Studio & how it is done
‘Letters are things, not pictures of things’ Eric Gill
‘All is well with me. The rain doesn’t reach me, my room is well heated, what more can one ask for? There’s no shortage of work, either ....’ Paul Klee
‘Space for the spirit to breathe’ Rainer Maria Rilke
Many initial little sketches are created to throw about ideas reflecting the wording, considering what the function of the piece is and what material will be used. Once a sketch of the design has been chosen, I work on a full size drawing of the letters and layout. Many hours go into perfecting the lettershapes in relation to eachother and the overall design and layout.
The final drawing is then transfered onto the stone - often tracing it through using cabon paper or buy chalking the back of the drawing.
The slow, gentle job of cutting it by hand with a chisel and mallet starts. This can not be rushed, stone and slate are natural materials that chip or break and there is no 'rubbung' out option if one goes wrong!
Occasional rubbings are taken to check the shape and form of the letters.
After a final cut (I go over each letter several times) the letters are sometimes gilded or painted if appropriate. To finish off, the slate or stone will be rubbed down with wet and dry sand paper to achieve the final finish.
The finished stone is installed. For smaller pieces hidden fixing plates or bolts are fitted to the back of the stone so that they can be hung directly.
The design and transfer process for pieces cut in wood is similar to stone or slate.
However the process of cutting the letters is quite different and a variety of chisels, gouges and a knife are used to work with the grain of the wood.