See sculpture and letter carving at the Natural Stone Show
A new feature at the Natural Stone Show taking place in London at ExCeL from 30 April to 2 May is the Sculptors' Studio, where some of the industry’s leading artists have been invited to exhibit examples of their work in a celebration of the best of British creativity, craftsmanship and design.
The artists involved include Mark Brooks of Artisan Memorials and Lois Anderson, two of the artist-letter carvers of The Lettering Arts Trust, and sculptors Carrie Horwood of Cat's Eye Carving, Pippa Unwin of Mewstone Masonry and Jude Tucker.
The Lettering Arts Trust has created a niche for itself as a champion of the art of lettering and letter carving. It raises awareness of the art form and ensures that the role of the master craftsman and a rich lettering heritage is valued.
The Lettering Arts Trust ensures the continuum of these skills through a programme of education, with apprenticeships and journeyman schemes and a range of workshops held across the country in artists’ studios.
Artists featuring in the Sculptors' Studio include:
Mark Brooks, an experienced calligrapher and lecturer, has been carving all his working life in a broad range of media. His work ranges from the huge landmark sign at Margate's seafront for The Old Kent Market to intricate monograms for bespoke jewellery. He has also carved the large title lettering into the front of the Masons Headquarters in Covent Garden. He dedicates much of his time to bespoke headstones and memorials in stone which he considers an important and rewarding part of his work.
Lois Anderson runs a letter-carving workshop in Islington, North London. She works on commissions for new projects as well as restoration and cleaning of old stones. Lois mainly uses indigenous stones but will also re-purpose old materials. In addition to applied lettering on buildings and being the stone carver to RIBA, she creates signs for houses, public buildings, interior and exterior decorative pieces and memorials.
Renowned as the organiser of the Gloucester Stone Festival, Carrie Horwood was the first woman apprentice stonemason at Gloucester Cathedral and in 2005 set up her own business undertaking many types of commissions involving letter cutting, sculptures and smaller designs. She will be bringing a number of pieces of the Sculptors' Studio as examples of the work available to buy from her studio at Taurus Crafts on the edge of the Forest of Dean.
Famous for her animal sculptures, examples of which will be exhibited at the Sculptors' Studio, Pippa Unwin originally trained as a children's book illustrator. Her desire to express her work in three dimensions lead her to study further which lead to an apprenticeship with Keystone Masonry in Salisbury. With 5 years' experience behind her, she started to take commissions of her own working on restoration, new build, letter carving and sculpture and now continues to work at her Mewstone Masonry workshop near Kingsbridge, Devon.
After a period exploring many art mediums, Jude Tucker began working in stone in 2003 after a visit to the Portland Sculpture Trust at Tout Quarry, Dorset. She trained in stonemasonry during which time she had the opportunity to design and carve two grotesques for St Georges Chapel, Windsor. She was offered her first exhibition in 2007 and continues to exhibit her work as well as running stone carving courses.
Specialising in public art sculpture, Graeme Mitcheson graduated from Loughborough College of Art in1995. He will be bringing models and maquette used in advance of making the large-scale public artworks to the Sculptors' Studio, to give an insight into the preparation and planning involved in creating his full-size finished works. Visitors to the show will be able to see scaled versions of The Flower, a life-sized bust of The Scout and Mussel.