Archives for posts with tag: drawn lettering
" Now", quote from  E. Tolle . Dripped acrylic paint and contrasting text using gouache paint .

” Now”, quote from E. Tolle . Dripped acrylic paint and contrasting text using gouache paint .


“Splashes, wisps and fragments” is the title of a group exhibition organised by EFO artists. I have a number of pieces on show which grew out of my experimentation at V&A with dripped acrylic letters on canvas and board.

This Jackson Pollock style lettering requires a good understanding of the media you are using to create exactly  the effect you want  and calls on internalised movement and muscle memory  to create the forms. This gives the letters a controlled freedom.

I was interested to see that this Jackson Pollock style technique was being explored enthusiastically by students at the CLAS festival of calligraphy  in Malvern this Summer. Tutor Massimo Pollelo gave his class  gloss paint  to drip letters and contrasted this with  formal brush lettering to make striking page designs.

What a great week that was. I taught two workshops . The first was all about designing drawn alphabets using (sometimes very quirky) lettering on objects at V&A for inspiration. A tough call, but everyone rose to the challenge and each participant produced  well resolved and distinctive forms.  My second session explored  modern gilding techniques and materials. By the end of the workshop they too had produced some individual pieces with confidence. Here is a small selection of the fantastically varied letter designs.

malvern1 Malvern2Malvern3


Acidulate 1 “The Genuine Article”, shown here, is my contribution to the exhibition 26 Words. The processes I used for this work enables me to replicate the design . I will be producing further limited edition brass etchings soon as two have been sold already, including the original framed version.  No two are the same as variations in the strength and immersion time in the acid and the post-etching surface treatment affects the patina and depth of etching.

KANGAROO; Dame Kanga’s keepsakes by Sue Hufton and text by Roger Horberry

The exhibition is a real must see (and read!) with  many creative interpretations and expressions of our 26 random words . You can find skill , imagination and brilliant inventiveness on display. I also recommend reading the stories behind the collaborative partnerships on the website



The variety of materials and techniques used by exhibitors also has to be mentioned. Mark Noad, chairman of LetterExchange aptly described the project as “the interplay between medium and message”.The lettering is written on and inscribed, etched  or cut into surfaces ranging  from stone ,metal , glass and ceramics, to collage, paper, prints and fabric.

EXCUSATION; Robbie Schneider , text by Stuart Delves

EXCUSATION; Robbie Schneider , text by Stuart Delves

Here are some of the exhibits by  Sue Hufton, Rosella Garavaglia and Robbie Schneider.

GLANCE: Rosella Garavaglia , text by Sarah Farley

GLANCE: Rosella Garavaglia , text by Sarah Farley






You will  find information about the exhibition on the poster here (click to enlarge) or visit the website (link above). It will be touring next year.




Lettering and decoration inspired by V&A exhibits , etched and heated copper

Now that my latest finished piece has been framed and safely dispatched, I can finally reveal what I have been working on recently. It will be on show at The Free Word Centre, Farringdon Road, London, as part of an exhibition called 26 Words, The DNA of Lettering. It is a collaborative venture between members of Letter Exchange  and 26

For details of the project and the description of how the work evolved for my writing partner, Will Awdry, and myself , check out the exhibition website 26 words . The random word we had to work with was Acidulate which led to the etching of his words and my design in brass .

Letters from V&A , experimenting with etched and oxidised copper

I was interested in this process before this project began, as I had studied beautifully acid etched decoration on armour at V&A and one of the curators had suggested it might be a good medium for my calligraphy . So, it was fantastic serendipity to have a word to work with that actually describes this technique.

I booked myself on to a perfect etching course at  West Dean College. (Most etching courses are for intaglio printing but this focused on the metal itself ). It was run by Brighton based  jeweller Clara Vichi, who uses lettering in her fabulous brooches. The 3 small pieces shown here were created by me on the course using different techniques and metals.

I learnt a huge amount over this weekend course, but it was the many days experimenting in my studio (wearing marigold gloves and protective apron ! ) where I worked out how to transfer designs to metal,  finding out what effects can be achieved and what does and doesn’t work. More on my techniques in a future blog  .

I always believe it is important to spend time playing with the medium you are working with to develop complete confidence with the materials and allow the process and design to unfold together and inform each other. I wondered, at one point  if I had taken on too much , knowing I had a deadline but I’m so glad I rose to the challenge.

I include here a small section of the finished piece . I hope you will come to the exhibition to see the  art work in its entirety ! But, if not, there will  be more information and images on my blog soon.