Learning about stone masonry was yet another new thing I did for my Cancerversory in October 2017. I toured West Cork, Ireland with a group of TBEX bloggers and we visited Victor Daly and his workshop. Victor is a stone cutter in the traditional method meaning he uses various hammers and chisels in his creations rather than modern electric or battery operated tools.
Victor, an Irishman, lived abroad for many years before returning to Ireland in 2010. He honed his skills in conservation in Scotland and brought that knowledge to West Cork which has become a haven for artisans. Not only is he an artist, he’s also an instructor. He offers weekend workshops at his studio where students will learn the basics of carving and how to create letters.
Victor’s workshops also benefits his community of Rossnacaheragh Ahakista, Durrus. HIs students rent Airbnb’s, stay in hostels or hotels, eat at the local restaurants and purchase art and supplies which brings income into the community. Victor and his students also create a piece of community art that is a reminder of their hard work and increase in talent and is usually from local Irish stone. The piece is donated to the town after completion.
Victor describes caving as “writing with two hands” and his expertise is apparent. He can make custom pieces a well as reproduce ancient symbols. Victor travels all over the world creating and restoring stonework. If I had ANY type of talent (or a place to keep the art) I’d return to West Cork and take one of his weekend courses. Also, I’m not sure if I could get my stone work through customs….
Make an appointment with Victor and talk with him him about your needs. He is sure to meet and exceed your expectations. And make sure you book your West Cork tour with Jessie McDonald (she’s an incredible historian) and get Charlie of Kerry Coaches as your driver. They’ll make your Irish dreams come true!