Hi Readers,

Are you looking for things to do in Brisbane? Perhaps you would like to learn the art of stone carving.

I will be running a stone carving workshop in Brisbane over two days on the !8th and 19th of January next year.

So if you would like to join in the fun then go to the website: brisart.org and you will find my advertisement under short courses. It will be held at the Brisbane Institute of Art on Grafton road, Windsor.

Hope to see you there.

Simon Cripps

Hi readers and stone enthusiasts

I am now a stonemason in Brisbane. We have moved here as it is a city of opportunities. There is so much history in Brisbane that once I had finished building the Ginger Bread House I was drawn in like Dorothy and family to the Emerald city.In search of bright lights and old stone buildings we have followed the yellow brick road (otherwise known as the M1 freeway).

I remember taking my kids into the childrens chapel at St Johns Cathedral several years ago before the West Wing and tower was completed and watching the stone vaults under construction. There is some history in that. Memories like that and placing the last finial on a set of pinnacles strapped into a cherry picker high on st Pauls church cannot be bought and sold…..thats living!!!

So Ive come back for a little more excitement….and hopefully some regular work.Masons are akin to travel, we go where the work is.

The recession seems to have sunk in here in the land of OZ and I figure its time to knuckle down and batten the hatches.

I have not  forgotten you or the workshops Ive just had to put them on hold for some time while I scratch out a living and focus on family life while my kids are still kids.

I still have plenty of footage of the Gingerbread House Construction up my sleeve as I get more savvy with cyber world.

So if your reading this and your in Brisbane and you need a stonemason let me know and I will turn up with mallet, chisels, trowel and a smile before you can sing follow the yellow brick road.

Simon the stonemason.



The Gingerbread House

Hi Readers

Sorry about the delay with these video tutorials. I am still relatively new to cyber world and have found it a little overwhelming lately. However now I am back on track and have I got some eye candy for you! The past several months has been some of the best ( and toughest) I have experienced.I am very close to finishing a small traditional stone cottage built in a celtic style using our local granite,sandstone and timber.Not a moment to soon as my kids are outgrowing our lounge room.It seems in this case that not only does it require patience to be a stonemason but equally so for a stonemasons children.But these lucky kids not only get to live in this fairytale cottage they got to see it being built. Its even adopted a name…The Gingerbread House.

I ran two workshops whilst constructing the Gingerbread House and many of the participants are off stonemasoning right now. Check out the pics when we started laying the first few stones. Ive had to construct a few other jobs since I first started on the cottage however with  the help of my friends over the last few months we have worked through the hottest summer on record and then torrential rain and flooding to get the roof on and it is now waterproof. I have finished the lime pointing inside as well as the lime render which I had curing in drums for the last few months.Now I just have to tile the floor and hook up the lights and the kids are in.

Well I hope you enjoy the photos and vids and I look forward to your feed back.



Hi Readers and Stone Enthusiasts,

I thought its about time I added some photos.

I chose to upload some images of a set of church pinnacles that my friend Matt and I carved and installed back in 2009 for St. Pauls in Brisbane.

The photos reminded me of a stone plaque that was carved in Scotland when I was working there in 2001 under a scottish stonemason by the name of Gardner Malloy. The plaque read something like “Thou who thus not buildth in God’s name buildth in vain” Gardner translated that to me as Ïf ya dona put yol art and soul inta wat ya buildin then ya mite as well go home!”

Matt and I certainly put in on this job. We spent 3 months carving and preparing the stones at my workshop in Uki and then one huge day installing them with a crane and a cherry picker. We had the cherry picker for a couple more days to place the small finials, trim in the stones  and point up the joints.

Matt is a fantastic stonecarver and mason. Having trained in Sydney on pinnacle restoration he was then able to train me in the carving and construction of these beautifully decorated pinnacles using Helidon sandstone.

The church was built around 1850 by two scottish stonemasons for 8000 pounds.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Simon Cripps










In the bygone days there were few materials on hand for construction : mud, straw, stone, wood and anything else that came from the earth within a days travel by horse and cart or  9 months on a boat. We live in a very different world today with thousands of companies/businesses supplying a huge range of building materials that can be ordered  at the touch of a few buttons and delivered as soon as the next day.

So why do we continue to bother sourcing natural materials such as stone and cut,carve and shape it into spaces to surround us? Why do we test our own patience and put our bodies thru pain when there are faster, cheaper and easier options?

Is it because of the natural beauty stone creates  when it is handcrafted into places we dwell or pass through? Is it the inspiration we feel when admiring the work of masons before us? Is it the song that sings when we strike a perfect blow with our hammer? Is it the elation we feel when placing the final stone? Is it the comfortably numb feeling we get after a hard days work that sends us deep into slumber? Is it the satisfaction of knowing that what we created today will stand after we don’t? And the knowledge we gain and pass on will fill young hearts with excitement? Is it all this and more?

What do you think?

Why stonemasonry?

Simon Cripps

With all the flooding around the world it pays to think ahead – a well planned retaining wall can serve a number of purposes.



There are 3 main groups of rock which contain different types of stone used in stonemasonry.

  • IGNEOUS ROCKS are formed from the cooling and solidification of magma, generated within the Earth, at high temperatures during plutonic or volcanic activity. Examples of these stone types are granite, basalt and trachyte. These types of stone are very hard, requiring much effort for cutting and construction however they are generally quite durable.
  • SEDIMENTARY ROCKS are formed by accumulation and cementation of mineral grains (sediments), transported by wind, water, or ice to a basin or by precipitation at a site. Sedimentary stones typically used for stonemasonry (especially carving) are sandstone and limestone. These types of stones are easily cut and worked with chisels however they tend weather quicker than igneous stone types.
  • METAMORPHIC ROCKS are pre-existing rocks which have been altered great heat and/or pressure; or by chemical conditions. Slate, schist and marble are metamorphic stones commonly used for stonemasonry.

Bali was great