Finalists in the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary Award to exhibit in Centuries in the Making

The Grinling Gibbons 300 Festival incorporates a GRINLING GIBBONS TERCENTENARY AWARD for emerging professional carvers in wood and stone. The Awards are to be judged on Monday 2nd August and the winners will be announced soon afterwards. The finished early-career carvings will be displayed as part of the touring exhibition ‘Grinling Gibbons – Centuries in the Making’ starting at Bonhams, London on 3rd August.

UPDATE! We are delighted to announce the winners of the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary Award:

?1st Prize in Stone: Freya Morris

?1st Prize in Wood: Jo Grogan

?2nd Prize in Stone: Alex Waddell

?2nd Prize in Wood: Sarah Davis

?3rd Prize in Stone: Tom Clark-Collins

?3rd Prize in Wood: Tom Buchanan

About the Award

On 8th March 2021 the call went out to emerging carvers at apprentice level, Cathedrals, colleges, companies and the self-employed in order to find the best new talent across the UK. They were invited to participate in the Grinling Gibbons 300 Award seeking to support, spotlight and develop the work of emerging talent, and fuel Gibbons’ contemporary legacy. Participants will create radically new works of art and figurative carving, which take as their point of inspiration the skill and techniques, and creativity and visionary design that Gibbons brought to the medium of wood and stone.

The GG300 Award is the product of collaboration between the Master Carvers’ Association and the Grinling Gibbons Society and is principally funded by the Worshipful Company of Masons and the Carpenters’ Company. This is a joint education initiative organised as part of the national tercentenary marking the legacy of influence Grinling Gibbons left following his death.  There are cash prizes of £500, £1,000 and £1,500 in each category (wood and stone).

The Award sits at the heart of the Master Carvers’ Association ethos of supporting carvers at various stages in their career and developing the craft to the highest levels of profession.  Stone Master Carver and Award co-organiser Nick Roberson comments:

“Making the leap from college to career, and training to industry, is a daunting prospect for emerging carvers. It takes time to build the confidence, portfolio and experience needed to become established. This award helps kickstart a career by offering professional mentoring, the means to develop a body of exceptional work and providing wide public and professional exposure. I would have relished such an opportunity at that stage in my own career. As an established professional, I now look forward to passing on my experience and opening up opportunities for early-career carvers at a critical time in their development.”

Two first place winners in stone and wood of the Gibbons Tercentennial Award will be awarded places at the annual Prince’s Foundation Summer School in 2022. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in this prestigious programme designed to develop knowledge of traditional architecture, design, building and repair techniques and how these can be applied in the 21st century. It brings together architects, craftspeople, designers, and developers who are interesting in building crafts and architecture, and how these factors respond to the local identity of historic contexts in a timeless and ecological way. The three-week programme of lectures, workshops, drawing and building exercise and field trips will be split between Shoreditch, London’s creative quarter, and the spectacular 18th century stately home, the Dumfries House Estate in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Simon Sadinsky, executive director (education) at The Prince’s Foundation, said:

“Our programmes in traditional building skills reflect the passion of His Royal Highness to preserve historic crafts.  We hope our charity president’s patronage of Grinling Gibbons Society can help build further awareness of the need for younger generations to lean and practise stonemasonry, woodcarving, and similar crafts.”

The Award judging panel: 

  • Tim Crawley, former Head of Historic Carving at the City and Guild 
  • Philip Hewat-Jaboor, Chairman of Masterpiece Fair and independent art advisor
  • Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection
  • Hugh Petter, Director of Adam Architecture
  • Adam Stone, Training co-ordinator for the Worshipful Company of Masons
  • Godfrey Worsdale, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation


There are five stonemasons and six woodcarvers who have been shortlisted to progress to the final:

Working in Stone

  • Tom Clark-Collins
  • George Griffiths
  • Freya Morris
  • Alex Waddell (Waddell’s theatrical limestone panel, photographed before it was finished, is pictured above)
  • Adeline Wartner

Working in Wood

  • Tom Buchanan
  • Sarah Davis
  • Arielle Francis
  • Jo Grogan (wood and ceramic)
  • Silje Loa (limestone and limewood)
  • Oscar Whapham

Follow us on Instagram @GrinlingGibbons300 to see some of these talented artists’ work in progress.

Learn more about this award.