Commissions & Lettering

Ancient Designs From Across The Ocean – on site

Tracing art lines into the stone

 I was first contacted by an artist friend of mine, Heather Rigby, who was designing a modern interpretation of a piece of megalithic artwork that dated back over 5,000 years, for a client’s entrance to a home in Nova Scotia.

The client wanted a piece of art that was associated with her historic homeland, to be used on a large boulder that would be placed on the driveway with an address number.

Viewing only pictures I had no real idea about the stone type. I knew it was not the “Quartzite” the landscaper used to identify it, and I knew the area had limestone boulders in plenty, so that was my second guess.

It was also situated a few days drive away, so all my tools and compressor had to be packed in the van, for overnight travel.

The material turned out to be a dolomitic limestone, a bit harder than I had planned on, but after 5 days of air powered chiselling and diamond blade cutting, I was able to reproduce the art by cutting into the surface, to resemble the original stone carvings done in 3,500 BC. I had better modern tools and I can’t even begin to guess how long the original ancient project would have taken.

I had brought my projector with me, and when connected up to the iPad, I was able to show the client the actual art displayed on the boulder surface right in the driveway.

After a bit of experimentation with the sizing, the client finalized the slightly larger image than the initial proofs and it was now time to get to work. The art was then projected onto paper glued to the surface, traced with crayons and then a carbide bit was used to make dotted lines in the surface, following the artist exact shape. The surface was a bit damp and dark, and the paper made it much easier to follow the lines and see the dots already created. The weather held out for most of the five days and the art shapes were refined according to the artists preliminary sketchs.

Finished and slightly damp with morning dew
Carbide tipped hand and power tools had to be constantly sharpened, to work with this type of limestone

A Unique Challenge – on site

Lying down is the only way to access the stone

When I was contacted by the home owners to carve a mural of Canadian animals and landscapes into a boulder with a front surface of 10 ft. wide and 2 ft. high. My first response was, ” Can you move it to my studio?”, the answer was “No”. It seems the the boulder was twelve tons of “Armour Stone”, and was definitely staying in place. My response was, that “I am ready for a challenge.”

There were actually several challenges to be concerned about with this project. The first was the working position, the 2 ft. in height started at the grass, which forced me to do all the carving and cutting completely on my side. The second was the stone. Armour Stone is heavy, looks great as landscaping boulders, but is actually a stone with a fragile chipable surface. Aggressive chiselling only results in large chips flying off. It was my recomendation that I would have to work slowly and deliberately, using a combination of hand chisels, diamond burrs, diamond blades and very thoughtfully applied air powered tools. This would, of course, affect the amount of time the project would take for completion. The clients graciously allowed me the freedom to take the time and work with the stone, without a specific deadline. And of course the third was, working outdoors.

I can not say enough about the courtesy offered by my clients. After showing them my initial designs for the mural, I was given complete artistic freedom to render my vision in stone.

One thing we both agreed on, was that where possible, the natural shapes and surfaces would be used, no flat surfaces on this art. I kept in daily communication about the art progress while on site, and our discussions centered around my plans to literally fill all the available space with nature images and also their own input and suggestions into new figures and graphics on the mural.

This project has definitely been a challenge. The project is on hold for the winter, but will resume in the spring, as soon as the weather permits.

Pencilling inn the details

Replacing The Old Name – on site

When a couple moved into their first new home, landscaping boulder at the front of the home already had graphics sandblasted into it. But the former residents name needed to be changed. I removed the name by cutting into the granite surface and effectively chiselling and grinding a new surface, then I polished it with rough diamond grit to match the same shade as the rest of the stone. A new number and suitable bird illustrations were carved to fill in the rest of the square space outlined by the original work. The birds were filled in similar to the original tree artwork, but the house number was left natural. The text chiselling and carving process created enough depth to form edge shadows on the numbers and they were left paint free at the owners request.

I encourage communication. I find that keeping up an ongoing dialogue with the client, as the art progresses, allows for a better more satisfying piece of finished artwork.

Script Lettering – on site

A very large rock on the property, became the perfect place for a memorial tribute, commissioned by a friend of the family. The rough stone surface was smoothed and polished before the script was carved into a natural indented area. Due to the small size and delicate strokes used on the selected type, they were also filled in with white, to provide more contrast during the day and in varying weather conditions.

The initial project was for the lettering only, but while on site, I found out the home owner had previously tried to find someone who would add the house numbers to the boulder, without success. Since I was already working on the lettering, it was an easy task to add the numerals.

Letter Carving In Granite – on site

The granite boulder has been at the front of the home for many years and it is not moving. Recently the home owners decided to have the “Welsh house name” carved into the rock, replacing an older wooden sign. The letter shapes came from a combination of an old Celtic font and a new version of Cymru, the official Welsh typeface. The letters were carved with the traditional “V” shaped cutting approach, used for centuries, which provides a crisp shadow of the text outline.

House Number And Graphics.

This client requested additonal foreign text and a symbol of his flag.

The letters were carved into the stone surface and filled with white paint to provide maximum contrast with the dark stone

A Unique Wedding Present

Commissioned as a pair of Crests to be installed in Driveway Pillars. Unique one of a kind blended crest, for the newlyweds!

(right) Based on traditional elements For the son.

This modern creation blends traditional English heraldic icons from the fathers’ heritage with traditional Scottish heraldry from the mothers’ side.

(left) A unique one of a kind custom crest, for the daughter in law!

Representing the heritage of both parents. This modern creation blends traditional Russian icons from the father’s heritage with national Brazillian elements from the mother.