Woodcarving Workshop

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Date(s) - 20/04/2022
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Bridlington Priory Rooms


The following information is about a past event which took place on Saturday 20th April.

The monastic Priory must have been a hive of craft activity in stone, wood, glass and much more. To commemorate this, Priory 900 organized a series of workshops on alternate Saturdays throughout the season. Each workshop offered a small group the chance to work with an expert and practise some of the skills involved.

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Workshop Leader: Alex Sheldon (East Riding College)

The wanton destruction at the Priory at the time of the Dissolution in 1537/8 means that there is very little left of the fine medieval woodwork. But it may well be that some of it was removed for safe keeping; for example, there is a strong possibility that the rood screen at Flamborough St Oswalds’s Church came from the Priory, and there is a pew end in a church in Staffordshire which appears to show the shrine form the Priory. Certainly, there was a strong tradition of fine woodcarving which was revived for the restoration of the Priory in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Priory also contains furniture and fittings carved by the well-known firm of Robert Thompson, the ‘Mouseman’.

Alex Sheldon is a young and aspiring tradesman who has been involved within various areas of Construction during his career. He has a passion for teaching and is one of the top performing tutors within the college. His dedication to the learners and sharing his own unique brand of learning makes Alex a valuable asset for teaching on this course. His interest in Heritage Skills is strong and he has developed very effective skills in the teaching of woodcarving over the past few years.

East Riding College is well placed for learning within the Heritage Skills sector. The Construction curriculum has responded well to the need for developing a range of traditional craft skills to ensure that these valuable industries are not lost. The college offers training in both Woodcarving and Stonecarving. These are delivered in small groups to ensure that an individual high quality learning experience is maintained for all.

The Aims of the Workshop
Participants created a small piece of relief carving in timber related to the history of the Priory and/or the lettering found within it. They developed a basic understanding of the use of woodcarving tools, materials and techniques.

The workshop also included demonstrations by two fine craftsmen:

Bowyer and fletcher Ken Ward is a highly regarded member of the Craft Guild of traditional bowyers and fletchers with 20 years experience in his craft. He is a retired watchmaker and jeweller. He has a lifelong passion for archery. The superbly produced equipment he makes is widely sought after in competition; it demonstrates a standard of finish and accuracy to the most exacting and highest level.

Woodturner Roger Potter is a creator of beautiful wood turned objects. He took this pursuit up before retirement and is mainly self-taught. His work is breathtakingly well produced and finished.

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