This article from the BBC News website shows just how important it is to check every word several times before you even think about putting chisel to stone. I have been in situations where a stone has been drawn out and ready to cut, only for a question to be raised about a capital letter or a hyphen and the start delayed by days while the answer is found. As always, the rule is never to cut anything unless you are absolutely sure it is correct.
Mistake in poet Manley Hopkins’ name angers lecturer
I am the featured business in the current issue of the Golden Guide, a magazine for Norwich’s Golden Triangle. The article talks about my training and my love of both stone and lettercutting. The full article can be found here. The magazine is distributed to around 14 000 homes in Norwich and is read by an estimated 35 000 people.
An interesting photo essay from Jon Henley and Sam Frost for The Guardian, showing one of the masons at CWO in Chichester at work. I find it odd that stonemasonry is considered a disappearing trade. My masonry course at the City of Bath College had a waiting list, with people joining the course halfway through. There seemed to be a trend for people who didn’t find any satisfaction with their job wanting to learn more practical skills. I believe part of the problem with the perceived death of the industry lies in the method of construction of new buildings. Stonemasonry is seen as merely a conservation or restoration industry; very few new buildings are made entirely out of stone. The film can be found here.
‘Final Marks’ is a fascinating documentary produced in 1978 about the John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island, one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in America. It is one of probably only two films about lettercutting made, and shows the work of the Shop, opening with the delivery of a large piece of stone, through to the cutting of an alphabet, finishing with a visit to a graveyard to show the evolution of the cut letter.
The 49 minute documentary, directed by Frank Muhly, Jr. and Peter O’Neill can be seen on the excellent FolkStreams website here.
The website for the John Stevens Shop is here.
My work on the Bath District Scout Headquarters has been featured in the Bath Chronicle and is available to read on their website, This Is Bath.
The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop produces letters in stone, glass, metal, paper and wood, including headstones, commemmorative plaques, heraldic carving, sundials, typefaces, bookplates and lettering cut straight into buildings.
I was an apprentice there for three years from 2007 to 2010 and learned everything I could about lettering from Lida Cardozo Kindersley. Lida liked to say that she was dedicated to the increase of good lettering in the world, and I like to think that I share that philosophy.
Many visitors were suprised to learn of the Workshop’s existence. I’m sure if they were to look hard enough, they would find more small businesses like the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop. They are there, but they don’t shout about it, they just quietly get on with the work.
To see more, please visit their excellent website at:
These are two images from a public art project in the centre of Norwich. The instillation consists of various marble and granite sculptures, including a large marble brain. Some of the works have lettering in them, including the granite seat pictured. The lettering here is, I have to say, incredibly crude. I have never worked granite and was always advised against it. I can understand why it was used here, as it is incredibly hard-waring and the sculpture is designed for people to sit on. However, it’s a real shame that more care and attention wasn’t taken with the cutting. When done well, letters in stone will form part of the stone. They should look like they’ve always been there. This looks like someone without training hacked it out in half an hour.