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Three day Calligraphy for Letter Cutters - Chris Elsey

  • The Lettering & Stonecarving Studio 9-10 Park Farm, Wivelsfield Green Hundred Acre Lane, RH17 7RU United Kingdom (map)
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Two & half days Layout & Design for Lettercutters, near Ditchling. October 2019
from 100.00
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Introduction to Calligraphy for Letter cutters

The purpose of this course is to enable letter cutters to  understand why the pen is important in the learning of letter forms. The better informed we are the better the drawing hand becomes.

During this five-day course Christopher Elsey will explore with you the importance of the pen in the learning of letterforms. You’ll learn Roman Minuscules, Roman capitals, and italics. Pen writing forms, double pencil work, pen forms, chisel-edged brush forms will all be explored. You will learn to adapt the calligraphic form for letter cutting, taking into account the stone or table it is intended for. A visit to Ditchling Museum and Ditchling church are part of this fascinating course.

Schedule & tutor

Day 1.  AM: Introduction to the course: short talk with projected images; setting up drawing board and sitting position. Pen exercises. Roman miniscules – to include: skeleton forms drawn with pencil; pen writing of forms; double pencil work.

Day 2.  AM: Continue to develop the Roman Minuscule. PM: Roman capitals: skeleton forms, pen forms and chisel edged brush forms.

Day 3:  AM: ITALIC; skeleton forms and pen writing forms.. Pub lunch in Ditchling. PM: Visit to Ditchling Museum & church.

Day 4:  AM: Continue with italics using the pen and double pencils. PM:  Learning to adapt the the calligraphic form for letter cutting, taking into account the stone or slate it is intended for.

Day 5:   Group discussion to address questions from students. Drawing letters using a single pencil, using the calligraphic knowledge gained on the course.

CHRISTOPER ELSEY was taught and mentored in letter carving and drawing by Tom Perkins. He received formal training at Reigate School of Art and Design, gaining a Design HND in Lettering. He continued study at degree level in calligraphy at Frobel College, Roehampton. In 2000, he was elected to full membership of Letter Exchange and has exhibited at several venues in London and the south of England.

His work was recently published in Tom Perkins’ book The Art of Lettercarving in Stone. His work is included in The Memorial Arts Charity’s (now The Lettering Arts Trust) 2009 exhibition Art & Memory – the launch of the National Collection of Contemporary Memorial Art.

Chris, with his studio partner Geoff Aldred, trained our seventh apprentice in 2012-2014.

More about Christopher Elsey


Please bring along a layout pad, steel rule, pencils and enthusiasm.


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 this fascinating course.

A five-day workshop focusing on learning, improving and experimenting with various scripts depending on your experience and requirements. Beginners and advanced students are welcome.

All materials provided and includes fresh tea, coffee, and biscuits all day.