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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.

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