Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Art Deco Dove

An Art Deco dove I carved for a client a while ago in the style of Joel Martell.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Stone mason or Freemason?

I am often asked if I am a Freemason, away for the more outlandish ideas some freemasonry historians believe the original Freemasonry movement in Britain, if not the world, originated in medieval times from the stonemasons guilds in London, other parts of the country and Europe.

The stonemasons who built our great cathedrals and churches, grouped together in guilds to practice what they called “the operative art” of masonry. They were originally responsible for the regulation of training and their trade as a whole controlling quality of work, wages, labour conditions and care of the injured and widows. They were an elite class who could travel freely between cities to practice their “art”, unlike serfs who were carefully controlled and restricted. Hence the term “free mason” came into use and fraternity lodges were formed.

However, by the 17th Century the nature of Freemasonry had changed and lodges began to accept members who were not stonemasons and so they became “speculative” rather than “operative” lodges.

Although it is not yet possible to say when, why or where Freemasonry really originated it is known where and when "organized" Freemasonry began. On 24 June 1717 four London lodges came together at the Goose and Gridiron Ale House in St Paul's Churchyard, formed themselves into a Grand Lodge and elected a Grand Master (Anthony Sayer) and Grand Wardens.
For the first few years the Grand Lodge was simply an annual feast at which the Grand Master and Wardens were elected, but in 1721 other meetings began to be held and the Grand Lodge began to be a regulatory body. By 1730 it had more than one hundred lodges under its control (including one in Spain and one in India), had published a Book of Constitutions, began to operate a central charity fund, and had attracted a wide spectrum of society into its lodges.

Over the next two centuries the lodges have completely moved away from the craft of stonemasonry apart from referring to Masons’ tools and artifacts in some of their rituals.

So to answer the original question,no I'm not; although obviously some masons are, there is no direct link today between stonemasonry as a whole, The Worshipful company of Masons and Freemasonry.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Medieval Style Boss

A medieval style boss depicting a cat stalking a small bird in a vine, carved from Cotswold stone.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Newsletter May 2013

Welcome to the new St. Luke's Newsletter. We will be publishing on a monthly basis, introducing you to recently completed projects as well as those currently in progress, and other news from us and related subjects.

After working in the heritage sector and top architects and designers for 30 years we are starting to sell fire surrounds in outlets through out the UK, Continental Europe and North American bringing our unique high quality bespoke service to all, with a possible move in to Asia 2015.

In the UK we have aimed for roughly one outlet per county and are presently developing new ranges for 75% of our target; whilst having secured one in Eastern United States, Canada and nearer to home Paris and Vienna. As a small company of highly skilled craftspeople we will only be placing our products with a select number of outlets and have no wish to expand any further in the future.

Stephen has now returned from working on an in situ carving project near Milan and after a short break is back carving. We are currently working on a range of fire surrounds in Portland stone, Cotswold & Bath stone, Carrara & Nero Marquina marble, Welsh slate and a special bespoke piece using two very rare British stones, Athelstan limestone and Oxford Coral marble, I believe we are the only company to have any stocks of these two stones as the quarries were closed many years ago due to development.

As is usually for this time of year we are also producing finials, classical and contemporary urns and an Italian style fountain. We are also in the the early design stages of a 2 metre tall coat of arms in Portland stone for a new building in South Wales.

Last but not least we are looking forward to welcoming our new apprentice in the next few weeks and hope he finds the craft as interesting, demanding and rewarding as we all do.