A Kingston stonemason’s busy summer

A very busy summer for yours truly. After a much needed family holiday in Devon and then a belated Scandinavian honeymoon for Jacqui and me, I returned home to Kingston in South London and hit the ground running, with barely a day off until now. Here’s a run down of what I’ve been working on.

Twickenham Green Man

This is a drawing for a Green Man carving for a client in Twickenham which I’m really pleased with. The finished sculpture should look superb and I may well also carve it as a water-feature for my own garden, probably in Elm Park Bath stone which has a beautiful finish.

Twickenham Green Man sculpture

Twickenham Green Man

 

Kingston Caps

Apart from drawing and designing I was also asked to produce some carved capitals for a bay window in Kingston near my home. Modest Victorian 2 bedroom houses are being bought up all over South London as the housing boom continues and old, neglected terraced houses are being spruced up. Many bay windows were sliced off and hideous things put in their place. I had to do a little detective work to find out what the carving should look like so I started with the following photograph from a neighbouring house. It was the best quality cap in the street …

Original cap

… and it was enough for me to go on, to carve two new ones capitals from scratch:

Bay window capital for a house in Kingston

Bay window capital for a house in Kingston

And here they are side by side. Please note the one on the left is unfinished.

Bay window capitals

Bay window capitals for a bay window restoration in Kingston

Wimbledon Revisited

I also returned to a wonderful house in Wimbledon village, a very grand building where I’ve contributed steps, coursed-rubble walling, architectural masonry, cladding and conservation techniques.

Below, is a photograph of part of the garden landscaping I’ve been building in stone. You can see the new Doulting coursed-rubble walling, the curved York stone steps and in the ground some St Bees pad stones which have been buried in the ground and are to take the weight of some hefty steels uprights to support an over-head walkway.

Wimbledon garden featuring coursed-rubble walling in Doulting limestone, York stone steps and St Bees Sandstone pad stones

Coursed-rubble walling in Doulting limestone, York stone steps and St Bees Sandstone pad stones

And here the walkway has been installed. The steels are now set in the pad stones (each of which weighed a quarter of a ton).

Wimbledon finished

On the opposite side, out of shot, are more steels supporting the walkway. I was asked to clad these in Doulting stone (rather than St Bees), the idea being to make them look like a solid limb of stone.

Steels support clad in Doulting stone

Wimbledon garden steels support clad in Doulting stone

We also put in some beautiful front steps in Ancaster Buff limestone. Here they are in the process of being installed. These are bullnosed (half-round) on the front. The Ancaster quarry is in Doncaster, Yorkshire. We bedded them on lime and sand. They’ll last several lifetimes.

Steps

Door frames have now been fitted into the doorways that I converted from the original windows. The photo below shows the three stages from window, to door opening, to finished door. This has been a huge and enjoyable project with the highest spec and standards and has had some excellent tradesmen involved with it. Please contact me should you need any recommendations for carpenters or glaziers.

Wimbledon Doorway 3

Wimbledon house window to doorway conversion

Richmond church letter carving

There are many strings to a mason’s bow, and I did undertake some letter carving in situ in a church in Richmond recently. You can just see the temporary guidelines I created to make sure my carving is straight. The typeface had to follow the previous mason’s. The slate is Cumbrian slate.

Richmond church letter carving

Richmond church letter carving

Creating a string course for a stately home in Richmond

Part of a string course for a house in Richmond

Part of a string course for a stately home in Richmond

Another commission was a huge string-course for a stately home in Richmond. There were some incredibly fiddly (4mm) fillets to do. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a fillet as a narrow portion of the surface of a column left between adjoining flutes.

So now you know ;). Anyway, they were huge and I had six meters to carve. The photo below shows the block of stone part of the way through the preparation work. It’s mainly a question of taking out geometric chunks of the stone to reveal a ‘Minecraft’ version of the finished stone – all blocky and square. How I do the curved mouldings are a secret …

String course Richmond

 

  1. Brian Pomeroy said:

    HI there

    Love your ‘Kingston Caps’ Could you suggest a ball park figure for making these?

    Kind regards

Reply to Brian Pomeroy



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