BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

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This three-year course accredited by the Ravensbourne University London is designed to prepare you for work as a professional stone carver. Graduates usually progress to employment within the field of architectural heritage.

The curriculum focuses on the wide range of skills required to become a professional stone carver. These include not only carving techniques, but also drawing, modelling, casting, portraiture, artistic anatomy, ornament study, gilding, geology, professional practice, heraldry, design and the history of carving in architecture and sculpture. You will also be introduced to stone repair and restoration techniques and to related conservation practices and ethics.

The full details can be found in the Course Handbook.



First Year

The first year lays the foundations for the development of your carving, study and research skills. Simple masonry and carving exercises start from first principles and enable you to develop skills in a progressive manner, whilst simultaneously introducing you to the ornamental vocabulary of the stone carver. In the Drawing Studio, structured courses support you to develop observation and technique, whilst your modelling and casting skills are developed in relief and portrait study. Lettering study initially covers the construction and design of letterforms, before moving into cutting in stone. Art Histories lectures and assignments will support you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the historical context of stone carving and architectural ornament.

Second Year

The second year continues the pattern of the first year in its combination of stone carving practice supported by the study of drawing, modelling and lettering in tutor led sessions. The basic skills and understanding you developed in the first year are now applied to the production of more complex ornamental forms, as well as drapery and the human figure. Study visits and Art Histories lectures will provide you with an essential insight in to the meaning and significance of historical forms of ornament.

Art Histories Tutor, Michael Paraskos, will lead you on study visits to some of London’s significant historic buildings. In this Zoom conversation, he explains how students benefit from experiencing a building first-hand.

Third Year

The final year of study involves you in the planning, researching and execution of major projects within your own chosen specialist area. The projects provide you with the challenge and opportunity to demonstrate your technical expertise, design skills and aesthetic awareness, supported by evidence of your historical and contextual research presented in your sketchbooks, three dimensional studies, dissertation and in your portfolio documentation. The final year culminates in a public exhibition of work produced.

Professional Practice

Career development and professional practice seminars cover subjects such as estimating, marketing and websites, working to commission, and setting up a workshop. Live projects support your portfolio development and provide valuable opportunities to learn about the commissioning process first hand.

Teaching Team

All the tutors are well-established professionals who work on some of the country’s most prestigious projects alongside teaching in the department. This ensures that the course is outward looking and highly vocational, while the tutors provide a network of professional contacts. The Department has an unusually high ratio of staff to students, ensuring that each student has the regular contact and support that the learning of carving demands.


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