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Three-day letter carving in stone - Pip Hall, Cowgill, Cumbria

  • Kirkthwaite Cottage Cowgill, Sedbergh Cumbria LA10 5RF UK (map)
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Three-day Letter carving in stone. Cumbria. September 2019
from 100.00
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Letter Design, Drawing & Carving in Stone

Pip’s workshop is for eight students, shaped to individual needs, and hosted at Kirkthwaite Old School, which also has rooms to rent during the course. Course length is three days.

You will be encouraged to try carving on 3 types of stone: ie limestone, sandstone and slates. A single letter or word will be achievable, but a  Shakespearean sonnet is unrealistic. If you do decided to carve a longer phrase, it will be at the expense of trying other types of stone or slate.

If you are more experienced, you may be able to carve and finish a longer piece, but it is not about quantity or speed so much as the quality of the letterforms which will not be improved by rushing. ‘Better a few well designed and spaced letters, than an epistle of poorly drawn 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 & tutor

An introductory slide show will be followed by demonstrations of lettering styles, drawing techniques and methods of carving with chisels, and much individual tuition. Stone, tools and materials are provided, though students are welcome to bring their own stone and project.

PIP HALL -  has been running a carving studio for 16 years. She has carved inscriptions for commemoration and celebration, house signs and garden features, as well as carrying out public art commissions and exhibiting. Pip’s work also includes lettering and illustration for books, and for interiors, such as floors and walls.

A recent commission was carving commemorative seating for the Jane Austen House Museum. In 2009-2010, Pip trained apprentice Wayne Hart, with the support of the Memorial Arts Charity Apprenticeship scheme (now the Lettering Arts Trust).

More about Pip


Location, Accommodation, Meals, Logistics

Please bring a packed lunch, tea, coffee and biscuits available all day.. Unless otherwise shown, these are beginners courses – for anyone with enthusiasm and a little patience…


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, and the popular “Calligraphy Made Easy” out of print but available on Amazon.


  • 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.