Workwear brand Dickies has launched a campaign celebrating the passion and skills of tradespeople who inspire others with their dedication and ingenuity.
Whether it’s the creativity of those who make a living with their hands or the dedication of tradespeople who are always looking for new ways to do what they do best, the campaign centres around a series of videos featuring people from a range of disciplines. This includes a stonemason and carpenter and each video explores their work and what they love about it.
“Ever since Dickies was first established in 1922, we’ve been making clothing and footwear to support people who work in a wide variety of trades – creating goods as hard-working as they are,” says James Whitaker, marketing director for Dickies.
“We know that across the trades we support, there are many people who are really passionate about their jobs and this campaign is a way to celebrate that. The people in our videos have an independent spirit, a strong focus and a love for their work that shines through. They feel privileged to do what they love every day and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The story of a stonemason
The campaign kicks off with a video featuring Rob Maxfield, stonemason and founder of Rock Mallet Chisel in Congresbury.
Rob has worked as a stonemason since leaving school in 1988 and examples of his craftsmanship can be seen above Shakespeare’s tomb in Stratford, on the famous three spires of Lichfield Cathedral and in the grounds of Tyntesfield near Bristol to name just a few examples.
“Restoring and conserving old buildings is something I feel really lucky and privileged to do,” says Rob. “I do stonemasonry because it’s different every day. Even if I’m working on the same mould on the same stone, it’s slightly different to the way the stone reacts to grinders and chisels because it’s a natural product.”
After completing his formal apprenticeship with Linford Bridgeman, Rob took time out from the workshop to study for an HND in Figurative Design and Sculpture at Stafford Art College. On his return to practical stonemasonry, he quickly gained a reputation for high quality workmanship and decided to become self-employed, running a successful workshop in Bridgnorth Shropshire, undertaking a variety of work ranging from gargoyles, grotesques, garden walling, ornaments, tracery windows and bespoke fireplaces.
With three decades of experience behind him, Rob now hopes to pass on some of the skills he’s acquired. Alongside his work as a stonemason, he teaches classes to people interested in learning the craft, including the process of working stone and some of the centuries-old techniques that are still used today. All while allowing artistic talents to take free reign.
“When I first started doing these courses, I was so nervous because I’m a tradesman, not a lecturer,” Rob explains. “But I’m so proud of the things they turn out. It’s about people walking out the door having learnt but also with a big grin on their face.”