Awards & prizes
The European Stone Festival is an annual event which pits the skills of stone carvers from around Europe against each other in a speed-carving competition over two days. Around 150 entrants take part, from twenty or more countries. I have won first prize at the festival four times, in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018: more times than any other carver; and to date only one other British carver has ever taken the title. I have also won first prize at the Journées de la Pierre festival, an important biennial gathering of French stone carvers.
Here are some of my entries for those competitions. Each is the product of about 16‒18 hours’ carving, using hand tools only.
European Stone Festival, Saverne 2018
In 2018 I reclaimed my title as champion carver of the European Stone Festival, winning the top prize for the fourth time in the last six years.
This year in Saverne, France, 146 entrants took part, from Scotland to Hungary, Lithuania, Cyprus, and many countries in between.
This year's theme was 'Mythical Beasts'. My winning entry was a section of string course with a small ship floating on the upper 'sea' surface, and an octopus-type sea-monster reaching up through the moulded section to pull it down. The stone is the local sandstone 'Grès des Vosges'. Approx 17 hours' carving (hand tools only).
European Stone Festival, Salzburg 2016
In 2016 I reclaimed my title as champion carver of the European Stone Festival, winning the top prize for the third time in four years.
This year the theme was 'From the Romanesque to the Modern'. This is my carving of a column capital in Romanesque (i.e. Norman) style, of a modern stonemason creating swirling volutes of dust as he cuts with an angle grinder into a block of stone. The stone is an Austrian shelly limestone reminiscent of Cotswold stone. Approx 17 hours' carving (hand tools only).
European Stone Festival, Freiburg 2014
In 2014, the theme was 'Flora and Fauna of the Black Forest'. Below is my carving of an octagonal pilaster capital featuring a squirrel eating a fir come on a branch with sprigs of larch needles - which won me the title, created by the festival for that year, of 'Overall Festival Winner'. The stone is the local 'Schilfsandstein' red sandstone.
Approx 17 hours' carving (hand tools only).
European Stone Festival, Lincoln 2013
Journées de la Pierre, Vernon 2007