Stonemasonry training has continued in spite of Covid19 restrictions.

Examples of work undertaken in the past few months by two students from Moulton College and one from City & Guilds of London Art School, working from home, illustrates the determination of craft students – at different levels of development – to succeed and progress their careers.

Freya Morris is a Level 1 Diploma student in Stonemasonry at Moulton College. She says:

Drapery by Freya Morris

Having finished my final piece for my Level 1 Diploma in Stonemasonry, it was suggested by the tutors at Moulton College that I attempt a drapery piece. This, they felt, would not only improve my observational skills but would also reinforce a careful and methodical approach to carving, which had constantly been impressed upon me and my fellow students on the course.  With the help of the college staff (to whom I am very grateful), I was able to create a plaster mould of a piece of cloth and build a wooden frame which I used to transpose measurements and depths from the plaster cloth across to the final piece, before the college closed due to the Covid-19 at the end of March. I am very fortunate in that I have a small workshop at home, so I was able to continue to work on my piece despite not being able to attend college. The college was very good in ensuring that I had all the tools I needed to continue with the carving and spent time with me explaining how I should proceed. I definitely found this piece stretching, but it was hugely satisfying seeing the drapery slowly emerge from the stone”.

Andrew Waite is a mature entry Level 2 Stonemasonry student at Moulton College. Andrew embarked upon a ‘self -portrait’ – reflecting life under Covid 19 – for his first-ever stone carving project. He reports:

Self portrait by Andrew Waite

“The sculpture is a Covid19 lockdown self-portrait, squeezed inside an inverted keystone block. It is my first attempt at a stone sculpture since starting my course in September 2019 and is intended to represent the pressures of the unusual circumstances we are currently experiencing“.

Yeoman Mason Emma Sheridan is a student at City & Guilds of London Art School on a three year degree course. She says:

Lion’s Head by Emma Sheridan

We were given the project of copying by eye a plaster cast of a small lion’s head roundel in a French Lavoux limestone. The original carving from which the cast was taken was a small misericord carved in wood, which can be found in St. Hugh’s Choir in Lincoln Cathedral. I spent 5 days carving the small lion from start to finish”.

Finally, Trustees of the Craft Fund have been in contact with all the colleges about how they are managing the ‘lockdown’ situation, and remain flexible in assisting with the training of students

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