Clerk of the Works Blog: Supplement | Salisbury Cathedral

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Clerk of the Works Blog: Supplement

Posted By : Gary Price Monday 1st February 2016

Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t post a blog for January, I can assure you it’s not for lack of news and February’s promises to be packed, but for the past few weeks a lot of my time has been going into a specific project and I can now tell you what that was.


Cathedral workshops and cathedrals in general, I suppose, much like any organisations who have far flung outposts, tend to be a bit of a network. We share information, best practices and helpful advice if one of us is branching out into an area in which another is already well experienced and so we build up a knowledge of where and who is best to approach for certain things. The network effect can also extend to people and when our former Head Mason Chris Sampson left, he took a position at Exeter Cathedral and then went on to become their Clerk of the Works.


Chris knew that on rare occasions I have made Purbeck marble bowls and, when Exeter thought one could be used as a font bowl standing on a very graceful tripod of arched wooden legs, they contacted me.


I’ve put together a sequence of making the bowl in the gallery that goes with this article, the first few stages are missing as I must admit I was concentrating more on ensuring the block of Purbeck remained central as I cut and turned it, but you can still see it emerging into a very different shape from the starting stone.


Once the bowl was fully formed one of my masons, Alan Spittle (who is also gracing the cover of this year’s Sponsor a Stone brochure) cut the symbol of the Holy Trinity, which Exeter had specified they wanted in the bottom. He also painted the design with gold paint so it will show up very well against the polished stone and through the water.


Click here for the news story.

Click here for the gallery.