Currently viable crafts


Stone carving


The carving of figures, patterns and ornaments etc. in stone. See the separate entry for stonemasonry.


Status Currently viable
Craft category Stone; Building crafts
Historic area of significance UK
Area currently practised UK
Origin in the UK Roman
Current no. of professionals (main craft) 101-200
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main craft)
Current no. of trainees 11-20 annually
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required 1-5



The stone carver carves figures and architectural ornaments etc. largely by sight of eye, but also with the help of square, compass and template where there is a crossover of masonry and ornamental elements, for example in capitals or decorated mouldings.



  • Stone carving
  • Moulding
  • Casting
  • Clay sculpting
  • Pointing (traditional way of transferring from maquette to final product)
  • Design


Local forms




Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Training issues: While there are numerous qualifications in stonemasonry, there is only one qualification specifically for stone carving. The City and Guilds in London offers two-year Certificate courses, and three-year Diploma Courses in Historic Stonecarving, accredited by the City and Guilds Institute. Some art schools have sculpture departments but they do not offer technical instruction in the skills of stonecarving.
  • Market issues: Lack of demand. There are enough people to satisfy the current market – the market dictates the number of people involved so the employment figures are always fluctuating.
  • Market issues: Lack of support by architects.


Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known

The Master Carvers Association have a list of members on their website.


Other information