22nd & 23rd July
The first Halifax Stone Carving Festival will be held in the Halifax Minster’s grounds on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July 2023. This event is free for the public to enjoy. As well as 40 Stone carvers displaying their skills, there will be live music and entertainment.
Stone carvers from across the country and abroad will be taking part in a friendly competition over the weekend. They will all be given the same size piece of stone which is supplied by Marshalls. All the carvers have been given the theme which is “wildlife of Yorkshire”. The Carvers register for the competition on the Friday between 2pm and 6pm and will be greeted with a welcome pack and live music.
They start carving on Saturday at 8am and will continue until 5pm. Carving will resume at 8am Sunday and continue until 3pm. Alĺ the sculptures are to be hand carved, using traditional methods, with no machines allowed.
The event concludes with a prize giving and all the finished carvings will be available to purchase at an Auction taking place at 3.45pm with the Lord mayor in attendance. Money raised will be divided between The Minster and The West Riding Stonecarving Association.
During the event there will be more live music, entertainment, food and drink stalls, a blacksmith demonstrating his craft as well as The Leeds Morris dancers. Travis & Son, Southern Stone and The West Riding Stonecarving Association will also have displays.
This event is organised by Helen Jukes who is the Tutor and Secretary of The West Riding Stonecarving Association.
The Association was originally founded by John Swift in 2010. It is the only one of its kind that brings the art of hand carving stone to the general public.
Membership is offered to everyone who completes the foundation course or is already a stone carver. Courses are available from as little as £15 for a three-hour lesson.
There’s to be an open day at the Association’s base, Shaw Lodge Mill Boys Lane, Halifax HX3 9EZ on the 29th July 10am till 4pm. Please take a look at their website stonecarvingassociation.org for more information.