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Dr. Stephen L’Normand at Echinus

Stephen’s early education at a Guild school in Finsbury afforded him an immersion in craft culture from a young age. He was impressed by visits from many of the famous contemporary craftspeople in London at that time, cine films of aproned craftsmen at work and access to local studios and workshops, where many artisans were happy for children to watch them work. Having been surrounded by such a wealth of talent and culture, Stephen quickly developed a great admiration and respect for traditional crafts.

One of the last generation to be trained as a Court Mason through a Classical, seven-year apprenticeship in The City of London, Stephen learned his craft forty years ago at one of the last great masonry companies. His lineage of Masters includes Court Masons to the British and French royal families stretching back nearly a thousand years to 1080.

Once qualified, Stephen began producing carved stonework for interior design projects around Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Covent Garden in the late 1980’s. His skill and versatility was proven in numerous interior projects over the following decade, including; marble work for The Savoy, carved Egyptian detail for a residential pool complex at South Audley Street, decorative interior marble work for Selfridge’s and interior carving for the dome of the V&A.

Having trained initially in the Anglo-Dutch-Danish/Franco-Flemish styles of sculpture, he took the opportunity, on his craft journey, to combine these disciplines with a newly acquired North Sea school style. Later, he broadened his experience further still under the tutelage of Masters in Italy and elsewhere in Europe who specialised in the Northern Italian Romanesque, Renaissance and Maltese styles of carving. After some years, Stephen consolidated and mastered the techniques and philosophies of all these disciplines and went on to specialise in The English Baroque.

Whilst continuing to produce design pieces, luxury gifts and ornaments for selected clients, Stephen also became highly sought after for more prestigious and high profile architecture and conservation projects. He went on to work at Windsor Castle, The Palace of Westminster, The British Museum, residences of The Sultan of Brunei and The Aga Khan.

Today, Stephen is one of very few craftspeople worldwide who still works with the elite hand tool techniques, craft knowledge and visual proportions traditionally passed down through a Court Masonry apprenticeship. Music, poetry, philosophy and natural form remain the foundations of the proportion of all his work.

Over the course of his illustrious career, he has turned his hand to almost everything possible in the medium of stone but, for Echinus, he chiefly produces small interior pieces, sculpture, ornaments and luxury gifts. His fine carving services are also offered through exclusive partnerships with select clients, such as select boutique hotels and design houses looking to enhance their brand and lifestyle packages.

Stephen’s work continues to span a huge range of design epochs, from the Antique Classical, to the forefront of innovative contemporary design. He remains passionate and enthused about the possibilities of working with stone and the challenges that each new design project brings.

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