CW2. Counting Letters

There are 409 letters to carve. The seven letters of T S Eliot are half sized making them  a lot quicker to cut. 402 two inch letters. My target is to carve the inscription in four weeks. More or less 100 letters per week. 20 letters a day. It should be easy, but they just wont go any faster than 4 in an hour. Sometimes only 3 in an hour. 7 every 2 hours. 21 in 6 hours which is a typical daily hit rate, because there is always other stuff that needs doing when your running a business. 6 uninterrupted, whole focused hours is pretty good going in a day. Today I saw a new client and I carved 9 letters and I fixed the alternator belt on the car. So this week I am 11 letters behind already and I have a couple of school run days when I will be lucky to carve 18 letters, that leaves 2 days when I need to carve 22 letters plus another 5 to catch up the 11, so I make that 18 + 18 + 27 + 27 and I am still a letter down!

How did I do last week? 91. visually nearly a quarter. Not too bad. Plus an eighth short of a  couple of concentric circles. I was getting up to speed and lots of things subverted my time. so I think there is still some better performance to find. I will still need to find those 9 letters though…

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Letter Cutting

At the end of week 1 carving

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Letter cutting detailCotswold Way Marker Stone. Letter cutting detail

Tomorrow is another day. everything might flow and I might carve 20 letters in 5 hours. Now I must go to bed and when I close my eyes I will see letters!

 

 

CW2. Setting Out.

Last week was all about setting out the lettering on the stone. I fixed the stone onto a giant easel I made that allows me to raise it up and spin it round as I progress.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. The stone fixed on the giant easel I made for carving it.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. The stone fixed on the giant easel I made for carving it.

I had saved my drawing for the first Marker Stone from 2 years ago, so I was able to trace out the letters on to layout paper directly from the original drawing. Most of the text is the same as the Bath Marker Stone but I had to set out the T S Eliot quote from scratch, it being a new framing text around the edge.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.

I set out radial ledger lines using a large homemade compass, and divided the stone into 8 segments, establishing a framework to transfer the lettering into.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.Transfering the lettering onto the stone.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.Transfering the lettering onto the stone.

These drawings are not finessed. They carry just enough information to transfer the forms and the spacing.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.Transfering the lettering onto the stone.

Cotswold Way Marker Stone. Setting out.Transfering the lettering onto the stone.

The letters are then drawn in by hand with white pencil crayon. Adjustments to spacing and form are made where necessary, serifs added and drawing more fully resolved.

The final drawing on the stone, ready for carving

The final drawing on the stone, ready for carving

The chisel though is the final arbiter. This week I will begin to carve….

 

 

The Cotswold Way Marker Stone for Chipping Campden

Two years ago I created a marker stone to mark the beginning and the end of the Cotswold Way Nation Trail, which was installed in front of the west doors of the Abbey in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Today I started work on a companion piece to mark the other end of the trail for the charming Cotswold village of Chipping Campden. The new marker stone will be very similar to the  stone in Bath. A disk of Irish Blue Limestone set in the ground, inscribed with the names of places along the Way. This “journey in words” takes in the major landmarks along the Way as well as places of historical interest and features that represent the variety of landscape experiences along the Way. The Chipping Campden stone differs from the Bath stone in the choice of framing text around the outside edge. Whilst a quote from the old testament prophet Jeremiah frames the Bath stone with a pilgrimage theme, befitting its position in front of the Abbey, Chipping Campden is encompassed with a quote from one of the the “Four Quartets” by T S Eliot who stayed near Chipping Campden in the 1930’s. The Marker Stone will be installed outside the 400 year old Market Hall in the Autumn. I will endeavour to regularly post photo’s of my progress so you can follow the development of the project here. 

Cotswold Way Marker Stone for Chipping Campden

Cotswold Way Marker Stone for Chipping Campden

Sculpture in the Orchard at Glastonbury Abbey

I have three pieces in a really beautiful exhibition at Glastonbury Abbey running from now until the 28th September. You can see Journey stones, Us and Q, along with sculpture by 28 other artists scattered throughout the orchard, amongst tall grasses, wild flowers, mown paths and resplendent apple trees. The ruined Abbey is spectacular too.

"Q"

“Q”