Born (Luigi Masoero) in Scarborough in 1915, Gino began his working life in the kitchens of the 5 star Palace Hotel – Southend, where his Italian father worked as the head chef. Gino’s artistic talents were eventually accepted by his sceptical father, when he was asked to carve a tureen from a block of culinary salt, which was used as a table decoration at a high-class function in the hotel.
The hotel owner was so impressed by the final sculpture, not only did Gino receive a healthy bonus, he was compelled to recommend that Gino’s future should be in an artistic field (a significant undertaking at the time). With this recommendation Gino’s father begrudgingly gave his blessing for Gino to continue studying art at evening classes, which he did, supporting himself with working in a local Italian restaurant.
At a considerable low point in Gino’s life, following the accidental loss of a friend and a falling out between himself and his ailing mother, a chance encounter in the 1930’s with an elderly wood carver named Louis Dupuis, turned luck on its head and Gino’s true calling was recognised. Rejected by the armed forced on racial grounds, Gino set out on his path to become a master in the art of sculpting wood…
Gino went on to become one of the very few woodcarvers worldwide, regarded as adequately skilled to undertake restoration work on carvings by the highly revered and internationally renowned master Grinling Gibbons.
High-points of Gino’s career included carving the eight foot tall statue of Christ, which currently stands above the High Altar of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, restoration work on carvings by Grinling Gibbons in the Admiralty Boardroom and many years of work for The College Of Arms, from which on his retirement, Gino received personal letters of thanks and praise.
In addition to working on many notable commission pieces during his lifetime, Gino also became a tutor of wood carving to many, including Gerry Holzman and master carvers Chris Pye and Ricardo Rodriguez.
“…the indefatigable Gino Masero, who oversaw my initial attempts at sharpening, and witnessed the first time I laid a cutting edge into a piece of Limewood. His spirited friendship was a source of great joy…”
Chris Pye – Woodcarving (Tools, Materials & Equipment)
“…he generously opened a window into his soul. And what I saw there, combined with what I learned at his workbench, made it possible for me to become a professional woodcarver.”
Gerry Holzman – Us Carvers
“…I don’t know who can match his skills in the future when it comes to carving Garter Knight’s crests.”
Sir Colin Cole – Garter Principal King of Arms
“…we have had the benefit of your expert services and have been filled with admiration for the great spirit with which you do your carving. These have added greatly to the distinction of the Order”
Sir Conrad Swan – Garter Principal King of Arms