Lincoln Cathedral

l1I visited Lincoln Cathedral on the way back from installing a foundation near Liverpool, as I knew there were lots of medieval carvings here. I think this is a really amazing building, made from Lincolnshire Limestone, with some Purbeck marble here and there in the columns. The masons worked on this from 1088-1092, quite a feat and it is thought that £5,000,000/year in today’s money was spent on this. In For 238 years (1311–1549) it was the tallest building in the world until the spire fell in 1549. In 1141 the roof was destroyed in a fire and the building was substantially rebuilt and then in 1185 a large earthquake destroyed all but the Norman west facade, which is amazing, covered in fine carving. As a stonemason and carver I am always drawn to the details after the initial reaction to the structure and scale of buildings like this. The workmanship in the relief carvings is amazing and mind-blowing. The vaulting on the earlier part of the cieling is interesting too, quite experimental, breaking new ground in a somewhat haphazard way it seems, they worked it out better in the later additions, and after various disasters on the way (towers falling down and the like!). At one point the actual Diocese of Lincoln stretched from the Humber to the Thames, and there are seats in the choir area reserved for the vicar of ‘Leighton Bosord’ (Leighton Buzzard, near Luton) for example. The guide that took us around said that to those that saw this cathedral, painted white, gleaming on the hill, would have been so in awe of it – remember that the tallest thing they will have seen prior to seeing this would have been a large oak tree! Enjoy the pictures, some may take a while to load as they’re high res.

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Oulton Church floor plaques

I recently installed a headstone in Oulton churchyard, near Blickling in Norfolk. I found some reather nice plaques in the floor – nothing particularly unusual but really nice lettering, There are a lot of these dark plaques in church floors, and you might think they are slate on first impressions but it is some kind of limestone. It reminds me of Kilkenny limestone or Frosterley ‘marble’ and also Belgian Black. If anyone knows let me know! I love the lettering on these:ImageImageImageImage

I also saw a really old brass plaque from the mid-late 17th century. I love seeing how the spellings have changed over the YEARES:

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HERE LAYE EDMVND BELL – AND KATHERIN HIS WIFE- WHOE THIRTY SIX YEARES – DID LIVE MAN AND WIFE – THAY HAD THREE SONNS – AND DAVGHTERE THREE – FAR WILL (farewell) OVR FREINDS ALL IN – HEAVEN WE HOPE TO SEE 1636.

I rather liked this too:

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Dalton update

Here are a few more pictures of  the wall, taken last week. The rubble infill is there now and I am returning next week to carve an inscription in the coping stones, which went in earlier this week. I am excited to see how it looks with these finishing touches…………ImageImageImageImage

Hospital sculpture update

.1 .2 .3I have just about finished the lettering on this now. It was always my aim to make the lettering quiet free and un-precious on this piece, and it was drawn on in about 2 hours and roughed out quickly. It did take quite a while to go over and refine though but I think cutting the basic layout quickly has given the letters some freedom. I hope that the variety of widths, shapes and spacing is a breath of fresh air rather than too chaotic. The next stage is carving some flowers and plants. I’ll sketch these up next week. Hopefully the foundation will be going in soon, and the finished piece will be in by November.

engrained voices

I have finally finished all the lettercutting for my show in Salthouse Church next month. You can visit the engrained voices website to find out more. There are a few images below – a sneeky preview – I hope you can find timwe to drop in some time over the two week period. The show runs every day from 25 May-9th June from 11am-5pm. There are the following evening events too;

Sunday 26 May 6-8pm
engrained voices exhibition Private View
including Hugh Lupton’s Norfolk Folktales book launch
The official launch of engrained voices with drinks, snacks and storytelling

Friday 31 May 7.30-9.30pm
Storytelling evening: Saints and Scoundrels
Legends of the Norfolk Saints, a rich mixture of piety bloodshed and magic
For Adults and older children (12yrs+)

Friday 7 June 7.30-9.30pm
Storytelling evening: The Mardling Acre
Folk tales, legends and songs from the gossiping acres of East Anglia
For Adults and older children (12yrs+)

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engrained voices

I am currently working towards a show in Salthouse church this summer. I am making a series of pieces that relate to the theme of Norfolk Folktales. I am working with Hugh Lupton, storyteller, and he is helping by compiling a series of texts for me to carve in slate and limestone. The works are at different stages, some designed some carved already, some still being written.

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I have set up a website to promote this show and to record the process. Click here to visit the engrained voices website