaching at this level is suitable for students with no prior craft experience.
Building on a pre-acquired basic level of skill, the attendee will broaden their repertoire of skills whilst working on a more challenging project. They will also be offered tailored advice and guidance on their craft technique which may involve the introduction of more specialist tools and processes. The focus should be on building experience and confidence to achieve more successful results for the hobbyist or aspiring craftsperson.
Similar to the intermediate programme with attention paid to higher order carving techniques. Workshops with these students will also incorporate more of the advanced craft and design theory where relevant; including the use of proportion, geometry, symbolism, the psychology of design and the history of architecture and the craft of stonemasonry. These workshops will serve to cultivate a deeper knowledge of craft theory and to consolidate the grasp of applied techniques for more established craft practitioners.
Students at all of the above levels are best served in groups of similar ability, in which a level of knowledge can be presumed by the teacher and overall progress is not delayed. Workshops may be held over a single day, a continuous short course of 3-5 days or on a regular day over a longer term course of several weeks.
Workshop days are most productive when held over the course of a working day, typically 9am - 5pm, with a scheduled lunch break and provision for informal refreshment breaks, which are particularly important for newcomers to the craft who will need time to develop their stamina and focus within the craft process.
Stephen will recommend a project that can realistically be comfortably completed within the allotted day or programme schedule and students usually take their completed works home to show family and friends.
Demonstrations and Masterclasses
At an entry-level event, Stephen can offer an inspiring glimpse into the craft, practically demonstrating a range of time-honoured techniques and tools with a brief explanation and opportunity for Q & A’s. Seminars may be more generalist or tailored to the interests of particular groups, e.g. museums, art clubs, freemasons’ chapters, corporate team building events and WI groups.
Many key features of the craft process have remained unchanged for millenia, but for academic audiences with an interest in history, an informed insight into the early evolution of tools and techniques can be offered and technological advances in modern history outlined and evidenced.
In architecturally significant venues, Stephen can illuminate on the design and construction of stone buildings, the role of the Master Builder and relevant, site specific craft theory and history.
For professional audiences, Stephen can share his experience and expertise on a range of topics with applications for architects, designers, antiquarians and collectors, conservators, museum staff and educators alike.
With advance preparation, Stephen is able to carve a copy of a piece from a specific building, museum exhibit or private collection and, where relevant, can employ tools available to the original carver whilst bringing to life the craft processes contemporary to the piece. Such demonstrations may be filmed for educational and/or entertainment purposes and, in the case of museums, can be used as part of a display.
Stephen has engaged audiences at a range of speaking events for public, private and charitable organisations over the years and is able to educate, inspire and entertain people of diverse backgrounds, from total newcomers to the craft through to professionals and post-graduates.
Stephen is delighted to share the wealth of knowledge, expertise and fascinating experiences that he has collected over forty years experience in the craft; from specialist education in a City of London Guild school along a colourful craft ‘journey’ that took him on foot all over Europe and culminated in South Africa, through to his illustrious international career as ‘Court Mason’ to the world’s royalty and nobility.
Stephen holds the position of ‘Remembrancer’ for one of his Guilds and, as such, is pleased to be questioned on the lesser-known and more specialist fields of interest within stonemasonry and its associated history and culture. Seminars may be curated more specifically for audiences with niche interests or to complement a specialist event. Previous seminars have covered such diverse topics as:
the civil arts as applied to craft training,
the mechanics and physicality of the practice of stonemasonry,
the enhancement of wellbeing through craft practice and the crafted environment,
the theory of craftsmanship,
team management and education within crafts,
the social and political history of stonemasonry and stonemasons’ guilds.