STUDIO & HOW IT IS DONE
Many initial sketches are created to play about with 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 letter shapes in relation to each other and the overall design.
The final drawing is then transferred onto the stone - often tracing it through using carbon paper or by 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 'rubbing' 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 sandpaper 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.
... and of course, creation is powered by a good cuppa!