Getting hands on with stone masonry

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A small group of S1 pupils had the opportunity to give stone carving and dry stone dyking a try as part of the Land of Stone Exhibition currently showing at The Lighthouse.

Six pupils from Trinty High School in Renfrew were given the opportunity to gain first hand experience of what it is like to be a stone mason. The day began with a tour of the ‘Land of Stone’ exhibition at The Lighthouse. The exhibition looks at how stone is formed, quarried and used in Scotland. After studying the exhibition, the group listened to a talk from a stone mason from Historic Scotland and participated in a question and answer session. Different skills and techniques were discussed as well as the process of how to train to become a stone mason.

The group then had the opportunity to get hands on, and had a shot at being a stone mason for themselves. The first activity looked at how to build a dry stone dyke by using miniature pieces of stone tightly held together with no mortar. The second activity allowed the participants to design a mason’s mark (a carved symbol often found on stone buildings) then carve their design into a real piece of stone using a chisel and mallet.

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This workshop was facilitated by the Sust. programme with the help of Historic Scotland on behalf of Renfrewshire council’s StepUp programme. StepUp provides useful life skills and training through participation in arts based workshops. Young people gain self-confidence and social skills and are better equipped to make a positive change in their own lives.

This workshop was part of a six week project ‘Stone Rocks’ which was a hands-on project investigating stone and its uses in architecture. StepUp delivered this project as part of the redevelopment of Renfrew Town Hall, and was part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery.

To find out more about StepUp, click here

The Land of Stone Exhibition will run until October 2011 at The Lighthouse, Glasgow.

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