Donington manor repairs

Most of my work over many years has been the creation of large scale public art sculpture. Predominantly these sculptures have been in carved stone although occasionally in glass and concrete. Over the years I have taught myself some of the fine arts of working stone including designing and carving letters and carrying out some very tricky stone masonry projects.

When a lorry baked into the 250 year old pillar cap on the wall of the Donington Manor Hotel in Leicestershire, the stone shattered into a dozen pieces and was deemed irreparable. I was asked to visit the damaged pillar cap and subsequently asked to replace it. I set to work creating the template and ordered the stone. The stone, a pink/red sandstone weighed in at almost 1 tonne before I set to work on it. Within a couple of weeks the stone was complete and ready to fit.

Other stonemasonry projects that I have completed in recent times include the signage for the Thomas Cook Almshouses in Melbourne, Derbyshire, the seating in the grounds of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre and the perching benches in the grounds of Melbourne Hall, also in Derbyshire.

Stonemasonry requires a very different way of working to sculpture. For a project such as this, the creation of an accurate template and recording the measurements is crucial./ In sculpture, I feel there is more freedom and creativity, licence to move away from the preconceived idea and find new or refined shapes in the stone. There is no such freedom when you have to make one pillar cap look like another ! Nonetheless, I enjoy the discipline and very often the end product which is always required to be clinically accurate.

Very satisfying. But not sculpture !