The Radcliffe Trust generously granted funds towards our Apprenticeship Scheme for 2013

The Radcliffe Trust generously granted funds towards our Apprenticeship Scheme for 2013

More opportunities for full time training will be offered in the future as funds become available.

  • two year Apprenticeship Scheme fully funded for the first year.
  • a six months to 1 year training scheme for student letter carvers who need professional guidance in certain areas. Fully funded if eligible.
  • our Journeyman Scheme for experienced, committed letter carvers offering experience by working for short periods with a variety of letter carvers. This scheme is not funded.

Letter carving apprenticeships

Lettercarving – or it is sometimes referred to as lettercutting, as in cutting letters into stone – is an important aspect of the UK’s cultural heritage going back hundreds of years.  The Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust (LCAT), runs a letter carving Apprenticeship Scheme, which aims to provide Students with a two-year comprehensive, varied and inspirational training in all aspects of letter design and letter carving.  The scheme was established in 2002 and was fully funded for several years by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. To date eight apprenticeships have been completed successfully, all of the students having become self-employed letter-carvers.

We are currently raising funds to enable further placements. Anyone interested in an apprenticeship, should contact Lynne Alexander for further information. Anyone interested in helping to fund an apprenticeship is also welcome to contact the charity.

A Typical Training Plan for the Apprenticeship

The aim of the training is:

  1. To equip an apprentice with basic skills in letter carving by the drawing and understanding letterforms and the design and spacing of letters.
  2. To gain competence using a chisel, combined with an understanding of the materials used e.g. stone and/or wood etc.
  3. To inspire the apprentice to become an avid learner and help them to develop their own creative approach to the lettering arts.

The training will begin with a detailed study of the Roman alphabet – drawing and carving letters will be the main focus of the training. Historical examples of lettering will be studied and pen, brush and experimental lettering will be explored to help gain an understanding of letter form.

As soon as possible the apprentice will begin to work on commissions under guidance. He or she will be involved in all aspects of the commission from the initial design stage, drawing out the work directly onto the stone, shaping stone, carving and fixing as soon as is appropriate.

A set amount of time to be put aside each week for the first year for one-to-one teaching, when the apprentice may want to work on their own ideas. This could be used in one block or split through the week. The rest of the week to be spent working on commissions, although this will still include tuition.

Encouragement will be given to keep a sketchbook and attend evening life classes to help improve drawing skills. Occasionally trips to museums will be undertaken to strengthen historical knowledge and help enthusiasm and creativity.

A detailed time sheet will be kept as a record of all work undertaken, and an assessment of progress and development to be given every 3 months.



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