Stone Edge’s greatest asset is its people. We have highly skilled teams across the country, all dedicated to working on heritage projects. They come from a huge variety of backgrounds and it’s this range of experience that allows us to deliver first class quality, whatever the challenge. We’ll be featuring members of our team from time to time in this blog.
Meet Valerio Caputi, a Conservation Technician. Valerio qualified at ‘Ars Labor’, the Professional Institute for Restoration in Rome. His training covered the conservation of paintings on wood and canvas, frescos and stone. Alongside the hands-on practice, the course included the theory of conservation, art history and the latest diagnostic techniques. Working in Rome, Valerio gained valuable experience on the city’s iconic classical buildings. He has restored IV century BC frescos, a 17th century wooden reliquary, and frescos in the Passion Chapel in St Mark’s Square. He was part of the team who spent two years restoring the west prospect of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, carrying out stone conservation, cleaning, mortar repairs, indents and repointing. His CV sounds impossibly glamorous – but the reality of working on these stone buildings in 40-degree heat and full sun is actually pretty tough.
A holiday to the UK and, in particular, a visit to York had a profound effect. Having been immersed in the classical buildings of Rome, Valerio was struck by the gothic architecture of York Minster and felt there must be an opportunity for him in the city. He made the move, signed up for English classes, took a job as a waiter and began volunteering for the National Trust. An important step was the official recognition of his Italian qualifications, which gave him his CSCS Gold Card and enabled him to find work in the UK heritage sector. He also continued with his training, undertaking a course at York College in stone carving.
Valerio brings a valuable range of skills to our team. He particularly enjoyed working at St Vincent’s Church in Sheffield, where he carried out work to mosaics and terrazzo that had originally been made by Italian immigrant workers.
His experience and delicate approach were invaluable at Wythenshawe Hall, removing layers of paint from the ornate ceiling of a fire-damaged building.
At the moment, Valerio is on the team at All Saints’ Church, Normanton, near Wakefield. He has been carrying out sensitive repairs to the stone font, achieving the delicate balance between restoration and the preservation of patina. His next task will be the careful removal of black paint that was applied to the leaded lights many years ago.
Outside work, Valerio is enjoying exploring the region and walking in the hills. Travelling further afield is a passion, and highlights have been trips to India and Thailand. We are delighted to have Valerio on the team, working on our projects in the north. (And at least he doesn’t have to worry about the 40-degree heat these days…)