These flint stones, small, able to be held easily in the palm of one hand, were collected on the south coast of England perhaps in the 1990s. For someone obsessed with time and memory I regret I cannot be more precise. Nevertheless, I did pick them from a beach, and they fitted nicely. At this [undefined and undefinable] time, I was inspired by HM and others like. Some decades later, the flints rest in my Australian garden, and shared.
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes—
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands—
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
Snow by Louis MacNeice
This is the third in a series of demonstrations about how to letter carve in a time of pandemic.
This cartoon by the famed Guardian artist, Polly Simmonds, came to light as I searched through my Journal for 1987. Tucked away in a sleeve at the rear of the volume the newsprint is a little worn, a touch brown in parts, yet the humour is as fresh as ever.
I notice that U stands for UB40. No, not the band. This was the Unemployment Benefit Attendance card handed out to the jobless, including me that year. This is mine:
I will be showing you how I design for stone carving.
The sketch is at half scale in this instance, with the carving to be done on a piece of sandstone, 300mm by 300mm. The text is a line from a Louis MacNeice poem. You will notice the free flowing lettering, with letter height at c40mm, for the ascenders.
This may be adjusted as the drawing develops into a final version.
The letter design is my own style, with use of a capital G prominent and the ampersand (in the original text this is spelt out, and).
The drawing is done on tracing paper, using a 2H pencil.