Adelaidean rocks lost stone art

27 Apr 2023

Churchill Fellow Evan Marker featured image

Evan Marker, an Adelaide-based stonemason of 20 years, has published his report after returning from overseas to train in the art of stone letter carving through his Churchill Fellowship. Mr Marker’s Fellowship took him to observe the operation of a commercial studio in the UK, and Belgium. Hand carving letters in stone is a field of stone masonry that has virtually disappeared in Australia but seems to be strongly in demand overseas. Letter carving by hand is a stream of stone masonry that is a highly refined skill. It is a centuries old trade that has important value in preserving the culture and history of human society.

Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust congratulated Mr Marker on his Fellowship. “We’re excited about Mr Marker’s report, and his ability to share international best practice in this lost art.”

Five years ago, Evan began to branch into the field of sculpture under the guidance of a local professional artist. He began investigating carving inscriptions in stone 18 months ago upon request from a quarry. Hand carved inscriptions reflect a measure of artistic endeavour that the modern form of mechanical etching is unable to achieve. Most modern stone inscriptions are done in a type-face sourced on-line that has been mass produced and is sand-blasted or laser cut into the stone face.

Mr Marker said “The skills that I have been able to explore through the project will enable me to contribute a current cultural perspective to the unique and ongoing history of the craft in Australia, renewing life in a rare trade that is in danger of disappearing,”

“Often, due to the prevalence of modern mass production, the uniqueness, creativity and vibrancy of production by the human hand is absent. All communities benefit from continued connection with their humanity,”

“Exposure to methods and practices by experienced carvers has enabled me to establish networks that will provide ongoing guidance in the development of the craft as well as providing pathways for other tradespeople and artists interested in travelling overseas and becoming more skilled in this area.” said Mr Marker.

For nearly 60 years, the Winston Churchill Trust has flown more than 4,500 talented Australians around the globe to pursue their passion and bring their knowledge home. Churchill Fellows are people from all walks of life and all sectors; the arts, science, health, agriculture, and beyond. The breadth of topics for Churchill Fellowships are limitless.

Read Mr Marker’s report here.

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