An apprentice-trained Letter Carver & Stonemason specialising in hand-cut letters, bespoke inscriptions and public art projects at my studio, in Sheffield.
Using traditional calligraphy techniques, I set out my work by hand and cut inscriptions using a mallet and chisel.
I constantly try to push my skills and knowledge in the projects I work on. I am committed to learning new and old techniques within my field and using them in innovative ways.
My family is a huge motivating factor for what I do, my wife Liz and our two young boys Hector and Sandy are amazing, they have to put up with me being dusty and tired a lot!
After breaking my leg and losing my office job in the same month, I seized the opportunity to retrain as a stonemason - something I had always wanted to do. My apprenticeship was with a restoration and conservation company. I really valued this training for giving me the chance to help preserve the heritage of beautiful, old buildings.
At York College I learnt how to set out and carve architectural masonry, doing everything by hand using techniques which haven’t changed for centuries. I love this tangible link to the past - the sound of chisel on stone kind of gets in your bones!
From starting on restoration projects, I became more intrigued by letter carving and have sought out as many courses from master carvers as I can, to learn more about proportion, design and cutting. This is turn, led to my interest in calligraphy.
Being a stonemason can be tough, dusty work, but I love how rewarding and varied it is, from carving inscriptions in my workshop to clambering around on church roofs.
My studio is called the Stone&Letter Workshop, it is at Stag Works, an old cutlery factory in Sheffield. It is split into two areas, designing/drafting and cutting/polishing/shaping. Stag Works is a good place to work as there is a small community of other craftspeople, we all try to help each other out.
I have an ever-expanding collection of antique masons and draftsmans tools, most of which I still use as they were made by people who put care and attention into their craft, you can feel this when you hold them. Some new tools have this well-balanced feel, all of the new chisels I use are handmade, it took a while to build up a collection of ones I’m happy with.
I draw out everything by hand and go through a process of literally cutting and pasting letters and words together to get the spacing and look of the piece right. This can take a while but means I really focus on each individual letter and the space around them.
The Journey Continues...
Thank you for taking the time to look through my site. If you have any questions or have a project you think we would work well together on, feel free to drop me an email, call for a chat or pop in to the workshop!