I photographed this on an early morning when the early autumn light was shining through on of the stained glass windows a couple of weeks ago.
I completed this stone earlier in the year and it was fixed into the floor of Lincoln Cathedral’s south west transept. It’s a large piece (850mm x 750mm ) with an in-laid copper cross (dating from WW2) and inlaid lettering which proved very problematic during cutting due to the soft nature of the Lincoln Redbed which was used. The resin in-fill also caused some staining issues due to the very cold weather experienced in late winter 2018 resulting in the resin taking a long time to set. At the time I wasn’t very happy with it, but a few months after being installed, it’s bedding in nicely.
Sometimes I’m asked to make a stone to match an existing one. This can be interesting – an idiosyncratic lettering style or unusual technique can provide a challenge. Recently, Lincoln Cathedral asked me to match a new stone for the north aisle to pair with one already in-situ. This stone was unusual in that in had been filled with black resin. Not uncommon practice historically on hard polishable stones, but not normally used on Lincoln limestone, almost soft enough to cut with a butter knife. Resin sets hard – very hard. Lincoln Silverbed is not; I knew some experimentation was needed. After some trial and error on spare pieces, I used the following technique:
Design the letters so that they are fairly simple, then cut them as deep and square (or even better trapezoid) as possible, leaving the bottom of the letter rough. This gives the resin far more key than a normal ‘v’ cut would. However, cut with care as this is an easy way to loose carved edges.
Seal the stone with paint to stop any resin leaching and causing staining to the surrounding stone.
Use a high viscosity pigmented resin (I used Tiranti’s Multipurpose Resin and polyester paint in black), pour in to the letters so that the resin is proud. Use a cocktail stick to draw through the corners and edges.
The following day, rub the stone back with large sheets of wet and dry (wrapped around a wooden batton). I used 120 – 400 grit. The finished effect worked well – I’m looking forward to seeing it in-situ in the Cathedral floor later this month.