lettering percy smith sculpture stone

Memorial lettering

A tradition of fine hand-cut memorials exists in the UK. I was once a small part of that heritage, being commissioned to create bespoke headstones and other memorials for clients. Over the last week as part of a effort to simplify my ever growing lettering collection and archives I came across these images of mine, all made in England and pre-dating 2004 which was when we moved to Australia. I would often use both sides of the stone with the client providing a piece of prose or poetry appropriate to the person being memorialised which I’d carve on the reverse. These three examples show this, the first and third in green slate, the middle one in Welsh black:

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I also made this piece for the courtyard of a church in Essex, England. It is limestone and slate.

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Alas, there is, as far as I can discern, such a tradition in this part of the world. Maybe I should start one…

Also see this post on Percy Smith. Also see my page on sculptural items.

lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework

Still Point… lettercarving

Polished marble, at 60cm x 50cm, infilled with grey acrylic. Text from TS Eliot. [Carver – J Pitt, July 2011.]


In Principio – part 2

[Part 1 is here]

The Latin text translates – In the beginning was the word (or, all our troubles began with words).

The gilding is in copper.

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.

Elements of Lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering

The trouble with U – part 3

Hand carved – by me – in limestone, painted.

Thoughts on lettering

Details of the limestone bench

The first picture shows the finished piece in the garden setting of a small church in Essex, England, the next the bench being assembled. Stainless steel rods support the seat.