Welcome to my blog! I’m intending to post a range of things on here from topics which (I hope) may be of interest, to what’s going on in the workshop, exhibitions, galleries and so on.
First though, as a starting point, I thought I would just write down a few thoughts on letter carving which underpin much of the work.
We are familiar with the phrase ‘set in stone’ – it makes something unimpeachable, permanent; gives it authority. We usually associate it with head stones and memorials; our way of enshrining the names of those we loved for those who come after us. However, it is, of course, a tool for so much more than that. It is about people, language and the art of making, and can be pattern-making of the most beautiful kind. Its uses can range from the highly practical, such as commemoration, signage and instruction through to decoration or just for the sheer joy of it.
Anyone who’s tried their hand at letter carving will know that it is a time consuming, slow craft but one that requires little equipment. It has elements and influence from many different areas – calligraphy, graphic design, signwriting, typography and carving – all made by someone with patience and precision, and can be both a craft and an artform. The process used today has, for the most part, remained the same for more than two thousand years – one which would be entirely recognisable to the Egyptian craftsman who set his chisel to the smooth basalt slab to incise his text on what we now know as the Rosetta stone (196BC), one of the oldest and best known incised tablets. It is this process of making which is as enjoyable for me as the finished object. The (often challenging) process of design, committing it to your chosen material followed by the rhythm of cutting can be both meditative and satisfying. It’s easy to see why craft and making has regained prominence and popularity in recent years. I have every hope that it will continue to do so and thrive as we move on through the C21st.View all news