Hi everyone, I am pleased to announce that I am starting to organise this years stone carving festival.
With work progressing well at The Llanthony Secunda Priory, there will be plenty to celebrate in August as the site becomes ready to welcome visitors as an historic visitor attraction. You can visit their website, please click on the above link or their facebook page please click here for informatoin about their ongoing projects and to get involved with this beautiful site.
I hope to attract over 20 stonemasons who will carve some of the original stone taken from the old stable block and some newly quarried Cotswold stone. The theme this year is mythical creatures and I will be carving a beastie as a raffle prize. The skilled stonemasons will have the Sat/Sun and Mon morning to complete their creations before offering them up for the grand live auction on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. Here you will be able to bid on your favourite carving and if you win then you can take home a magnificent piece of original artwork. The profit from the auction will be given to the Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust in order to help their ongoing efforts to maintain this wonderful site.
This will be my third festival on this site and I am very excited that I have a small part to play in their restoration work.
I first visited the Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester in 1999 when I moved to Gloucestershire to take my position as the first female apprentice at Gloucester Cathedral and I fell in love with this poor neglected site.
I became an apprentice as a result of work experience at Canterbury Cathedral after completing my degree in fine art and sculpture. In July 1999 a few of the Canterbury Cathedral masons visited Gloucester Cathedral to take part in their stonemason’s festival . It was here that they found out about the apprenticeship and suggested that I apply.
My first experience of a Cathedral Stonemason’s festival was in the Summer of 2000 at York Minster, I was recovering from a severe injury to my left hand which ultimately forced me to give up being an employed stonemason and which is the main reason I am now a self-employed stonemason/sculptor. This event was the first carving I did on returning to work after my convalescence. The next event in 2002 was in Germany and I won the 3rd year apprentice prize out of 120 masons from 9 different countries.
In 2008 I organised my first festival at Harts Barn Craft centre where I started my life as a self-employed stone carver, we managed to raise some profit for our local charities which prompted me to organise a second on in 2009, I also took part in the Highnam Court Spring fair and a stonemasons festival in Trondheim in Norway. This was a busy year for me and I decided that I would wait until I organised my next event.
I took part in a stonemasons festival at York Minster in 2010 and it was here that I decided to start organising my event again. In 2011/12 I consulted on the stonemason’s festival that took place at St Lawrence’s Church in Ludlow, these were both a huge success for the Church and I was able to start collecting information for my next event. In 2012 I won both prizes for my carving and this was the last stonemason’s festival I took part in.
In 2013 I organised my first festival at The Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester, it was scary and exciting, we managed to make a profit which was shared between the Priory Trust and the Gloucester Geology Trust. In 2015 my event became slightly larger and it was after this event that the Priory Trust received the good news that they had been successful in their Heritage Lottery bid.
Now 3 yrs on I am going to be organising the next festival which will celebrate the relaunch of this beautiful site. 10yrs after my first stonemason’s festival.
I look forward to welcoming you to the Gloucester Stone Carving Festival.