Carving student’s cat corbel in Evening Standard

The work of Historic Carving student, Miriam Johnson, was featured in the Evening Standard on Friday 6 July 2018, when the newspaper published an article about a new stone corbel depicting Doorkins Magnificat, the renowned stray cat, and social media sensation, adopted by vergers at Southwark Cathedral ten years ago.


Miriam designed and carved the corbel head as part of a collaborative competition, organised by City & Guilds of London Art School and Southwark Cathedral, to create corbel heads to replace eroded corbels on the North Quire aisle of the Cathedral. The work of four of our  Historic Carving students was chosen to be mounted alongside existing corbel heads and will be fixed on the wall in the next few weeks.

Edgar Ward’s corbel design was amongst the other three chosen to be installed at the Cathedral. His design depicts PC Wayne Marques, the British Transport Police Officer who was injured whilst protecting the public in the London Bridge terror attack on 3 June 2017.  Edgar met Wayne at a London Craft Week event at the Cathedral in May this year and during a major event commemorating the anniversary of the attacks, attended by Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan, the corbels were blessed by the Dean in anticipation of their installation.



Edgar Ward with PC Wayne Marques at Southwark Cathedral 

The two other winners of the corbel head design competition were Sue Aperghis and Lily Marsh.

The design and carving competition brief specified that the new corbel designs should be relevant to daily life and spirit of the Cathedral and should resonate with a contemporary audience. Tim Crawley, Art School’s Head of Historic Carving, commented, ‘These designs show that the restoration of our stone buildings  can provide an opportunity to make work that is both respectful of its historic context, as well as relevant to the present day.’

The Art School has collaborated with Southwark Cathedral for a number of years as part of an extensive restoration project at the Cathedral. Live projects like this act as invaluable career preparation for the Historic Carving students on our Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma courses.

Other collaborations between City & Guilds of London Art School and Southwark Cathedral include the carving and replacement of 43 stiff-leaf bosses on the upper parapets of the Quire, in August and September 2017. Carving took place in the south churchyard, adjacent to the famous Borough Market, watched by visitors who took a great interest in seeing this historic craft in action. The project was featured on BBC London News.

Live commissions recently undertaken by Historic Carving and Conservation students at the City & Guilds of London Art School also include the design and carving of a wooden, gilded frame in the Auricular style for a Van Dyke portrait in the Bowes museum near Durham, a woodcarving of Roald Dahl’s Roly-Poly Bird, commissioned by Dahl’s grandson, Ned Donovan and the conservation of a range of exquisite historic objects from the highly-regarded Portland Collection at Welbeck Abbey.


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