More Gascoigne, for the weekend

A visit to the local regional art gallery and a new Gascoigne on show – new that is to me. (Those who missed my earlier post please take a moment to read it here.) The first is called Vintage 1990 (retro-reflective road signs on plywood).


She wrote: ‘I don’t want to put it in words or spell it out as a literal picture, but rather, capture it in feelings’.

Plus another sculptural work, iron sheeting, titled Inland Sea (?1986), which I think rather beautiful.


Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

WOW, it’s the weekend

Piece of sculptural lettering for your weekend pleasure. By Midge Johnansen (Qld, Australia), exhibited at the Swell Sculpture Show, September 2012. Dimensions: 2.4mx1mx6m. Made from plywood and painted.

Sculptural lettering

eric gill

Howard Coster’s portrait photograph of Eric Gill and Eric Gill’s pencil sketch of Howard Coster

About Howard Coster (1885-1959) I am unable to reveal much, other than a cursory look on the world’s favourite search engine reveals little, save that he was prominent in the 1920s and 1930s and London’s National Portrait Gallery had a retrospective of his work in the 1980s. Perhaps someone has a catalogue from that show and can help flesh out this man’s life?

What of his picture of Gill, which I found by chance in volume 39 of Penrose (1937), a volume I have used as the basis for a number of previous blogs. The picture was taken in 1927, and is a bromide print, hence the sepia tone. Gill is in characteristic pose, puffing on one of the fags that would kill him at the early age of 58. (I am 55 so mindful of mortality, though I no longer smoke.) In 1927 Gill was living all over the place, chiefly Salies-de-Bearn in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Paris and Chelsea, where perhaps this photo was taken, while his family stayed at Capel-y-ffin, that remote village in Wales that proved not such a good idea. Anyhow, Gill’s travels gave him plenty opportunity to chase the flesh.

I don’t think it’s a great photo, for Gill is so much the poseur that we do not get (as we do from a truly great photo) an idea of the person behind the mask. How much more fun if Gill had posed for Coster naked – a bit of a Stanley Spencer or a Lucian Freud. We can’t see his eyes either but we can tell that he is right handed.

I am grateful to the National Portrait Gallery for permission to use the Gill drawing, downloaded for free from their website.

Brand design Typographic ephemera

A beautiful woman in a beautiful gown, smoking

Such was the advertising art of the late 1940s (post-war) from which this advert is drawn. How an industry has been destroyed in a couple of generations. I place it in this blog for it is a piece of whimsy, and also forms part of our social history when beautiful women in beautiful gowns were called on by the men of advertising to promote the art of smoking. At least she is using a cigarette holder, the better for her pose no doubt. The illustration comes from a book I picked up for a couple of dollars at a jumble sale (boot fair) called Future Books, vol 3 (undated but possibly 1946-7).



Something colourful for the weekend

When I first began this blog (see here and how far I have departed from that opening statement) I had a notion that on Fridays I’d post something to amuse. That lasted not long, the last one being here. However, as a reminder of what I intended please enjoy this.

Unfortunately I only have an A4 scanner and the page size of this book, a children’s  English-French dictionary, published by Paul Hamlyn in 1965 (this the 4th impression of 1968) and printed in what was then called Czechoslovakia, is bigger. The pages are from the end pages and are unacknowledged.


Alphabet de la Brodeuse: or embroidery

The illustrations shown here are taken from a small volume (14cm x 10cm)  entitled Alphabet de la Brodeuse, lettres, chaffers, mono grammes et ornaments a points competes which was published by Editions Th. de. Dillmont  of Mulhouse (France), not dated. In essence, it is an example of alphabets that can be used in needlework.

Elements of Lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework

The Beauty of W

W. Poor thing. It has no place in the classic Roman script. A bastard letter. V + V = W. Nevertheless it can be transformed into one of the most beautiful of letters when carved in stone – also one of the most difficult. The intersections cause beginners the most trouble and often lead to the most appalling breaks. This is my most recent effort, from the Still Life carving which is  in progress. I hope to show you the various letters as they are cut. Note in this example the chisel marks left on the ‘wall’ of the letter – a sure indication of the human touch. No machine can replicate that. It is the very music of the hand and chisel as it moves through the stone.