Vocations in stone project

The project includes a new progress plan, which will be developed with the support of mentors from the C.T. The introduction of a new digital technology will help to attract students striving towards international standards of work. During the working visit to the UK the practical teachers will meet the UK experts, which will undoubtedly contribute to the school’s further development. 

As the number of young students in Croatia who are interested in learning the handicraft of stonemasonry is steadily declining, if nothing is done, the 110-year legacy of the school will end. To ensure future sustainability, the school needs to expand student enrollments throughout the Balkan region.

The results of the project will focus on the school’s readiness to undergo managerial changes and to renew its current role in the Balkans, but also to strengthen its operational sustainability by extending its reach to new education and the market.

The project consists of 4 main activities:

  1. Marketing – to raise the school’s profile, mainly in the Balkans, but also across Europe;
  2. Capacity building – to improve school capacity with new technologies and to educate teachers for further work, including a visit to the UK;
  3. Incentives – to offer subsidies to students in priority target countries
  4. Business direction – to develop a three-year plan in order to set goals and to identify the necessary resources. The aim is to include short courses, summer schools and other pilot programs for trainees and future professionals.

Project goals

The traditional stonemasonry craft should attract new generations. The combining of hand and IT skills bridges the gap between old and new technologies and the gap between generations. Understanding variations in geology, materials science and techniques increases transferable skills and improves employability in the European labor market.

Project results

  • The meeting in Zagreb and an event open to the public with the participation of 100 people including the target audience from all over the Balkans and potential partners from all over Europe, as well as a visit to Zagreb Cathedral where the school has a long-standing role in restoration.
  • The purchase of a new digital scanning and modeling kit, including training for students, professionals, and working with CNC technology.
  • To attract 6 new students for the spring semester of 2020 by subsidizing training costs
  • To attract 6 new students for the autumn semester of 2020 by subsidizing training costs.
  • Education of 2 practical teachers who will conduct a working visit to the UK to learn and compare project management techniques, and promote the school as a center for training students in stonemasonry.
  • Working visit to the UK for 2 students from the school to gain international practical experience working with different materials and techniques, thus improving their expertise and employability.
  • develop multilingual marketing and learning materials in Croatian / English
  • Review the current operational model and market and develop a new three-year business and marketing plan for the school for 2021-2024.

A visit to Great Britain as part of the Vocations in stone project

The collaboration between the Stonemasonry School and the Cultura Trust Foundation has been going on for already five years. In this part of the “Vocations in stone project”, we were invited as guests to castles in the Teasdale, Durham and Yorkshire area. Students, teachers and the principal had busy daily schedules in which they enjoyed sightseeing, talking with stonemasons, workers and curators on the restoration and maintenance of the castles, they also met and talked with some of the castle owners.

The students visited Barnard, Raby, Auckland and Hylton Castles. They visited Durham Cathedral where they saw the restoration process with the restorers. They also visited all the construction sites at York Minster Cathedral. It was interesting to walk on 10 levels of scaffolding 200 meters long. They also visited St John’s College in Durham.

The 700-year-old castle hosted the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, as well as our students Kristijan Jovica, Vinko Martinić and Roko Dračevac, principal Tamara Plastić and teachers Emil Trutanić and Siniša Martinić Cezar.

Graham Bell, from the Cultura Trust organization, the holder of the Vocations in stone project, presented us in a truly stunning light. The students of the Stonemasonry School presented their knowledge and skills of carving in front of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Lord and Lady Barnard, the castle owners. The visit included a presentation of Historic England and members of English Heritage’s conservation team, showing the new 3D resources used for conservation and interpretation on a tour of the castle, as well as viewing the landmark Raby development through ‘The Rising’ project, which currently under construction.

The focus of the “Vocations in stone” project is to provide as much knowledge and skills as possible to young people, students of the school, which they will need for success in their careers of stone carving, restoration and preservation. Of course, the best way to learn is through practice, in which Great Britain and the Cultura Trust have so much to offer. We are looking forward to the continued collaboration, now richer for a lot of new knowledge, experience as well as scientific materials and research on stone, which are invaluable for our further work.

More detailed information is published at the link: https://www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/news/23788241.royal-visit-raby-castle-amid-work-new-visitor-destination/

Text prepared: Karmela Šegvić
Photographs: Emil Trutanić and Tracy Kidd


School principal Tamara Plastić, former principal Tonči Vlahović, practical teacher Damir Nižetić, dorm supervisor Dario Orlandini and external project associate Karmela Šegvić visited Zagreb ( 2020.), as part of the “Vocations in stone” project. The stonemason’s school has been a collaborator on the renovation of Zagreb Cathedral for many years, so visiting was the obvious thing to do while in the area. There they were joined by experts, reconstruction lead engineers in the Cathedral project, Mr. Damir Foretić and Ivan Foretić, with whom they talked about the work progress and agreed on future steps to be undertaken in this challenging endeavor. They also visited the Cathedral Treasury which holds sacral stone elements from the workshop of our former practical teacher, Ivica Nižetić.

After a short Cathedral tour, the principal T. Plastić opened a really impressive exhibition of works for the “Tripun Bokanić” Award in “Oris”, announced earlier. The beginning of the project “Vocations in stone” was presented at the event, and it should be noted that Graham Bell, a member of the prestigious English society Europa Nostra attended the exhibition and met with Ms. Plastić in order to finalize the necessary details related to the project. Europa Nostra is a cultural heritage organization, and is major partner of Stonemasonry School in this project. 

There were also other distinctive guests at the exhibition, Matjaž Žigon from Marmomac (Verona), the organizer of the largest stonemasonry fair in the world, top sculptor and restorer Vladimir Herljević, representatives of the Ministry of Science and Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency for Vocational and Adult Education, Italian Margrafa, the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb and many others. 

At this link https://www.hrt.hr/enz/dnevnik-u-podne/566057/ HRT’s “Dnevnik, you can find footage covering the event.



The “Vocations in Stone” project is a collaboration between the organization Cultura Trust (Great Britain) and the Stonemasonry school. The goal of this project is to re-establish the school… Read more

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