Master Craftsman - Mark Whyman
Entering the Whangateau workshop where Mark Whyman creates his beautiful, hand-carved stone fireplaces, I immediately run my hand across a slab of wintery-grey stone, then quickly withdraw in case it’s forbidden. “No, go for it,” he says. “Hard to resist, isn’t it?” Yes, it is.
A five-year apprenticeship, and refining his skills on architectural restorations of cathedrals and historic buildings in England, led to Mark’s arrival in New Zealand to work on the restoration of the Old Arts Building at Auckland University. “I love the honesty and integrity of working with stone,” he says. “I wouldn’t have lived long enough to see it finished but I would love to have participated in the building of one of the great cathedrals.”
Mark enjoys running his own business, particularly meeting new clients and getting together with them to discuss a design. “It’s important to me to be authentic, and give clients the best of what I can do and what can be achieved. I love that I get to market it, make it and install it. I see the whole process through from beginning to end.”
Mark produces his own modern designs, plus traditional designs that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years – and everything in between. He has an excellent website that shows beautifully the range, quality and elegance of his work. “These fireplaces will last a lifetime – several lifetimes,” he assures me.
Mark is the only dedicated carver of stone fireplaces in New Zealand, certainly with his level of expertise, so grab the opportunity to work with a true craftsman.
The Natural Stone Fireplace Company | www.naturalstonefireplace.co.nz