Stonecarving in Windlesham with Simon Keeley - Surrey Creations
- Credit: Archant
With his award-winning skills and infectious enthusiasm, it’s no surprise that Windlesham-based stone carver Simon Keeley is much in demand. Here he reveals the tricks of his trade
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2016
Back in his 20s, a passion for art and the BBC Antiques Roadshow led Simon Keeley to Lincoln Art College to study conservation and restoration. Bowled over by the carvings in the city’s cathedral, he later went on to tackle advanced stone masonry at York Technical College.
“When I was holding my mallet and chisel and made my first contact with the stone, it was love at first chip,” laughs the Windlesham-based stone carver. “It was also a reconnection to my great grandfather, who was a master memorial mason.”
Since then, he’s never looked back and, over the last 20 years, has been commissioned to work on many great buildings and gardens around Europe.
“I still find it amazing that I can take a block of stone and, with traditional techniques, create a magnificent three-dimensional stone carving,” he says. “These stone carvings will continue to exist way beyond the lives of my great grandchildren.”
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From work on Westminster Abbey to a highly-praised commission for Harley Street, his creations come in all shapes and sizes – the latest being a large-scale chess piece, carved in Portland limestone, and delivered to a private art collector in Lincolnshire.
We wouldn’t be surprised if viewers of the Antiques Roadshow are discussing Simon Keeley originals in a hundred years’ time…
• For more on Simon Keeley, visit simonkeeley.co.uk
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Surrey Creations is a series by local photographer, Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image. Contact Philip at email@example.com
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