Greg Smith is the 2020/2021 student being sponsored by the Plaisterers’ Charity for his year’s apprenticeship with The Prince’s Foundation. The Clerk was due to visit him but, as that wasn’t possible, he has sent a useful update on the work he has done so far in the first few months of the course.
During his first month Greg spent time consolidating his skills with life drawing and geometry, and attending lectures on UK Housing, craftsmanship, and building restoration. This was combined with some practical work in the workshops looking at timber framing, stone masonry and lime plaster.
He says: “For the timber framing we made one side of what would become a table. I used chisels to cut out a mortise and tenon joints then used a plain to take off rough edges so they would join together. In the stone mason class I had to take a rough block and make one side flat then after carve a design or pattern on the face. I also had a go at using different chisels to create different finishes on the face of stone blocks”.
It is clear that he is getting stuck in with all the training, he went on to report: “In the plaster class I mixed mud and sand to in different ratios to see which mix was the best and used a trowel and hawk to plaster them on a board to get a feel for how they spread and get to see how long they take to go off. After using a 3:1 mix to put on a scratch coat and float coat we put on a lime finish. I also lime washed the outside of a building on the farm with a pre mixed lime wash”.
He is also working on the early days of the live build where he is working alongside the stone masons to build a dog kennel. He reports that: “I have used a still saw to cut down sand stone for the outside of the dog kennel, then we moved on to block work building the outside and inside walls. After we had done the block work we started dressing stones for the coins to go on the corners of the building. We have also started the stone work and have done the back wall of the kennel”.
You can see that he is busy. We will keep you updated as we hear more from him, and we hope to meet him at some stage either at the Hall for one of our dinners or in Scotland when we are able to travel.
Read more about The Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Programme HERE.