Today was a day of celebration: stonemason Mike Slotboom and I got the Natural Stone Award , which we received for our work on the sandstone canopy on which we both worked for St. John's Cathedral in Den Bosch. The Natural Stone Award is awarded to persons or assigned to projects that receive the qualification "excellent craftsmanship" from a competent jury from the trade.
I was very surprised that I was nominated at all for the award; over the years I've had much more difficult or bigger works in hand, among which two canopies for which I did carve all the stonemasonry work myself. I thought as a sculptor I would never be eligible for this award because I'm actually not affiliated with the Stone Industry Board. But now I was this afternoon awarded the medal I felt very honored and I of course gratefully received.
For what did I receive the Natural Stone Award?
The canopy in question is a kind of shelter for the statue of a saint, decorated with ornamental leaf work. The canopy itself was carved by stonemason Mike Slotboom of Slotboom Stonemasons in Winterswijk. I made the flowers and hanging parts (suspended flowers) including profiles.
The piece was carved from one block of Udelfanger sandstone, a relatively fragile stone which is very weatherproof though. The craftsmanship is in its exact sizing and tight execution by Mike, and in my case, in the design and execution of the flowers, and the additional stonemasonry I did on the protruding parts below. Below is a picture how the canopy was delivers to my shop after Mike had done his part of the work (apart from a first pair of flowers by me, that is).