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Letters from Home

8 February 2024 - 2 March 2024

This February, we present Letters from Home, which brings together a curated selection of new works from The Scottish Lettercutters Association. The Association values the development and promotion of the art and craft of hand-cut lettering in Scotland, sharing skills and resources with one another. This creative, collective and collaborative approach enables them to produce the highest standard of lettering, while fostering and inspiring the next generation of lettercutters.

Read our visual blog here to learn more about the exhibition.

Lois Anderson | Tim Chalk | Ian Evans-Boiten | Alex Holmes | Gus Fisher | Gillian Forbes | Ayako Furuno | Ian Newton | Jackie Perkins | Jane Raven | Robbie Schneider | Beatrice Searle

I went to Weymouth Stone Masonry College in the 1990’s, followed by a 3 year apprenticeship with Richard Kindersley in London and have been carving letters ever since. I have a studio in London, but since the pandemic I have based myself in Glasgow where I now carry out most of my carving work. My work is mainly headstones and memorials, garden pieces and some carving directly onto buildings.

London based Lois Anderson studied lettercarving for 2 years at Weymouth College and then worked for Richard Kindersley as an assistant in his London studio for a further 2 years. She now works to commission on headstones and memorials, as well as creating one off pieces with different forms of lettering (hand drawn letters and typefaces) and materials.

I’ve been making site specific and public artwork in a variety of media for more than 40 years and my work is visible in streets, schools, museums and other public settings. Text has been a part of my work for a long time and this has increased along with a focus on Sundials and what I call “Sun Sculptures”. 

Based in Edinburgh, Tim has been an Associate Member of the SLA for four years.

After many years working with stone as both a stone carver and a letter cutter, a new idea came to me which would lead to me changing from what I knew to a new exciting challenge, working with an unknown material, wood. For me the beauty of working with wood is that it is a living organism. Each wood has its own unique scent and texture. Due to its fragile nature it needs to be treated with the utmost care and delicacy and the respect it so rightly deserves.

Ian Evans-Boiten has been working in stone since 1996 when he began a 3 year stonemason’s course in Edinburgh. During this time, he also studied stone carving and lettering. Much of his work is inspired by his religious faith and a love of stone, in particular native stone, such as Caithness and Ledmore Marble.

I have been carving letters in stone since 2000. My love of stone began as a child searching for fossils in the chalk downlands of West Sussex. A desire to carve letters into stone emerged from working as a drystone dyker. The commissions I most like to work on are pieces that will stand as indoor objects that become part of the daily lives of those who commission me.

Alex Holmes has been carving letters in stone since 2000. He lives and works in Fife.

Gus Fisher is an artist and craftsman working with letter design and stone carving. He has been a member of the Scottish Lettercutter’s Association for several years, a prestigious organisation that seeks to promote the traditional art of letter-carving.

Through recent travel and adventure, Gus had the space for inner tranquillity to support the creation of his new pieces.
Gus Fisher is a lettering designer and carver working in stone for the past 18 years. He takes great care to attend to the personality and detail of each letter. His works have featured in The Scottish Gallery since 2014 and Gus has enjoyed creating pieces for a number of exhibitions using traditional and modern forms. Alongside his commissioned work, Gus leads workshops for lettering design and carving techniques for individuals and groups.
His recent projects include:- The Bomber Command Memorial – London; The British Normandy Memorial – France; Commemoration Plaque Usher Hall – Edinburgh; Horatio’s Garden – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Glasgow; Old Royal Infirmary – EFI, The University of Edinburgh.

Born: 1967

My studio sits on the edge of a wood in rural Perthshire and am constantly inspired by the natural elements around me. Even after 30 years of stone carving I still love the inherent qualities of the stones I choose to work with – sandstone, limestone, slate & marble. The marks that my chisels make on the stone and the durability of these pieces fascinate me.

Based in Glenfarg in Perthshire, Gillian Forbes creates unique hand-carved pieces in a wide variety of British stone. The inspiration for her carving is drawn mostly from the natural world that surrounds her in rural Perthshire. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art, and subsequently studying architectural carving at Weymouth College in Dorset, Gillian started her stone carving business in 1995 in the small hamlet of Path of Condie. During this time, Gillian undertook a wide variety of both private and public art commissions, including carvings on Tay Street Flood Prevention Wall, large marine life elements in Morecambe, lettered panels on the Canongate Wall at the Scottish Parliament and most recently working with the sculptor John Maine to letter the memorial to Stephen Hawking in Westminster Abbey. Through her long-standing association with Memorials by Artists, Gillian became a founding member of the Scottish Lettercutters Association in 2001. In 2005 she was awarded a QEST scholarship, which enabled her to spend four months improving her model-making, casting and carving skills at the workshop of the French stone carver, Marc Chevalier Lacombe near Orleans, France. In 2008 Gillian won the J.D. Fergusson Arts Award Travel Prize to realise her ambition to travel to Carrara, Italy to learn marble carving at the Arco Arte Studio with sculptor Boutros Romhein.

Gillian presented a solo exhibition, Treasured, in February 2023.

I graduated from the City & Guilds Architectural Stone Carving Course in 2015 with a Diploma in Stone Carving. Thanks to the Lettering Arts Trust’s Journeyman Scheme, I went on to train with the renowned lettering artist John Neilson.

Based in Edinburgh, Ayako is a self-employed letter carver who works on a broad range of commissions, as well as making personal works for exhibition.

I’ve worked with stone for almost five decades from Drystone Dyking to restoration carving on Cathedrals. My vocation for the last thirty years has been making gravestones; work I find enormously fulfilling. All the Ragged Days was written and carved in Lockdown 2020 after finding damaged feathers on the beach and feeling how familiar they seemed to our human experience; needing care and gentleness. The Afterlife is a visual ‘joke’ about my growing sense that dying could very possibly be accompanied by a feeling of going Home.

Ian creates hand carved memorials, gravestones and headstones, unique and lettered to individual designs. His commissioned lettercutting and artworks can be seen in private and public collections, and he works closely with clients to create design in words and images that are fitting and appropriate for the individuals.

I am a lettering artist working mainly in stone and wood. A former stone conservator, I began lettercutting in 2011 and went on to complete a Historic Environment Scotland Craft Fellowship and a Lettering Arts Trust apprenticeship. I now work to commission from my Midlothian studio, using traditional methods of drawing, carving and finishing to create all manner of beautiful lettered works.

Jackie is a letter cutter, carver and designer based in Dalkeith. Her formal lettering training included a Historic Environment Scotland Craft Fellowship with The Colin Braid Stone Workshop in Midlothian, followed by a Lettering Arts Trust Apprenticeship with Eric Marland in Cambridge. Now based from her studio in Dalkeith, she works on private commissions, memorials, plaques and other lettering projects. Jackie works mainly in stone (slate, sandstone, limestone) and wood.

I studied for 4 years at City & Guilds of London Art School which has a long tradition of working with lettering. On moving up to Edinburgh in 1998, I set up my own design and production workshop initially working with glassware but moving increasingly into stone. I now divide my time working equally between the two.

Jane Raven is an Edinburgh based artist working across a variety of mediums. As well as lettercutter in stone, Jane works in glass, pebbles, painting and printmaking.

After studying sculpture at Camberwell and Byam Shaw art schools in London I specialized in letter design and inscriptional lettercarving. I work in stone, wood, metals and other media and my interest is in the integration of text, material and form. I do mainly commissioned work, both public and private, and I exhibit regularly.

Robbie is an elected member of The Royal Society of Sculptors, former chair and elected member of Letter Exchange, and currently chair of The Scottish Lettercutters Association. Alongside his own practise he teaches regularly and has run courses in Britain, Europe and Australia. His work can be found throughout Britain from Kent in the south to Shetland in the far north.

I am an artist, a qualified cathedral stone mason and a former student of the European Lettering Institute in Brugge. My sculptural background, my love of words and my belief in ‘truth to material’ has led me to pursue work with letters, language and inscriptional carving. Writing, drawing and carving by hand are the foremost elements of my creative life.

As well as a talented stone carver and letter cutter, Beatrice Searle is the author of Stone Will Answer, a beautiful memoir, travelogue and meditation on stone. She is based in South West Perthshire, Scotland.


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