Friday 4th August 2017
Three stonemasons from Exeter Cathedral will travel to Norway next week to take part in an international festival dedicated to their craft.
The trio will swap the 14th century gothic architecture of the Cathedral for the “Steinhoggerfestivalen” in Oslo which begins on 11th August. For three days they will join stonemasons from around the world in carving Norwegian stone using only hand tools, with the final pieces eventually unveiled to members of the public.
Matt Hoskins joined the team at Exeter Cathedral in 2013 after gaining experience working on other historic buildings, and is looking forward to his first stone carving festival. He said:
“I am really excited to meet some new people, have a great time and to see what I can carve at Steinhoggerfestivalen. It’s also a great opportunity for us all to share our experiences of working here at Exeter and some of the challenges that come with helping to conserve such a historic building for future generations”.
The competition in Norway has no set theme and offers all the masons the chance to explore their creative side in a way that their Cathedral employment doesn’t always allow, as stonemason Anna Steinmetzer explains:
“We spend a lot of time producing and restoring architectural stonework, and any stone carving needs to follow carefully planned and agreed designs. We have already learned a lot as a team from some of our recent projects and we’re all looking forward to putting those skills into practice in the festival.”
Joe Milne (Advanced Apprentice Stonemason) completes the line-up. Joe attended Steinhoggerfestivalen in 2016 and recently won the David Collier Draughtsmanship Prize and 2nd year prize at the Weymouth College Boss Stone Competition.
The Cathedral’s works department is responsible for the care and conservation of the building and employs five stonemasons. Their current projects include the carving of a new pinnacle at the top of the East Gable, as well as conservation work along the roof of the South Quire Aisle.