A BALFRON crAFTSMAN has scooped a national award for his expertise in the traditional skills of stone working.
Callum Gray, who runs landscaping company Keltie Landscapes, was honoured at The Balvenie Masters of Craft 2012 awards at the Savoy Hotel in London.
The awards, organised by the famous Speyside whisky distillery, showcase the skill and dedication of craftspeople across the UK.
Callum picked up the award for his work with stone for a project which saw him create a beautifully symmetrical dry stone fire bowl for the garden of a client.
Receiving his handcrafted copper trophy, Callum said: “I take great pride in my work and love what I do. I have been fortunate enough to have clients who trust me and have encouraged me to be creative.
“It’s incredibly rewarding and flattering to be recognised for my efforts.”
This is all a far cry from the computing degree that sent Callum into the world of office work after his student days in Glasgow.
Now 39, Callum soon changed career and he now specialises in creating traditional dry stone walls as well as lime mortar buildings and cobblestone driveways for clients in Scotland and across the UK.
Amongst his most recent projects was to repair a section of dry stone wall at Stirling Castle.
He added: “Stone work is something that lasts and gets better with age. I hope the dry stone wall I’ve created at Stirling Castle doesn’t just last my lifetime but another 500 years as well.”
One of the judges for The Balvenie Craft Awards 2012 was Kevin McCloud, the presenter of TV show Grand Designs.
Paying tribute to the winners, he said: “It would be nice to think that awards like this help us celebrate a different side to our culture, to slowness and thought and care.”
Fellow judge, Melina Keays, Online Editor of Wallpaper Magazine, said: “The exponents of these unique skills bring their crafts into our contemporary world of style and design; the ‘fire bowl’ made by Callum Gray, wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary art gallery.”
To see examples of Callum’s award-winning work visit www.callumgray.co.uk
WALL TO PLAY FOR . . . Callum Gray.