Stone carver’s masonry workshop at the Bode-Museum


The major exhibition at the Bode-Museum 'SCHLOSS BAU MEISTER - Andreas Schlüter and Baroque Berlin’ has been open to visitors since 4 April 2014. Besides its main venue on the Museumsinsel, the show also features several external displays in Berlin’s historical centre and at Schloss Köpenick and is about to be enriched by a further attraction: a masonry workshop that has been set up on Monbijou Bridge, next to the Bode-Museum main entrance. Two stone carvers, Jens Cacha and Steffen Werner, employees of the German firm Fabbrica, will take turns to cut and sculpt stone in a live demonstration, on view for the duration of the exhibition.

Just as in Schlüter’s day, during the construction of the palace in the early 1700s, visitors will be able to observe a traditional form of architectural sculpture in action, unaided by machines. The sculptors have been commissioned to recreate for the soon-to-be reconstructed palace two Ionic capitals that once adorned portals II and IV of the Berlin Palace. Models of the capitals have been reconstructed based on historical photographs and using modern methods. They are now going to be copied in sandstone using the method of 'pointing’ which was rediscovered by stone carvers in the late 18th century. This method dates back to classical antiquity and involves the use of a grid of string squares on a wooden frame and a pointing needle to trace the exact distances between individual points in a form and transfer them onto a new stone. The carvers will demonstrate this technique to the audience, who will also have the chance to find out more about carvers’ work in the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace.