Archive for the ‘About lettercarving’ Category


December 31, 2010

I like to explore how letters and wood can represent information and ideas in different ways. Sometimes things happen by chance.
An ongoing project is to represent the first 5 bars of  Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. I made a start on this but realised that my approach wasn’t working.   I had carved twelve  letter “G”s on some oak.    In order to reuse the wood, I bandsawed off the face leaving me with a thin sheet of perforated “G”s, of differing sizes, destined for the rubbish bin.   Later in the day I was listening to Radio 4 – a program about numbers talking about the value of the strength of the gravitational force G and how this particular value is so significant and has allowed life to happen on this planet.
At the time I was producing work for an SLA exhibition at the Stacy Marks gallery in Perthshire, hence “Perfectly Tuned For Life” – which sold !





where I work

December 30, 2010

One of the reasons I enjoy lettercarving is that one can choose to work almost entirely with hand tools and, as I work at home, the project often determines where I work.

Holding the work is often a challenge as in the image below.  See images of recent work for the finished piece.

Some of the oak handrails for the Loch Leven job were 5m long and were carved in the front room,  coming in through the ground floor window.

The storytellers chair required 2 Workmate benches and the use of the front room again.

Working on site can be a challenge but also a great pleasure. I spent 4 days on my knees carving a poem on the top rail of this oak bench for the Falkland Centre for Stewardship. The sound of running water and the rustling of leaves.

On this job, the sound of buzzards and distant chainsaws (and rain drops)

Sometimes I take my tools on holiday.

One of the advantages of lettercarving is that the carving work doesn’t produce dust and that relatively little material is removed. For work preparation and finishing there is a wonderful new abrasive product by Abranet which allows dust extracted hand sanding – much appreciated now that I have asthma after years in dusty workshops (and nearly 30 years of cycling in the city)

In the summer I sometimes work outside.