Newsletter – Architectural Stonemason


At Stone Art we specialise in bespoke, luxury stone fireplaces. The fireplaces that we produce at our Cotswolds workshop are hand carved with chisel and mallet by a master craftsman with a decade long traditional training in stonemasonry.

We receive commissions from all over the UK and have worked on projects around Europe too. Our bespoke stone fireplaces have proven popular with high-end interior designers, property developers and architects, seeking to deliver one of a kind luxury pieces for discerning clients.

We are proud to share with you a few of our favourite projects from 2017 and hope they provide a source of inspiration for your own designs!

Twin Louis XV French Limestone Fireplaces

A private customer commissioned us to design, carve and install these stunning stone fireplaces, which were to be fitted in the original home of Lewis Carrol’s “Alice in Wonderland”.

The fireplaces were carved by hand with mallet and chisel from an exceptionally fine-grained French limestone called Lépine, which allows for much more intricate detail to be carved than the local limestone due to its fine, soft and compact structure. Each fireplace took 10 weeks to be hand carved and fitted in person.

We designed these unique fireplaces for the customer based on the 18th Century french style – but with a twist! The customer gave us total free rein to carve something into the fireplaces to connect them with Alice in Wonderland, so we carved a Cheshire Cat and a hand of cards on either side of the lintel.

Elegant Bolection Style Flat Arch Fireplace

This striking stone fireplace was a bespoke Bolection inspired design created, carved and fitted by us for a private customer.

The entire piece was carved by hand with mallet and chisel in our Cotswolds workshop and was fitted by us on site at the customers home.

The lintel is carved from three stones wedged together to form what is called a flat arch, which gives strength.

The rest of the fireplace was designed with typical Bolection style features such as the proportions and the types of moulding used.

At Stone Art we specialise in bespoke, luxury stone fireplaces. The fireplaces that we produce at our Cotswolds workshop are hand carved with chisel and mallet by a master craftsman with a decade long traditional training in stonemasonry.

We receive commissions from all over the UK and have worked on projects around Europe too. Our bespoke stone fireplaces have proven popular with high-end interior designers, property developers and architects, seeking to deliver one of a kind luxury pieces for discerning clients.

Each stone fireplace carved by us is a one of a kind piece and totally unique in the world – tailored to your taste and the dimensions and style of your room. Unlike mass-produced factory fireplaces, we are proud that our work has soul and a story all of its own

If you are seeking a master craftsman to produce a high-spec bespoke design for your project, contact us today to discuss the details and for a no-obligation quote.

“I seek the material I work with directly from natural sites because I love sourcing stones directly from the Earth. It is for me an essential contact with the forces of nature …mountains, old quarries, beaches. I have the feeling I am completely involved the birth of my work – from taking it from its natural place until the finished piece of work with material hundreds of millions years old. I have great respect for them. In a way I free the beauty and energy which where trapped in the bosom of the Earth. For me my works are a piece of the mountain or a valley.” ~ Sebastien David

Although we are based in the Cotswolds, and our luxury stone fireplaces are designed and produced on site from start to finish, we can ship your fireplace to be fitted by your builders anywhere in the UK, or of course come to fit the fireplace ourselves in person. Each hand carved stone fireplace is dry fitted in the workshop before shipping to ensure an absolutely perfect fit.

Please contact Sebastien today to discuss your stone project and for a no-obligation quote


Blog – Architectural Design


Planning on a Grand Design? We can help you reach for the stars!

As a nation, our property development dreams have been catalysed and inspired by the well-known TV show Grand Designs. The series has become so influential in the property development sector that there is even a Grand Designs trade show taking place annually in London. We couldn’t resist getting involved and have booked a stand this year, so we hope to see plenty of you there!

We provide 3D Architectural CGIs for numerous residential property developments, but we get particularly excited when a client comes in with a Grand Design of their own. We can just tell from the twinkle in their eye and the big grin when a client is going to present us with an epic vision to bring to life. Private property development clients will usually approach us towards the end of the design stage, when they have final drawings through from their architect and are ready to submit planning applications.

A grand design incorporating cutting edge construction techniques, innovative materials and ambitious architectural forms might raise an eyebrow or two in the planning department. In this situation, 3D photo real images of a property design can make a massive difference to gaining planning approvals. Architectural CGI shows clearly how all the elements of a design work together and how they sit in their proposed environment. You can even take planners on a virtual aerial tour or walk through to really assure them that your grand design dreams are sufficiently down to earth to be practical.

Architects will often work with us throughout the drafting process to present clients with a clear visual of their interpretation of the brief. On the TV show Grand Designs, it is often ordinary folk, inexperienced in architecture or construction, who come up with fantastically creative concepts without a technical understanding of how they might work. A 3D CGI image is much more accessible and comprehensible to a layperson than a 2d architectural drawing would be, and can help architects and clients understand each other.

As revisions are made, bringing new evolutions of the design, both architects and clients like to see their ideas brought to virtual life to feel assured they are going to work. Few people can accurately conceptualise an image of a finished building design from a 2D architectural plan and there is major scope for misunderstanding. A 3D architectural visualisation – or a virtual reality tour for that matter – puts all the defining details of a design in plain view.

We are looking forward to meeting lots of big visionaries, diggers and dreamers at the Grand Designs show and coming back with some inspiring and exciting grand designs to bring to life as CGIs. Why not drop us a line to discuss your Grand Design and see how we can help you make the dream a reality

Web Pages – Full Microsite

Website Content

Grove 3547 is a social lab convened around the challenge of creating more resilient livelihoods for young people in underserved areas of Chicago. The team at Roller Strategies approached me to create a full set of copy for a four page microsite, designed to invite and encourage participants to sign up and get involved in making change in their community.

The deadline for this project was tight with a two day turn around from start to finish, but the client was very happy with the end result and the programme is now launched with a full contingent of participants and looks to be off to a flying start! I loved the challenge of researching and getting into the headspace of the community and understanding the context and audience I was writing for.

“Lucy writes copy fast, effectively and with verve. If that’s what you need, work with her.” – Zaid Hassan, CEO & Co-Founder, Roller Strategies


Step up to a new way forward – help blaze a trail for young people in Chicago!

This is a once in a lifetime invitation to bust out of the box and make a difference to the lives of young people in your community, who deserve better than what they are getting. How can we support them to create a more resilient life? Here is your golden opportunity to take action, with all the support and resources you need to make it happen. 

We are seeking folks with a strong commitment to change in your community. Does it frustrate you that the same situations seem to go around in circles without ever being solved? You’ve seen what hasn’t worked, now try something new. Take the future into your own hands and shake it up a little!

Is there a better approach than another five year plan from City Hall? Yes! Change begins at home, in the beating heart of your community, where the knowledge and passion to turn things around can be found. You know life in your neighbourhood better than anyone and you hold all the keys to unlock your future. This is your time to shine!



Down to the nitty gritty – what’s it all about?

So, you’re feeling pretty good about getting involved in making some changes for young people in your area, but maybe you have a couple of questions about how it all works and what will happen… We have done our best to answer these for your below, but if there’s anything else you need to know before you step forward and sign up for action, please get in touch with us.

Why me? How can I change anything?

We want you to be a part of this team because you are special, you have a real desire to make change in your community and a passion for improving the lives of young people in Chicago. You hold a commitment to collaborating with others from your community to turn great ideas into real solutions on the ground, and your deep understanding of the challenges faced by young people and the situations which affect them where you live make you the ideal person to tackle these issues and really make a difference.

So what do I need to do?

Just say yes 🙂 Tell us a bit about yourself and your passion for supporting young people by filling out the form here [link to application form] and wait for us to get in touch about joining the Team at Grove 3457 and starting to make some changes! We will have many applicants and only a limited number of places on the team, so don’t be shy to let us know why you’re the right person to get involved and make this happen!

How much time will I have to give?

We ask each person to give 15 days of their time over a period of 4 months starting from September 2016, which includes a commitment to attending all of the events on the programme (4 events making up 7.5 days in total) as well as about 5 hours of work each week.

Will I get paid?

Residents of Grand Boulevard, Douglas and Oakland who are selected to join the team will receive an honorarium of $1000 to support your work with Grove 3457 and there will be funds available to bring your prototypes to life and put ideas into action.

When will it happen?

The programme will launch with a full team in September this year. Before that there will be an application and selection process with the following key dates.

– Interviews with potential team members between 6th and 20th July

– Phone interviews between 1st and 4th August

– Letters of confirmation sent out to selected team members 6th August

– Orientation of team members between 8th and 31st August

Where will it happen?

[need info]

Who else will be there?

The Grove 3457 team will be made up of a diverse mix of 35 participants from different backgrounds and age groups within Chicago – all passionately committed to young people and with at least 15 residents from Grand Boulevard, Douglas and Oakland taking part. A good choir needs a range of voices to make sweet harmonies. One thing you will have in common is a passion for creating a better future for young people in Chicago. Team work makes the dream work! We can solve our own problems our own way when we collaborate, listen to each other and take action to try out solutions.

Isn’t it just a load more meetings and hot air?

This is not just a talking shop but a living, learning laboratory where things get done and impacts are tangible. You will learn and be supported to practice real, transferable, practical skills for working with others to create change in your life and your community.

What if I change my mind or don’t like it?

We’re pretty sure you will like it 🙂 If something isn’t working for you, the power is in your hands to make the experience what you want it to be. You will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and raise concerns and address them together as a community to try and make it work for everyone involved.

Who is in charge?

You are. Well, you and 34 other people from your community. You will set the direction, come up with the ideas, try them out, play with them, learn from your mistakes, improve them and decide what actions to take to make real change for young people in your community. 

35 heads, hearts and pairs of hands are better than one. You will be the dream team, bringing dreams alive and putting young people’s futures back into their own hands.


Application form

Get involved to make change happen – apply now to join the team at Grove 3475!

So you’re ready to join the adventure? Awesome! Just let us know a bit about yourself using the form below and we will be in touch with more information. We look forward to getting to know you and getting down to action!


Contact number:

Email address:

Are you a resident of Grand Boulevard, Douglas or Oakland?

How did you hear about Grove 3457? 

What do you do with your time?

What excites you about this invitation and why do you want to get involved?

What scares you about this invitation and what concerns or questions do you have?



Where did the idea for Grove 3475 come from and who’s behind it?

Grove 3475 has emerged from a journey of community consultation and prototyping for developing “collaboratories” which was led by the Chicago Community Trust, who will also be taking the lead in designing and delivering this project.

The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to improving the Chicago region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy. As the Trust enters its second century, the current challenge, as stated by president and CEO Terry Mazany, is “to balance the stability and reliability you expect with the courage and innovation demanded by the times in which we live.”

Through it’s 2014 “On The Table” process, involving broad consultation across the community the Trust created a new initiative, the “collaboratories.” This served to take six promising ideas originated through On The Table into action. The Chicago Lab 2016 builds on learning and lessons from the first-generation of collaboratories

CCT are collaborating with Roller Strategies [link to] to design and deliver Grove 3475. Roller Strategies is a professional services firm focused on next-gen solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. They believe that people want to solve their own problems and their purpose is to support this drive to its highest potential. 

For more information about the Chicago Lab please contact Cheryl Hughes, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Chicago Community Trust 312-616-8000 ext. 196 or

Web Page – Architectural Design

Website Content

About us? At Archilime, it’s all about you…

A top quality property development needs a top quality team behind it. Choosing the right partners at every stage is crucial to the success of your finished project.

You need architectural visualisation problems solved quickly and efficiently…

You can rely on us to be a trustworthy, transparent and responsive part of your project team. You will have experts in the field of bespoke property development CGI on hand to deliver accurate, sophisticated architectural visualisations on time and on budget – every time.

You need a supplier that listens, understands and delivers…

We pride ourselves not only on our consistent skill and technical knowledge but also on the relationships we cultivate with our clients. We take the time to really understand your project and your goals, and to talk you through the way we work step by step, so you can feel assured that we are a dedicated part of your team for the duration of our work together.

You need a supplier that provides high-quality visuals without putting your project at risk…

We take pride in producing all our images in-house so that you can be assured of the highest quality every step of the way. Working in close communication with our local, hands-on team you are able to monitor quality and accuracy and feed in in changes or additions throughout the process, steering you clear of costly mistakes or delays caused by outsourcing.

If this sounds like the kind of partnership you are looking for in an architectural visualisation agency, drop us a line to talk about teaming up on your big project today and find out more about how we work and how we can help you.


Our Team

Our team of in-house creatives specialise in high-end bespoke interior design as well as exterior CGI and brochure work for a range of clients. We produce bespoke photo-realistic 3D architectural visualisations and designs for architects, property developers, interior and landscape designers across the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

– Dom:

“Creative freedom is the icing on any design-related cake. Ambitious projects reward the highest level of satisfaction upon completion and arguably it’s that satisfaction that drives us all as a team.”

– Dan:

 “I love meeting and working with forward-thinking clients that challenge us professionally. I am a huge fan of using elements of industrial architectural styles in residential properties, and the post-modern organic and prairie styles of architecture – so I am excited to see the evolution of styles as each project comes into the studio.”

– Jack:

“For me its all about the satisfaction of a happy client. As we prioritise focus on our working relationship with a client, the project just goes from strength to strength. Once we have formed a collaborative creative relationship, the efficiency of any live project is immediately improved and the delivery streamlined.”

Every great architectural triumph begins as a conversation between bright minds, and as a team, we certainly are ripe and ready for fresh challenges so why not pop in and put us through our paces!

Article – Interview – Travel & Lifestyle

Article, Interview, Travel Writing

As something of an on-off digital nomad myself, I’ve enjoyed curating content and writing blog pieces and interviews for Digital Nomad. This online community portal curates and creates relevant content from personal stories to packing lists for those who may be considering taking to the open road and sustaining their journey by working online:

Portrait: a digital nomad living outside the tribe

Much discussion around the rise of digital nomad culture is focussed on the hubs and tribes, the clusters of nomads finding community wherever they find themselves, in co-working spaces and deeper connections through co-living projects scattered across the globe.

What of the nomad without a tribe?

The solitary wanderers and techno-hermits tucked away in all corners of the globe, creating vast online platforms that bring us all together. The paradox of digital work finds many nomads, by choice or by circumstance, alone in their hotel room, or tucked away in a cabin, bridging continents and creating virtual communities through their computer.

So what is it like to choose this path? I made a date with Ed Dowding, creator of Represent, a digital democracy platform which facilitates transparent, non-partisan, real time peer to peer polling and generates a clear and representative collective voice from scattered and distorted political debate in the UK.

Our interview begins with a classic digital nomad scene. After shifting times around a little we connect through skype, quick hello then robot sounds… Connection drops. Battling an intermittent wifi connection in a cafe and fielding calls to the mobile office take a little time and some creative problem solving. We shift channels, I am renting a UK local rate landline number which diverts to the landline of the retreat centre I am working from in Greece, which he can call from his mobile in Bristol. Ten minutes later with a clear line and a warm “hello” we dive into Ed’s story.

Ed made the shift to a nomadic life in 2002, four years into his career as a digital entrepreneur, arriving finally at a point where he felt confident that he could do his work entirely remotely.

“I realised that I was already effectively working remotely, so I might as well work remotely from the Alps! Technology makes it possible, so why not do it? I feel the same about paragliding. Our ancestors must have sat on mountains looking out and wanted to fly, now we can, so why would you not?”

His first step as a nomad was to move into a soft-top convertible he bought in Edinburgh!

“It was horrible, a colossal pain in the ass. I knew it wouldn’t work in winter and so I would have to leave before then. It served its main purpose, which was to get me out of there ”

Over a decade later and he now enjoys the relative luxury of a ski-in ski-out apartment in the Alps where he spends about three quarters of his time with the remaining quarter in the UK bouncing between meetings for his digital democracy platform Represent.

“A ratio of 30 days here in the Alps to about 10 days in the UK works well for me. Sometimes I cluster meetings more and it’s 60:20 but then the balance gets out of synch and a bit unmanageable with more activity and meetings and less time for follow up. It does depend I guess on how big a team you are working with.”

Ed also does occasional month-long house-sits in France and the UK for a bit of diversity, but makes clear that he is not one of the wealthy digital nomads with an easy residual income, rather one that lives outside the UK largely to save money, as well as  investing more time with fewer distractions in an online start-up.

As a solitary nomad nested in the midst of a transient crowd of holidaymakers and lots of snow, I was curious to know if he was at all drawn to the booming community of Digital Nomads in balmy locations across South East Asia:

“It’s sort of interesting, I know a few people who are there trying to work it out, but Asian Hoxton is not my style. Chances are that if a whole bunch of people are doing something and think it’s “cool”,I won’t.”

So what kinds of communities does this independent and deeply focussed entrepreneur identify with?

“As a wilful outsider I am quite ephemeral between communities – core friends, working relationships, interest groups, local connections – and at the same time I know very few people in France, it’s a resort not a village, most people who are there aren’t there the next week.”

Unlike many digital nomads who cluster in co-working spaces and co-living communities, hungry for collaboration and cross-pollination In Real Life, Ed seems to relish most of all the sense of connection he finds with nature:

“The giant mountain beckons you to the top of it without much resistance, walking through pine forest and nice mountain parks and gorgeous views. It is incredibly uplifting being at the top of a mountain for sunrise, watching the stars fade out and the colours come across the sky, it’s glorious.”

He speaks also of the challenges and quirks of these spells of solitary existence:

“If we exist largely in the eye of others, it’s other people’s reflection of us that help us work out who we are, so unless we consciously take time to think about who we are, then that doesn’t happen so much, to the extent I can sometimes look in the mirror and realise how very different I look, compared to how I feel.”

Most important to Ed, and the focus of the majority of his time and energy is his mission, the evolution and roll out of his digital democracy platform Represent:

“I’m pretty sure this one is my life’s purpose. If I can make this work, then it will be the most important thing I ever do.”

Spending most of his time at a distance from the UK, insulated from and not immersed in the daily reality and scale of the system he has tasked himself with transforming furnishes Ed with sufficient “delusion and belief” to support his mission focus. He seems to need only his own core belief in the value and importance of what he is doing to fuel his committed effort.

His philosophical reflection on purpose is sweetly representative of hours of undisturbed immersion in a a curated and theoretically dense cornucopia of podcasts and Sci-Fi audio books – the Utopias and dystopias of “social anthropology played out”:

“It’s incredible how many people believe that what they do is the most important thing they are doing, and from other people’s perspective it’s quite rubbish. Some people go to work because of the why, and some go despite it. It’s like the people who go to war not to fight for a noble cause, but because their friends are going and they want to help them. Perfectly mad.”

The flip-side and the challenge of such absolute mission focus, in Ed’s experience, is the ever-present risk of becoming “quite annoying, mono-thematic and single-minded”. Being relatively solitary he finds it easy to forget how people think and how to communicate ideas. This is especially hard when there is no shared understanding of the topic to begin from – so perhaps a like-minded community of digital nomads and entrepreneurs has its uses after all!

It is evident that there are many benefits and challenges to the solitary path of a digital nomad, just as there are in the close knit communities and cliques where we gather and grow together.

I personally find balance in moving between the two. For the last three years I have alternated  extended periods of solitary, simple, grounded living in remote valleys of Devon, Greece and Gran Canaria,  with creative whirlwind summers amongst my scattered global community, bouncing from couch to camper van and moving every few days to a new adventure. This summer however I’ll be renting a room for six months in the city as a base to put down my bag and move around from, as the “right  balance” for me changes and I move with it.

Each person’s balance will be different, and it just goes to show there are as many ways to make the nomadic life work for your as there are nomads doing it. Make the road your own! What’s your perfect balance?

Portrait: a Digital Nomad living outside the tribe

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