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alphabet lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone Typographic ephemera

Alphabet – when it’s needed

I have never carved an alphabet from A-Z. The pandemic and lockdown made me re-assess many things, including this omission. I have used this exercise to inform some short instructional videos for those starting out, and for those who have been following [also here] here’s the completed piece. It is far from ‘perfect’ but life is not about ‘perfection’ – it is about doing. [By the way, the slate was split from a single fragment, hence the mirror-like quality – look at base pattern.]

An alphabet in slate
60cm x c15cm – recycled slate from the UK

 

Categories
alphabet lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone

Alphabet carving: the beginning

This is the start of an exercise in carving an alphabet in salvaged slate. You’ll notice that I’m carving the letters [c40mm] upside down – this is because the straight edge of the slate happens to be at the top of the letters as I sketched them. [There are two panels to the complete alphabet.] This makes it easier to hold the slate [which is fairly thin – about 10mm] firm on the ‘easel’ or banker, which I also made. If you would like details of how to make your own banker please let me know. Subscribe for further instalments. [Note also the ‘printer’s hat’ I’m wearing – this is an optional extra! Details on demand.]

Banker with slate
Homemade banker with slate and tools.
Categories
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.

 

Categories
lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework

More slate – more beautiful

It’s been a while since I carved but once learnt… This was a scrap piece of roofing slate I had lying around the studio (it is 32cm by 45cm), hence the holes. The first image shows work in progress – the second complete. The text comes from a Navajo chant and continues for some verses.