As of the the beginning of November 2018 I have relocated my workshop to the peaceful hamlet of Little Ouse, near Ely.
The new address is: James Ryder Letter Cutter, New From Old, The Engine House, White House Road, Little Ouse, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4TG. My telephone number and email address remain the same.
Directions can be found on the Contact page, I look forward to showing you around
I was commissioned to add a lettered inscription to a memorial tree bench at St. Augustine’s Church in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The Teak bench surrounds a Holly tree in the graveyard and it is made up of six sections. The first challenge was to find a satisfactory way to divide up the inscription into six equal lines and then make each part fit comfortably onto its section.
The second challenge was in the actual cutting of the letters. Normally in wood I would like to work on the flat and am able to walk round the piece to make the cuts in the correct direction in relation to the grain. Obviously this wasn’t possible with this commission which led to many interesting cutting positions. (see photos below) Luckily the Teak was very nice to cut, hard but smooth, resulting in lovely crisp letters.
Once again I will be opening my workshop to visitors as part of the annual Cambridge Open Studios event. Please come and visit me on the first 2 weekends of July (2nd-3rd and 9th-10th) from 11am until 6pm.
You will be able to see work in progress and there will be finished pieces and greetings cards for sale and of course homemade lemonade and cake.
During the 4 weekends of July around 250 artists around Cambridge open their studios to the public, for more information please see www.camopenstudios.co.uk or if you are local look out for the free yellow guides.
I was asked to work alongside Binney Hare of H2 Associates Design to make a Foundation Stone for the Woolf Institute’s new home in Cambridge. This presented a particular challenge as the quotation would be in three languages; English, Hebrew and Arabic. After some experimentation I realised that the only way for the top three lines to sit well together would be for me to draw them from scratch, rather than use existing typefaces. This way the heights and weights and feel of the letters would be consistent. I set about a crash course in Hebrew and Arabic calligraphy and as I do not read either of the languages the design was drawn out full size on paper first to be checked and double checked by members of the Woolf Institute before it was transferred onto the stone using carbon paper and carefully cut. The plaque will sit inside the building which should be completed next year.
I have a new Instagram account, please follow me for photo insights into workshop life, letter carving in progress, finished work and events I’m involved in.
I will have a stall at the annual Blackthorpe Barn British Craft event next weekend, Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th November. The barn is just outside Bury St Edmunds and will be open 10am – 5pm both days. There will be stalls from dozens of the best local crafts people, the perfect place to do you Christmas shopping. I will be selling lettering works in stone and wood and also my new greetings cards.
For more info see http://www.blackthorpebarn.com/barn-events/british-crafts
Please take a look at the short documentary made by my friend, the film-maker Rachel Schnellinger-Bailey.
It gives a brief insight into the workshop and why I work by hand.
Click here to see it
As part of the annual Cambridge Open Studios event, I will be opening my workshop to visitors between 11am – 6pm, the first 2 weekends in July (Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th, Saturday 11th, Sunday 12th).
Please pop in. there will be work for sale in stone and wood, commissions in progress and of course tea and cake!
There will be over 270 artists opening their studios in and around Cambridge during the month of July, pick up a yellow guide or see the website for more information of those participating.
I will be taking part in a Cambridge Open Studios Preview Exhibition at the Babylon Gallery in Ely between Tuesday 23rd and Sunday 28th June, 10am to 4pm.
It will be an exciting opportunity to see the work of 30 members of Cambridge Open Studios who live and work in the east Cambs area BEFORE they open their studios to the general public in July. Throughout the exhibition the artists will be in the gallery to talk about
the work on show and where to find the artists during Cambridge
Open Studios in July.
Two oak memorial plaques with carved lilies, fixed in St Faiths Church, Kilsby, Northamptonshire.