James is a trainee stonemason (in banker masonry and stone-carving) and apprentice in the family business, R M Eaton Stonemasonry Ltd, studying under his father, master mason Mark Eaton. A QEST Apprenticeship will support James during the third and final year of his apprenticeship, so he can develop his skills in advanced stonemasonry further and master his craft. In his third year he will continue to work on his tool skills and study for his NVQ Level 3 in stonemasonry techniques at York College. As well as doing some new work, he will contribute to his craft through conservation and restoration of historic properties including the medieval manor house, Haddon Hall and Augustus Pugin’s St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Derby.
As I start the third year of my apprenticeship in Stonemasonry, I look back at how much I have learnt in this historic craft so far, regarding the history of the places I have been and the skills passed down by my very talented father. I’m therefore very grateful that QEST have given me the opportunity to push and expand my experience and skills even more, by mastering areas of this dying craft that I really enjoy, such as carving detailed moulds of grotesques and restoring historically significant buildings. I’m inspired by the depth of skill this craft has to offer, in learning new techniques and forever honing my style and skills, as an artist / craftsperson.