Lettercutting has become an important part of my sculptural work. The light falling across the surface into which the letters have been cut emphasises the form of those letters, so there is the challenge of creating interesting, striking, stylish, artistic – choose your adjective – forms.
There is also the challenge of the design to suit the words and the material; there is the wording itself where I often indulge in a little bit of humour, as with Au Pair which is hanging in a pear tree. And there can be the opportunity to combine the lettercutting with carving or a construction. An example is Traces which is a carving of simple fish forms (hinting at shadows on the sea bottom or fossils) onto the upper surface of the slate with the word TRACES cut into one polished side.
Most of my lettercutting is on stone, often local Cumbrian slate that can have interesting greenish markings. Recently I have also been using cobbles. These lend themselves to celebration pieces for weddings or other important events when the lettering is often wrapped around the stone. Such stones have the added advantage of being able to be held in the hands when the cut surface can be explored tactilely. An interesting stone where I did this was a memorial for a cat called Willow. The stone I chose was oval so that I could carve a W at the front and the back that gave just a hint of a cat’s smile, and then carve ILLO along each side.
View James Reynolds’ Lettercutting Gallery
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Address: Lime Grove, Tirril. Penrith. CA10 2JE
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