The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme - gives all young people the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.
I had sort of forgotten about this Charity, it was something much talked of when I was younger but more something boys did, until recently when I was approached by the parents of Brandon, asking if I would tutor him as part of his Silver award - for the skills section he was keen to do stone carving.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme was started in 1956, at that time it was an Award for Boys, chaired by The Duke of Edinburgh. The programmes consisted of four sections, rescue and public service, expeditions, pursuits and projects, and fitness. The Award for Girls was piloted in 1958 consisting of design for living, adventure, interests and service. In 1959 it became a charitable trust.
Brandon making a start on his Fish sculpture
For the last couple of months Brandon has arrived at my workshop each Monday to spend an hour learning stone carving. His interest was sparked by attending a local show, where he had a go at lettercutting, and carved a letter B onto a small square of stone. He was familiar with working with tools having enjoyed wood carving previously, but now wanted to carve in stone.
Initially the profile of the fish is carved through
He started with a relief carving, and chose to depict a treble clef, (he is also musically minded), which he drew capably freehand onto the stone before beginning to carve. This was a wonderful exercise, lots of curves and corners to master and he worked steadily and carefully. He proved to be attentive and intuitive in learning how to handle and use the various chisels and soon had a beautiful carving.
Next the profile, from above is carved through to the base
He has now progressed to a carving in the round, a complete sculpture, which is a fish swimming on a base of river bed pebbles. Ambitious! Again he is working patiently and diligently and beginning to show some real talent. It is so exciting to see his sculpture emerge, and become more real with each section he works on. I can only imagine he is feeling as I do when a creation begins to come to life - excitement, elation, full of nervous energy and pride.
Refinements are made
I am so very much enjoying working with him - each visit he works more confidently, asks when he isn't sure, and expresses clearly his ideas for the sculpture - next time he is bringing some details of how he would like the head and mouth of the fish to be - can't wait. Well done Brandon!
Details are positioned and shaped
Further detailing and proportions established