Trainees selected for the 2023 Donald Gray Grants

Donald Gray Grant for training with the windmill carpenter Vicente Casero

This Donald Gray Grant was organized within the context of the Richard H. Driehaus Building Arts Awards, organized annually by the Traditional Building Cultures Foundation thanks to Richard H. Driehaus and the collaboration of INTBAU Spain, the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the CSCAE.

The apprentice selected to train for a period of four months with master windmill carpenter Vicente Casero has been Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez. Both the apprentice and the master will receive financial support for the duration of the training.

Manuel is a carpenter from Consuegra who began his professional career as a cabinetmaker in several companies specialized in furniture making. In early 2022 he began working on the restoration of some of the mills in the area of Puerto Lápice and joined the Toledo City Council as a carpenter, which marked the beginning of a new professional stage. Manuel has also participated in several courses on historical and Mudejar carpentry. His career reflects his passion for carpentry and his willingness to continue learning and training in various techniques and traditional building trades related to carpentry and joinery.

Wooden shingle roofing course in the context of the Donald Gray Grants

This course will be delivered by master shingle roofers Javier Goicoa and Jesús María Larrañeta and will take place over several weeks in 2024. Eight apprentices will participate in it, with the aim of transmitting to them all the knowledge of a trade of which there are hardly any masters left.

Javier Goicoa and Jesús María Larrañeta, originally from the Irati area in Navarra, are two of the last remaining master shingle roofers in Spain. Today, roofs finished with beech shingles are rare, but for centuries this has been the most characteristic solution in the region. Although both learned the craft of building roofs with wooden shingles in their youth, it has been in recent years that they have been able to practice it more assiduously, since in 2019 it was determined to restore the roof of the Chapel of the Virgen de las Nieves, in the Irati Forest, with beech wooden shingles, just as it had been originally built.

You can find more information about the Donald Gray Grants, as well as about the previous calls for applications, through the following link:

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