AGM 2018, held at The Art Workers’ Guild.

Following the closed session we opened the doors to welcome guests, Jane Short MBE gave an illustrated talk on her work as an enameler and her involvement with Enamelling Associations and Societies. Thought provoking, not only for the wonder of her work but also for the manner heritage craft and contemporary making are both respected and honoured, allowing for experience, skill and knowledge to inform creativity and innovation.
This was followed by lunch in convivial company. Lively conversation and suggestions for how to prepare for Gibbons 2021.


President Nick Roberson represented the MCA at the Listed Property Owners’ Club Show, Edinburgh, 27th October 2018

President Nick Roberson represented the MCA at the Listed Property Owners’ Club Show

Master Carvers’ Association Outing to Nostell Priory, 7’th October, 2018

Everyone was delighted by the visit and appreciative of the trouble taken by Simon McCormack and Amanda Chinneck to help us understand and enjoy the research and display.
Added to the insight provided, I also found the conversations we had amongst ourselves rewarding.
Gone are the days when busy workshops provided an education through bench-lore, the aural history of our craft handed across and down the ranks of carving benches. These “outings” and gatherings are an opportunity to hear the wisdom of Masters.
Colleagues, modest and unassuming, have huge talent, knowledge and skills that should be passed on to practitioners. Hearing their comments on the overmantel, not only pointing out details but explaining their relevance, added to the value of the day.

Overmantel ornament; – the space it occupied has quite a complex history and quite a number of later layers of significance which we are in the process of getting to grips with – but wonderful that it has survived!

Outing to Nostell Priory

AGM and 120’th Anniversary, 10’th November, 2017, held at The Art Workers’ Guild.

After 25+ years as Honorary Secretary, Paul Ferguson has stepped down.
On behalf of the whole membership, we thanked Paul and Jessie for the service they have jointly given the MCA.
Newly elected President, Nick Roberson, sourced and presented two 18’th Century wine glasses.

Nick Roberson is the newly elected President;

Following on from the AGM we greeted our invited guests to the 120 Anniversary celebration which members might have noticed mentioned in Country Life with a thumbnail image taken off the web-site.

We did not ask for anyone to photograph the event so are unable to share the happy occasion.
It was a happy occasion!

As a prelude to next years Chippendale Tercentenary Exhibition a “pop-up” exhibition gave a small insight to the work we do and Paul showed the music stand he is making.

Jonathan Louth, Architect, gave an unaccompanied recital from the music stand that was well received and bodes well for more performances next year, by when we anticipate a sextet of stands, at least.

The food provided by Rosemary was complimented by all, Elspeth, The Guild Steward, could not have been more friendly, accommodating and welcoming.

July 2017, Summer Outing to Firle Place, East Sussex

The MCA members and guests were treated to a fabulous tour of Firle Place by internationally respected art consultant and curator of the collection Debo Gage.

Winner of the 2017 Master Carvers Association Prize for Carving
The annual Master Carvers Association Prize for the Best Carving at the City and Guilds of London Art School was won this year by stone carver Sam Elgar. The winning carving was designed by Sam, inspired by the baroque keystone heads common in 18th century Paris. After modelling the piece full-size in clay he carved it in a fine grained Portland limestone. This year the prize was judged by Francois Loudwig and Matthew Pack, and there was little discussion about which carving would take the prize.

Sam came to the School after 5 years in the masonry trade, having apprenticed at Chichester Cathedral Works. His original interest in carving began with a visit to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Sussex, where 2 students from the School were demonstrating carving to the public. At the time he had just enrolled on a Fine Art course, but decided to change track to pursue his newfound interest. Its 8 years later as Sam embarks on the next phase of his career.”

Winner of the 2016 Master Carvers Association Prize for Carving
The Master Carvers Annual Prize for the highest achieving wood or stonecarving graduate at the City and Guilds of London Art School was this year awarded to Felix Handley. Like many of the students on the course, Felix attended the course as a mature student, wishing to learn the skills of carving and the associated disciplines of observational drawing, modelling and lettering that are taught on the 3 year Diploma. This followed an earlier Fine Art Degree at Camberwell.

At the end of his second year, Felix won the Brinsley-Ford Award for Drawing in Rome. This is a generous new award to carving students covering all expenses for an extended study visit. Whilst in Rome Felix visited the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, where he made measured drawings of a Roman marble Trapezophoro (table support). This formed his major project for his final year, and involved modelling the piece in clay and casting in plaster, before carving in it Portland Stone.

The MCA Summer outing to Winchester, 17 June 2016
We were treated to a tour of the ceiling bosses at Winchester Cathedral kindly organised by Ruth McNeilage whose conservation practice has been removing the over-painting to reveal the original colours. The work is nearing completion and it was a rare opportunity to view the bosses close up. There was much discussion on the style and subjects of the bosses.
After a good lunch at the Wykeham Arms we walked on to The Hospital of St Cross where there is a wonderful Norman church. The choir stalls have some interesting carvings that were worth the walk to see.


Winner of the 2015 Master Carvers Association Prize for Carving

Amelia Crowley-Roth receiving the Master Carvers Association prize of £300 from Association President Hugh Wedderburn. The prize is awarded annually at the graduation ceremony at the City & Guilds Art School for the most outstanding carving be it in wood or stone. This year Amelia’s carved and gilded mirror and games table impressed the judges the most.



LPS Harrogate

MCA members Nick Roberson and Ricardo Rodriguez on the MCA stand at the Listed Property Show, March 2015.