Lettercutting is an intricate and delicate process - I ran a lettercutting course last week and a real concentration and care emanated from every tap of the mallet and cut of the chisel. Certainly you get to feel the very character, texture and every grain of the stone being worked.
This is the beautiful Lingmoor stone I'm currently working. It is an exciting stone, with its swirls of colour and sparkle - and just a bit tricky on occasion with softer patches and hard quartzy beads.
When lettering I first prepare the stone, by polishing to a good flat surface and then mark out the letters to be cut.
Through this process I get to know quite a lot about the piece, and this helps when incising the letters.
Then steadily the carving begins. I use a dummy mallet and tungsten-tipped chisels and have a small kit of varying widths - which I treasure. Then I'm lost for hours and hours in the intricacies of the letter T or N, right in the heart of the stone in pursuit of craftsmanship.