Encouraging creativity

20 July, 2015 – 8:24 pm

I was invited to have a display at a school in Cheltenham for their careers and inspiration week. Talking to young people who are embarking on the next step to ‘big’ school. Hopefully seeing that maths and drawing, art and building can all be used to forge a career will spark something in their minds for their future choices!

This week sees the start of my HAGS short for ‘Have a go at Stonemasonry’ children and adults alike can come and try their hand at carving stone.

I offer two choices either to have a 20-30minute go where you can try your hand at carving-this activity gives you only the experience to take home and costs just £5.

For the more adventurous there is the £15 option, I give you a quick go on the larger pieces of stone and then you can design something and carve it onto both sides of a 4inch square piece of stone. This activity takes about 45 minutes and you get to take your carving home with you.

Here are a few ideas from previous participants; hearts, butterflies, cupcakes, cars, robots, dragons and crocodiles.

The stone comes from Veizeys Quarry nr Tetbury in South Gloucestershire, it is my favourite Cotswold stone with a honey colour.

I must advise you to wear sturdy shoes or bring some to change into. I can’t allow you to carve in flip flops or sandals. I will provide you with safety goggles and I have eyebath on standby-just in case.

I look forward to meeting you and seeing what your imagination brings.


Designing a tracery panel

13 July, 2015 – 5:41 pm

I have decided to design a tracery panel in the shape of an ellipse with 4 angels flying around the centre.

It is important to flex my technical drawing ability and show you the other side of my creativity.

I have started with the compass method to draw the ellipse but I didn’t like the way the ends curved so I decided to use the trammel method which gives a much more satisfactory shape and is pretty straight forward.

Once I had the outline in place I was able to put in the extra lines to identify where the levels will be and ultimately drop down to create the shapes.

The Angels follow the shape of the ellipse and dead eyes naturally appear.

I have created the section (imagine a slice of cake) which gives me the various layers.

This is a project that I will be working on between commissions but I will update with more photos when I have something to show you. The stone is Portland limestone-ideal for good crisp edges.


Recent projects

9 July, 2015 – 5:36 pm

Today I have had the pleasure of working out in the sunshine. I have carved a house name into a newly renovated wall. The lovely paint colour was chosen by my client to complement the colour of the gates, downpipes, door furniture etc.

Here are a few photos of items I have been working on and what I have available in my shop.




Back to normal

29 May, 2015 – 10:12 am

The excitement of the Gloucester Stone Carving festival is almost behind us now, I still have some bills to pay and then I will be able to announce how much there is to give to The Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust.

For now however I am able to knuckle down and get back on with the day to day running of Cat’s Eye Carving.

I have three lettering pieces that I gilded last week and so when I return to work tomorrow, 30th May I will be able to complete them. There are several large commissions that I am champing at the bit to start and obviously I need to get on and carve some lovely new pieces for the shop.

I hope to see you soon.


Gloucester Stone Carving Festival

17 May, 2015 – 11:01 am

Hello everyone, I have been organising the festival now for the last 6mths and in less than a week we’ll be setting it all up, I have pop-up shops and activities including my ever popular have a goes. I am joined this time by one of the  Gloucester Cathedral Stonemasons, Neil. There is a donations bin and all money raised will go into the festival pot for future events.

There are 24 stonemasons carving at this years event and the theme is wild animals-which is why I carved is an elephant for the raffle prize, tickets are just £2.

As you may be aware from 2013 the calibre of carvings was very high and so I look forward to the auction this year which will take place on Sunday 24th May at 3pm. We have a professional auctioneer who has kindly offered his time and skill to help us raise as much money as possible for The Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust. Bidding will start at £50 and I can accept cash and credit card payments.

If you wish to find more details please visit my dedicated website www.stonecarvingfestival.co.uk

I look forward to seeing you there.