OBERLIN, OH and CHESTERTOWN, NY -- Andrew Swinley, carving foreman at Red Leaf Stone in Abbottsford, British Columbia, has been named 2016 Craftsman of the Year. The award was presented at the MIA+BSI Awards luncheon at TISE (The International Surface Event) in January.

Swinley began his career at the age of 20 as an apprentice stone mason, where he focused almost entirely on restoration. He then pursued a degree in figurative sculpture from the City and Guilds Art School in London. After 20 years as a self-employed stone carver, Swinley accepted a position at Architectural Stonemasonry, a division of Red Leaf Stone.

“Andrew is a traditional stonemason and architectural carver -- a man passionate in promoting the skills of his craft,” commented Tony Rogac, shop manager at Red Leaf Stone. “His training and experience give him a unique insight into what is possible in stone. When you are passionate about something, you want to see excellence. When you have excellence in yourself, you want to see that brought out in others. That’s what Andrew does.”

Swinley is grateful for this award and the opportunities it will bring. “Winning this award is meaningful, because it was given to me by my peers,” he said. “It is gratifying to finally get recognition in my field.”