John Champion

Stone craftsman John Champion is a wanted man. With his nearly three decades of experience working with stone in gardens and homes his skills are in high demand as stone makes a resurgence.

Using hand made tools John is maintaining a craft and an art that is generally considered one of the old arts.  There are not many young people coming through to take over the mantle as John lamented.

He began his career working as a landscaper in Melbourne in the 1960’s and he worked on a stone gang learning the trade with master Italian stone men.

It was a lasting experience and one that firmly cemented John’s love of stone.

“It is a craft to build a wall. And wonderful to create something that lasts forever.”

“I am passionate about what I create. Stone is timeless. And, I am lucky that I can create things that make people happy.”

After years working in Melbourne, running a rare plant nursery in Ferny Creek and working on the restoration of historical buildings in the Westeern District of Victoria he has settled in the mountain hamlet of Noojee.

“I always wanted to live in the mountains. In Noojee everyone has a chapter of a book in their own personal story and some have several chapters.”

“There’s probably one or two chapters in me to, that’s probably why I fit in here,” he laughed.

John particularly enjoys working with Castlemaine sandstone for its texture and variety of colour. “It probably is my favourite and it has a structure in its shape, that makes it good to work with.”

Over the years John has seen the use of stone in homes and gardens wane and peak with the trend in style. He balks at the suggestion of anyone using fake stone saying, “really why would you bother when you can have the real thing for not much more than it costs to do fake, and it would add more value to a property.

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