Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stone Men

Last night our sketching group visited the studios of Smith & Barber -stone carvers.  They are currently working on the restoration of the West Block of the Parliament Buildings here in Ottawa.  Their specific contributions is the replication of various architectural ornaments and details.

They work in an amazingly traditional manner - mallet and chisel on stone, with incredible precision.

Phillip Smith stayed late to let us in and in talking to him his passion for stone carving was evident and infectious.

I was taken by some of the "green men", sort male nymphs or fairies which became part of the Gothic lexicon of ornament, but have much longer origins back to the Celts.

I invited my sketching friends Marc and Laurel to come all the way from Montreal ( a 2 hour drive) and they did!   A gift to me for their company. They made friends, as they usually do and documented the evening with Laurel's photos and Marc's sketches.  More to come, no doubt, this summer at the Stone Carving Festival.

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