Where possible every commission should begin with a meeting, either at the workshop or at the place where the final piece will be fixed. This meeting allows us to sit down and discuss what the commission will entail: the choice of material, text, letterform, and where it is to be located. Don’t worry if you don’t know all this information at our first meeting, these things can be decided as the process develops.
Once we have reached a suitable point I will produce a design for the finished piece. Along side this I will provide a detailed costing. The price will include everything from designing, through drawing, cutting and painting, to fixing the final piece.
ORDERING STONE AND DRAWING OUT
When you are happy I will ask you to approve the design in writing and pay a third of the price up front. This will enable us to order the material. Once the material has arrived at the workshop, I will draw out the letters and then invite you to come and visit prior to the cutting. This is a great chance to see how the design looks in reality and to make any final changes.
CUTTING, PAINTING AND GILDING
The process of cutting is careful and slow. This is the point where design becomes real, and this is what will last. If required, after cutting, the letters can be painted or gilded.
I fix all work myself (with a little help!), whether that be digging the hole and carefully lowering a headstone into position, or drilling holes and attaching a plaque to a wall. Once the finished piece is in its final position then I will ask for the remainder of the bill.
Letterforms fall into broad groups, such as upper case, lower case, italic, serif or san serif. I don’t cut specific fonts; there is a freedom to lettercutting which is closer to calligraphy than to type. The skilled work of the craftsman’s eye and hand to adapt the lettering for each individual design, means that every piece is utterly unique. This is where the freedom of lettercutting lies.