A CLACKS monumental mason has been awarded a top bursary award enabling him to now work alongside a master crafter.

Cameron Wallace, from Tillicoultry, received the training bursary from Heritage Craft for his outstanding portfolio of work.

The 29-year-old earned the grant and will now begin a training programme working alongside Gillian Forbes, an industry master crafter, to hone his trade.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Cameron said he was delighted to receive the bursary and looked forward to his training.

He said: “This training bursary will let me spend time with a master crafter who predominantly makes memorials and art sculptures by hand.

“In order for me to train with her, I had to apply for it and submit a portfolio of my work and what I want to do in the future.

“I ended up getting this out of so many people who entered and it’s quite overwhelming that I was chosen.”

Cameron was drawn to masonry by the physical component of hand crafting, and started running his own freelance business in December 2022.

Since then, this has allowed him to practice his skills and earn more experience on the job ahead of his January training with Gillian Forbes.

Gillian is a master stone carver and started her business in 1995, going on to become a founding member of the Scottish Lettercutters Association in 2001.

Cameron will now work alongside her as she coaches him in the art of stone carving.

“I’m freelance right now,” he added. “I normally work in the cemetery putting letters on headstones.

“I like the human element of creating with your hands as opposed to using machines, but the ancient ways of creating appeals to me more.

“I’ve learned a lot in my first year of business. It’s been pretty tough sometimes, I started in the winter when the majority of work was outside.

“It’s been a massive learning curve but as the year has went on, I’ve become more and more busy and I’m really enjoying it now.

More information can be found at cameronwallacestonecarving.com.