Elements of Lettering Thoughts on lettering

Recent letter carving in slate

It has been a while since I picked up a chisel and took the tungsten tip to a piece of stone. So I was delighted to be commissioned by a friend to carve two words into a rectangular block of Mintaro slate from near Adelaide, Australia, approximately 300mm by 75mm. [The text Cantabo VivereĀ can be liberally translated asĀ Sing to live.]

The photos here illustrate the methods used in setting out the letters, initial cutting and the final piece.

This illustrates how the text is transferred to the stone, using carbon paper. Note the outline is a guide only.
The first cut of the A, with the C almost complete.
The R is being formed. Note how the shape is being tweaked in the process of cutting.
Holding the chisel. Dirty work.
cantabo vivere complete
Complete after being rubbed with at least 400 grit under running water.