Lara Townsend

2018 QEST Kirby Laing Foundation Scholar - Stone Carving
East Lothian

Driven by her love of art and passion for people, Lara is drawn to commissioned work, using her sensitive approach to create memorable and thoughtful pieces.

Born and raised in South Africa by Scottish parents, Lara was amazed by the cultural heritage of her Scottish homeland when she moved to Edinburgh as a teenager. This led her to study History of Art and Architectural History at Edinburgh University. Upon gaining her MA, she decided to pursue a stonemasonry apprenticeship with Historic Environment Scotland after falling in love with cutting stone during a weekend course. Praised for her technical abilities, understanding and attention to detail throughout the 4 year apprenticeship, Lara was selected for a 12 month Craft Fellowship after qualifying. Following this, Lara’s QEST Scholarship allowed her to receive specialist training from former QEST scholar Gillian Forbes and support to set up her business, Rock Paper Chisels.

Working with stone is the perfect blend for me – it requires thought and action, technical ability and creativity, knowledge and instinct.