Over the course of one day at Wenlock Abbey, you will not only learn how to turn a piece of flat wood into a bas relief carving, you will also learn a little of the history of this ancient house, and the restoration programme carried out under the ownership of Louis de Wet from 1983 – 2018. During that time, de Wet restored the ancient Prior’s chapel, incorporating an oak screen with pillars, and capitals intricately carved by Andrew Pearson.
ANDREW PEARSON is not only a master carver, but also an experienced teacher. Andrew set up his first studio in Ironbridge, Shropshire, in 1989 after graduating from art college, and became a full-time bowl-turner at The Green Wood Trust.
Following a move to Ludlow in 1992, he began oak carving, inspired by the 15th century misericords of St Laurence’s Church. Twenty-five years later, he found himself commissioned to add to these misericords with a contemporary carving commemorating Queen Elizabeth II
During those intervening 25 years, he taught woodturning, design and technology at various schools, assisted with restoration work at Windsor Castle following the fire there, exhibited his work around the country, and completed several major commissions, including the tympanum at Acton Round Church. This was the piece that inspired Louis de Wet to commission him to carve the capitals of his chapel screen at Wenlock Abbey.
THE COURSE ITSELF:
For the safety and proper instruction of all, the course will consist of no more than 4 participants.
At 9:45am meet outside the front gates of Wenlock Abbey in the Bullring.. You will be led up to the house and welcomed by Gabrielle de Wet, your hostess, who will then introduce you to your course leader, Andrew Pearson.
Andrew will explain how he intends to run the day before he and Gabrielle show you something of the house, including the chapel with its oak screen and capitals carved by Andrew. He will then take you to the Great Hall (with its remarkable beamed ceiling incorporating 15th century carvings of Wild Men), where your course will take place.
With your tutor’s help you will be invited to choose and draw something you would like to carve (please note, no photos. Mobile phones should be switched off!). Andrew will then show you how to turn your drawing into a relief carving.
Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided at various intervals in the adjacent Lesser Hall, as well as a soup-and-sandwiches light lunch which you can enjoy either in the Lesser Hall or in the garden, depending on the weather.
The course will end at 5:00pm, and you will go home with the piece of work that you have made.