Friday, January 30, 2009

Merry go round - New craft

It's time for another ride on the merry-go-round! Jump on and join a group of artists/crafts-women as they link around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art and craft.

This month's question that myself and 8 other women will answer is " If you had the time/money etc etc, what new craft or art would you like to try this new year?"

Well this one doesn't take much thinking about for me. I would love to try stone masonry - particularly stone carving of large figures.

My interest in stone masonry was first sparked from reading Ken Follett's book "Pillars of the Earth" all about the building of a Gothic cathedral and the lives of the people involved. It is one of my favourite books of all time. I just loved it.

You learn a lot about stone masonry in the book - how they cut the stones, how they do the sculpting, how they discovered flying buttresses and lots of other things ........A great architectural novel but also a wonderful story with fascinating characters.

Add to the book that I sing in cathedrals and since reading the book, I spend more and more time looking at the architecture and details in the cathedrals, so I just think it would be wonderful to take some classes in stone masonry with a bent on cathedrals - those gothic vaults and arches, the windows.... . I know it takes years to learn a skill like that - and that's not what I want.I just want an understanding of what is involved and then I know I will be in even more awe! We have these enormous cathedrals in England build hundreds of years ago with very few tools and I would like to experience just part of how they were created.

And to be able to sculpt a gargoyle that would sit somewhere for hundreds of years - wow - I would just love that!!! Yes, I love my little jewelry sculptures but the large scale of things in a cathedral would just be so cool!

When I was back in England last spring I saw a demonstration by the stone masons at Gloucester cathedral and all the restoration work they were doing there. I spoke to one of them about his training and apprenticeship and how long it takes to learn all the precise skills......gosh - it just sounds wonderful......

Anyhow - I'll continue to dream about gargoyles and huge sculpted figures of saints and angels....

Take a look at what new craft the others on the merry go round blog would love to try.......

Please check my blog entry for Monday 26th January and enter my competition!


'fancypicnic' said...

So much to say, Ruth!
Writing this merrygoround post has put me in the mood to get creating. It's great to have this focus every month.
Stonemasonry??? Wow!! I love cathedrals, and I'm always fascinated by the butresses, the cloisters...that's what comes from growing up in Gloucester!!!

Lovely read, Ruth - and congratulations on your FP!

Easterya said...

Carving and sculpting is just too awesome for words, and I truly understand the passion you have for it. I love gothic cathedrals, and the way treasures like small gargoyles are not immediately visible... ornate and over-the-top, just my thing!!!

meherio68 said...

When I see what you make out of art clay, I really look forward to seeing your gargoyles!

florcita said...

I loooooooove that book too! Did you red the following one?
there is a book by a spanish author called.. "the church by the sea" I think that itÅ› name (I'll look it up) about the building of a church in Barcelona. It isn't as "technical" as Follet's book though... but a good read anyways.
Stone carving has always had to me a bit of a ... sacred look. I don't know, like it is a skill learnt for years and passed on from man to man... maybe I just have the mental picture of the medieval stone masons. Great challenge and I wish you all the luck with it!

Ruth said...

I have read the sequel to the book - World without End. I liked it - but not as much as Pillars.

Now who can I choose to be my gargoyle model I wonder?????

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

Wow, stone masonry... that would be great! Although I wouldn't know where to start!!

When I was at art college I had a friend who worked in stone masonary, I was so amazed at how smoothe a finish he could get with his hammer and chisle... it was truely inspirational to watch him work.

Maybe we should do a follow up group post on what new things we have been able to try this year?


Ruth said...

That sounds like a great idea Sara. Maybe we can all keep a log of new things we learn and the end of next year we can post about them!