An interesting challenge of restrained exuberance. Designed with the intention of gilding, I have given wide margins to help the design breathe within the slate and to allow your eyes space and time to take in the overall life and energy of the alphabet. Containing the flourishes within the regimented composition also helps the piece not become too overwhelming.
This was a wonderful experience of the moment conversation sparks inspiration. The client described wanting a ‘thicket’ of letters, as soon as he said that word there was a moment of clarity – aha! These initials read F&N McD, designed to be on the fence of legibility.
Oblique, being a slanted roman oppose to an italic letterform, is not uncommon in the sans-serif world – in fact many sans-serif typefaces offer an oblique. It is less common to see this form embrace such a high stroke contrast between the thick and thin. To then take this rarity and carve it in stone adds an extra level of dynamism to what on the surface may appear such a pure and contemporary letterform.
'As to the slate... it pleases me so much, not just because of the quality of the cutting (which is faultless), but also because of the elegance and the wit of the design. As I looked at it from a distance, it gave me the impression that someone had just swept across the slate with one movement of a brush or pencil. It is splendidly fluent.’
Spacing these twenty-seven characters to fit around two concentric circles provided a great design challenge resulting in some creative ligatures and wonderful swashes. The addition of an ampersand is used as a device to both divide the alphabet, yet carry the viewers eye from the outer portion ending P to the inner beginning Q.
'I love the slate. Everything about it in fact. The letter itself is lovely – its high waistedness, the choices you made in the design of the diagonal and it's meeting with the curve, the serifs which are delightful, playful & perilously, wonderfully thin. Then the stone itself. It has a presence as an object that adds to the overall experience, perfectly counterbalanced with the delicacy of the letter itself.'
A mutual exchange with calligrapher Adelina Pervanje (@adelinawrites).
'I couldn't have imagined it if I'd wanted to, it's so unique & gorgeous. Seeing the letters so up close is really something; details like the little lines that run through the letters and the little triangles that form at the serifs are just so beautiful. I'm blown away by the flourishing, I literally can't imagine how you manage to cut such soft and perfect curves into stone. A treasure indeed and beyond anything I expected.'
An Instagram giveaway received by calligrapher Chantelle Hoffmann @bespokestrokes.
'It is amazing! I absolutely love seeing the minute chisel marks and marveling at your ability to transition the cut depth at the ends of the strokes. Plus, lets be honest, Q is the most difficult letter in the alphabet to nail with such symmetry.'
A rustic breadboard, carved edge to edge with the names of five hills that surround the Somerset village of Chiselborough. The underside has the ergonomic addition of finger-grooves to ease portability.