Zoë Wilson MSDC

Stone Work & Letter Carving

About Zoë
Zoë is a traditionally trained stone carver creating unique hand carved geometric patterns. She is hugely passionate about her craft, creating new and exciting pieces combining her love of pattern with her skills as a carver. Working with stone for over 12 years, whilst her carving is simple in its manufacture, using only a mallet and chisel, it’s born from a wealth of knowledge gleaned from highly skilled craftsmen over the years. Zoë loves to use local stone to carve with her favourite being Welsh slate from a small quarry not far from where she grew up.
Biography Back to top

Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in 1985, Zoë has always had a love of creating. Encouraged to follow her passion she completed a degree in fine art but developed a love for stone whilst working for a granite manufacturing company.

Zoë went on to complete a 3-year apprenticeship in stone masonry, developing skills as a mason before running her own workshop. A chance introduction lead Zoë to carry out a further two-year apprenticeship with renowned letter carver, John Neilson.

Wanting to develop her skill further Zoë gained a place on the Historic Stone Carving diploma course at City and Guilds of London Art School in 2013. During her second year she received a scholarship from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) who recognised Zoë’s passion and talent for stone carving and supported her studies.

Hugely passionate about her craft, Zoë has spoken at a number events organised by QEST including a Royal Warrant Holders AGM at St, James’ Palace and a panel discussion about the state of British craft held at the V&A with Dr Jonathan Foyle.

After graduating with a First class diploma in 2016, Zoë and her husband moved to live in South East Asia for two years. She was exposed to a wonderfully diverse culture and environment, extraordinary carving and intricate Islamic patterns, which was a turning point in her creative interests.

In 2019 Zoë started to develop a fascination with carving complex geometric patterns in her beloved British stones, which has become her signature style.

Now living in Hampshire, she carves in her studio next to the Test. Last year Zoë was honoured to be selected as the 2022 John Smedley Craft Prize winner. The prize involved a commission, mentoring and exhibitions both in London and Japan, with Zoë attending both private views.

Resumé Back to top
  • First Class Diploma in Historic Stone carving from City and Guilds of London Art School
  • Yeoman mason of the Worshipful Company of Masons
  • Scholar of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.
  • Traditional three-year Apprenticeship served in Architectural stone masonry
  • Trained under renowned letter carver John Neilson
  • Member of the Lettering Arts Trust.

Notable achievements include: Brand ambassador for John Smedley Knitwear with work exhibited and displayed in London and Japan. Gargoyle chosen for St Georges Chapel, Windsor. Work owned by His Royal Highness Sultan of Brunei. Exhibitions with the Lettering Arts trust at Snape Maltings. Winner of the John Smedley Craft Award in 2022. Exhibited at Collect 2022, work selected for the Royal Society of British Artists exhibition at the Mall Gallery March 2023.

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