Book the workshop
Letter design, letter drawing and letter carving in stone.
We’ve been holding workshops tutored by some of the UK’s leading practitioners since 1999. Our letter design and carving workshops are a fantastic introduction into the skills you’ll need to fully enjoy, or even pursue a career in, the design, drawing and carving of letters. Our courses are suitable for complete beginners, professionals, and everyone in between.
Master letter-carving artists Tom Perkins and Eric Marland will guide you through a fascinating, immersive and instructive course. You will be encouraged to try carving on three types of stone: limestone, sandstone and slates.
If you’re a beginner, they will help you achieve the carving of a single letter or word… but a Shakespeare sonnet is not possible on this particular course. If you want to try a longer phrase, you can, but you will have to commit to trying just one type of stone.
If you are more experienced, you may be able to carve and finish a longer piece. However, we do prefer you to create fewer well-designed crafted letters, rather than many hastily drawn and executed ones.
Our letter design and carving workshops will introduce you to the skills you will need to fully enjoy and maybe pursue a career in this heritage craft. Experienced letter carving artists and calligraphers will guide you through every stage of letter carving in these fascinating courses.
All materials provided and includes fresh tea, coffee and biscuits all day.
Schedule & tutors
TOM PERKINS - Tom studied calligraphy at Reigate School of Art and Design, and taught lettering for 15 years at the Roehampton Institute. Tom has an international reputation as a lettering designer and craftsman, with work in public and private collections. He has taught widely in the UK and in Europe, the US and Japan, and has influenced many other practitioners.
Recent commissions include the opening plaque for The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and plaques for the British Museum galleries. He has written The Art of Lettercarving in Stone and has been widely published.
Tom trained our apprentice Fiona Flack in 2009.
ERIC MARLAND - After finishing the Art Restoration course at The City and Guilds of London Art School in 1985, Eric worked as a freelance letter carver in London until 1990. He then moved to Cambridge, working first for David Kindersely and afterwards at The Carving Workshop. In 1998, Eric set up his own studio in a deconsecrated chapel in Cambridge, where he has an established reputation for fine lettering and creative design.
Eric trained Peter Hampson in 2004, and Jackie Perkins in 2012-2014. A new apprentice, Matt Loughlin will start his journey in 2018.
You can book a six-day workshop, or choose to attend one of Tom’s or Eric’s three-day workshops. Please the Trust for information on booking these shorter courses.
Workshops are held in Cambridge at The Old Chapel, CB3 0EA. All classes will be from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm each day approx. (including 1 hour for lunch break). Tea/coffee and biscuits are provided. Please make your own arrangements for lunch.
ACCOMMODATION – (for information only)
The Cambridge Tourist Information Centre produces an accommodation guide. For accommodation enquiries/to request a brochure tel. 01223 457581 (there is an answer phone if the line is busy, and they will call you back). Their address is: Cambridge Tourist Information Centre, Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB. You can find details about places offering accommodation/book online at www.visitcambridge.org
Cambridge University Colleges – some Colleges are open to visitors for b&b, mainly during university vacations including the summer (June, July, August and September). Visit www.universityrooms.co.uk to check on availability and prices. NB: Churchill College is quite close to Eric Marland’s workshop.
Bed & Breakfast - Tudor Cottage (tel. 01223 565212) is within walking distance of Eric Marland’s workshop – a number of people attending our courses in the past have stayed there.
Please make your own arrangements for lunch, e.g. bring a packed lunch, or sandwiches, etc. can be bought from local shops (the nearest one is about 10-15 minutes’ walk away).
SUGGESTED TITLES FOR BACKGROUND READING
The Art of Letter Carving in Stone by Tom Perkins (published by Crowood Press) – (Also available from the Lettering Arts Centre) Creative Lettering Today by Michael Harvey (published by Black). This is his three-books-in-one: Drawing letters, cutting of letters, and digital letters.
Letters, Slate Cut by David Kindersley (published by Cardozo Kindersley Editions) Letter Cutting in Stone: a workbook by Richard Grasby
Calligraphy step by step by Gaynor Goffe with Anna Ravenscroft
Calligraphy Made Easy by Gaynor Goffe - out of print but available on Amazon.
A3 pad of lay-out or cartridge paper, Ruler, HB pencil, eraser, compasses, set-square (plastic triangle).
If you have access to, and want to bring the following items – although these tools are available for use:
- Diamond sharpening pad (Eric is able to give advice about what type of sharpening pad if you are intending to buy one)
- A letter cutters dummy
- One or two chisels – 4mm and 6mm (preferably tungsten carbide tipped)
- Stone is heavy. We insist for the sake of your toes that you wear steel toe-cap boots or shoes. You can buy steel cap boots or shoes from builders’ merchants or tool hire shops.
- Stone can splinter. We will provide safety glasses for your workshop, which you must wear.
View our cancellation policy.