MADE WITH PASSION TO CREATE LASTING LEGACY FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY.
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About: The Stone People
In 2011 the Stone People came from an idea to create a story based on gargoyles on medieval Churches and Cathedrals. The germ of the ideas was based on the premise that the "Stone People" where finding it hard to live in London's claustrophobic center with the noise, pollution and over crowding especially as the church they lived on was being over shadowed by the "Shard". Their search for a place to live in peace Inevitably lead them to Lincoln and its majestic cathedral. So began the Journey to find the "Stone People".
Inevitably in any artistic endeavor the journey has evolved into a research project based on finding the names of the master masons who built the English Medieval Cathedrals particularly Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, via a link between the Eleanor Crosses and the Angel Choir.
This project will also present ideas based on known information on medieval theology, mathematics, geometry and sculptural practice to represent and showcase the work of these masons and contemporary practitioners of stone carving and conservation. In some way we hope to enhance our understanding of the stone craft historically and showcase how it can be utilized today. The Stone People will become a mutli-site collaborative public art project utilizing English historic sites, events and sculpture and maybe a number of interesting books.
In some way by doing this we hope to support both :
Lincoln Cathedral Works Department efforts to conserve the cathedrals building fabric and enhance the publics understanding of their work and this building.
The American College of Building Arts; whose mission is focused on educating a new generation of highly educated building artisans and craftspeople.
With this simple act to understand our past we hope to help save our built heritage for future generations to enjoy and marvel at.
As I write this in the year 2014 the aim is for a project completion date of 1241. The year of Eleanor's birth.
Norman Senior and Norman (Norma) Junior
Norman Senior and Norman (Norma) Junior. Carvings living in the Triforium at Westminster Abbey
Lincoln Cathedrals Angel Choir
An Angel holding Crowns from the Angel Choir 1280 Lincoln Cathedral
Eleanor Cross Geddington
Geddington Eleanor Cross one of only three originals left.
Mission: i. Raise awareness of the English Medieval Masters Masons lives, accomplishments, ideas and develop dialogue between contemporary masters and a future generation of craftspeople.
ii. Instigate a major sculptural project to celebrate the Master Masons oeuvre to highlight the importance of the "Building Arts" in contemporary life.
Aims and Goals
Rediscover the Medieval Master Masons Circa 1200-1356 and reveal their names, history and work.
Create a conceptual narrative linking Westminster Abbey, Lincoln Cathedral through the Eleanor Crosses and the Angel Choir. In doing so create a public audience for the history and work of the medieval masters.
Develop conceptual ideas based on present understanding of Medieval Theology, Geometry and the Craft of Stone Carving to understand clearly how the English Cathedral where built both physically and conceptually allowing people to understand the meaning built into our majestic cathedrals.
Instigate the development of a major public arts project to recreate the missing Eleanor Crosses showcasing the present master of building craft and contemporary sculptural practice and educating a new generation of high skilled Building Artisans.
Bringing together the evidence left behind of the original Eleanor Crosses in an exhibition format to showcase the work of the medieval masters.
Showcase the need to develop a new generation of Masters by highlighting the work of Lincoln Cathedral Work Department and The American College of Building Arts
Confront the inherent, or perceived, conflict between Traditional Craft (making) with Contemporary Conceptual Sculptural Practice and Modern Architecture (Ideas).
Central Tower Crossing Reinterpreted
This image is based on the reinterpretation of the central tower using the ideas of the Celestial Hierarchy and the three orders of Angels.
Central Crossing Tower of Lincoln Cathedral
Queen Eleanor and her Iconography: Remaking Eleanor's image
Queen Eleanor is a iconic cultural figure whose presence in the English Built Environment is ever present and somehow missing. Small Signs and signifiers alongside massive monuments dot the English Landscape but somehow these clues, to a deeply important figure in British History, are ignored and walked past without a second look. The monuments are either so obvious to a passerby that they are ignored due to the scale of their mass. Or the plaques, signifying the designation of an original site of importance related to Eleanor, are so hidden that even if you are looking for the objects or looking straight at them you will probably miss them.
Eleanor Death and the Eleanor Crosses
Much of the Imagery surrounding Eleanor is now found along a path between Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Its placement in the English Landscape was due to Eleanor's Death in Harby near Lincoln in 1290. This event led to a major episode in English History, perhaps similar to the events after the death of Diana Prince of Wales, where by royal protocol, ceremony, logistics, and medieval etiquette all had to be arranged for the funeral in London. Firstly her body was moved to a local monastery in Lincoln where her body was eviscerated, i.e. the organs removed, this was done for logical reasons due to the nature of human decomposition, so that her body remained stable over the 12 days journey to London. During those 12 days she was transported and rested in state in many of the most important places in Eleanor's life and also of religious significance in England: Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone, Stoney Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, West Cheap, Charing, and the final stop Westminster Abbey. Once this journey had been completed and Eleanor layed to rest Edward the First ordered the creation of 12 Crosses to honor Eleanors wife to leave a lasting imprint on England culture which last to this day 700 years later. For more information on these crosses please follow as this website is updated on each site visited on Eleanor's procession.
As part of the Reproduction of the Lincoln Cross, which has started in Charleston South Carolina (see page Lincoln: Angels and Demons or Rebuilding a medieval Master Piece), The Stone People Project is reproducing a new Eleanor Statue, starting Fall 2015 and projected for completion in 2017. This page will not only showcase many of the images left of Eleanor but also the process in the creation of this new statue.
Queen Eleanor Circa 1293-95 Carved by Alexander of Abingdon removed from the Waltham Cross Circa 1953 and now stands in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Queen Eleanor's Tomb Westminster Abbey
Eleanors Tomb in WestMinster Abbey was created by Richard Crundale. Carved upon the tomb you can see the three coats of arms which continually are shown Connecting Eleanor's Family and family home, Castile and Leon Spain, with England's royal linage. Atop the tomb behind the forged iron work, created by Thomas of Leighton Buzzard you can see Eleanor's Iconic gilt bronze effigy created by the goldsmith William Torel.
The Norman-French Inscription on the tomb reads
"Here lies Eleanor, sometime Queen of England, wife of King Edward son of King Henry, and daughter of the King of Spain and Countess of Ponthieu, on whose soul God in His pity have mercy. Amen".
Eleanors Effigy Westminster Abbey
A gilt bronze casting William Torel circa 1293
Eleanors Effigy Lincoln Cathedral
Queen Eleanor sits atop Eleanors tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. This casting and the tomb is not original which was destroyed during the civil war but bears all the hallmarks of the image in Westminster Abbey.
Edward I & Queen Eleanor
Edward the I and Queen Eleanor are depicted on Lincoln Cathedrals South elevation of the Angel Choir. They where both present when The angel Choir was consecrated in 1280. Presumably they had a hand in the financing of this structure.
Queen Eleanor Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Eleanor Cross
The last remanant of the original cross to stand on the Lincoln Site, Probably below the cathedral by the Lincoln Priory in the Valley, is the lower part of one of the Original Eleanor Statues.
Harby All Saints Church
Eleanors Statue can be seen on the parish Church of All Saints Harby, approx ten miles from Lincoln. This structure was built in 1875-76 and was adjacent to the site where Eleanor spent her last night at the manor Hall of Richard de Weston. Note Eleanors Crests adorning the wall.
Eleanor on Geddington Cross
Eleanor on Charing Cross
Eleanor on Hardingstone Cross, Northampton
Eleanor Waltham Cross
Elweanor has hundreds of streets signs marking her memory throughout England.
Eleanor at the Victoria and Albert Museum
The Waltham Cross was restored in 1953 and the three original Statues where taken down. The image her shows one of the statues displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Eleanor at the Victoria & Albert Museum
The first step in producing a scale model of Eleanor for Lincoln City is to create an image which can give us measurements and graphic details for reproduction. In Summer 2015 these images where taken with a tape measure included for an accurate understanding of size.
The Re-Creation of Eleanor's Lincoln Cross
In the Summer of 2014 The Stone People Project set out on the first summer research tour. Its aim was to follow the path of the Eleanor Crosses and to meet the Clericus Fabricae of Lincoln Cathedral Works Department Carol Heidschuster to discuss progress on the Story "The Stone People". In this meeting for the first time the new mission and objectives of the Stone People Project where revealed. One of those objectives was to "Instigate the development of a major public arts project to recreate the missing Eleanor Crosses". During the discussion the "Boss" said "well why don't you recreate the first cross for Lincoln City".
So begins the journey to recreate a new Eleanor Cross for Lincoln City.
The Last Remanent of Eleanor's Lincoln Cross.
In the Grounds of Lincoln Castle stands the last remaining piece of the original Lincoln Cross. It was discovered face down being used as a culvert to cross a brook. The original cross lay down the hill from the cathedral in the valley by St. Catherine Priory, where here body had been embalmed shortly after her death. Her Viscera (the internal organs in the main cavities of the body, especially those in the abdomen) where sent to The cathedral where sent to be housed in a Tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. A reproduction of this tomb can still be seen in The cathedral in the Angel Choir.
Initial Sketch for Eleanors New Lincolns Cross
In Fall 2014, after returning from England, The Stone People Project began to sketch out the outline of a cross for Lincoln City. Through research on the three existing cross and of the other evidence of the lost crosses we decided to create something a little different from the octagonal crosses we where seeing. The new Lincoln Cross will have a dodecagon, 12 sided base; leading into a Hexagon, six sided, first tier; upon which stands a triangular tier housing three Eleanor States; the final tier will revert back to a hexagon upon which sits a golden cross. (After working on the 1/3 scanle drawing we came to realize why an Octagon is a perfectly balanced form for creating a structure (i.e. It subdivideds easily).
Cody James and Simeon A. Warren caught red handed in a secret planning meeting.
1/3 Scale Lincoln Cross Drawing Board
In Spring 2015 The Stone People team of two created a 11 foot drawing board to contain the hand drawn working drawing of the New Lincoln Cross. The Sketch from Fall was used to map out all the initial lines and continues to be the baseline of the project to recreate the cross.
A 13 inch foot
In reviewing the evidence and measuring the triangular cross in Geddington we found to our surprise that the cross seemed to a-dear to a 13" foot rather than the 12 inch modern measuring system. Our assumption was that the Master who created this monument in 1294 had big feet.
So the team had to create its very own measuring system based on these findings. The compass easily allowed us to formalize this new system based on subdivision of space. This medieval methodology allowed us a freedom from the tyranny of modern math.
The Dodecagon Base Plan View
Once we had our new Measurement the first objective was to create the plan view of the base and the first their of the cross.
First Tier of Cross
Hexagonal 1st Tier: Full Scale Plan and Elevation
Once the first section of 1/3 scale drawing was complete we where able to create a full-scale plan and elevation allowing template to be made for the first stones.
Lincoln City New Eleanor: First Stone
This is the first stone for the New Cross for Lincoln City (at an unfinished). Carved By Cody James Spring 2015.
First Public Presentation of The New Cross
At the end of Spring 2015, as Cody James Graduated from ACBA, the Hand geometric drawing had reached the tier housing Queen Eleanor. During the 2015 International Trade Education Symposium Warren presented publicly the New Eleanor Cross to colleagues in the american trade education community.
Sam Friedman Continues the work
In the Fall of 2015 Samuel Friedman and Simeon A Warren Continued to develop not only the second their of the New Eleanor Cross but also the philosophical story present within the Cross. This image shows some of the workings outing shows how the base was redesigned to encompass ideas based on the Hierarchy of Angels. http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/MysticalTheology.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy_of_angels
New Eleanor Cross
In Spring 2016, as Sam Friedman Graduated, the New Eleanor Cross image neared its initial completion. after 3.5 semesters of development we documented the present incarnation of this drawing. Sam, Cody, Simeon and Will Bullock came together and had a small private celebration of the drawings completion.
I have to whole heartedly thank both Cody James and Sam Friedman for 1. Being excited to want to explore drawing and 2. to take on the painstaking challenge of drawing on such a scale and in such detail.
The creative path is sometimes fraught with tension and the ability to develop ideas, draw, engage in dialog and passionate debate is one which at its heart allows something to become real from the imagined. Thanks
Workshop at Bryn Athyn
The Stone Peoples first Public works shop beyond ACBA took place in Summer 2016. A small but willing group of students came together to learn about Queen Eleanor and also to Carve Stone. Five stones where produced for the base of the Queen Eleanor's Statue.
Simeon and Eleanor
The next steps in developing the New Eleanor Cross is to recreate an Eleanor Statue and the shields so emblematic of these iconic monumnets. This Image is of a Statue in the Victoria and Albert Museum taken down from the Waltham cross in the 1950's (See: QUEEN ELEANOR AND HER ICONOGRAPHY:REMAKING ELEANORS IMAGE).