My use of sandblasted lettering

The following works were made with Fyfe Glenrock, Oldmeldrum

Woodland View, Irvine

In this example the stencil was cut by machine from a computer programme.

This is a serifed font known as Didot. There was much debate about its suitability, I learned that you should have cuts in stencils that are at least 3mm wide, to make the letters clearly visible. This series of milestone style sculptures have texts on them drawn from Burns’s poetry. I wanted the lettering to look like it was from an old book, not a headstone.

Sheet rubber stencils protected the background to the lettering on the Ailsa Craig granite, whilst lettering was sandblasted into it.

To sandblast an abrasive powder is forced by compressed air through a rubber tube to a ceramic nozzle. The fine and even stream is then aimed in a very controlled manner over the detail cut out of the stencil.

The rubber stencil gets a burnt appearance around where the sandblasting has taken place, an uneven tone of discolouration indicates where more blast is required.

Lancastria Memorial, Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Bronze sculpture made from sheets which represent the shape of the vessels hull, it has a V-shaped cut in the back. It sits on top of a large block of black granite. It is a memorial and reads - We will remember them, erected by the Lancastria Association of Scotland, on the site of the Beardmore shipyard, where the vessel was designed and built in 1920.

This inscription is in Gill Sans. The same technique as above on honed black granite – simple and legible.

Trails + Tales, Twechar

This is a hand cut stencil to realise raised lettering on whinstone. Instead of the stencil masking the background it’s the lettering that’s masked and the background that is blasted away.

I designed the lettering from an antiquated (but useful) book, that I inherited from the RSA Library when it was being rationalised. My design was also influenced by some splendid lettering that I saw on a wall at Glasgow University whilst undertaking research at the Hunterian.

Raised lettering in the capstone of sandstone wall with the background painted pale blue, it's Latin VERITAS

More from the blog

Framed granite samples, each is a rectangle and has a window cut out of a card mount, the window has a gold rim, the names and where they are from are hand written in capitals below each sample. The top four images are of Aberdeenshire granites, including second from left Kemnay and at the end of the top row Corennie.

Granite Gallery

Newcastle University Arts building with Anthony Gormley sculpture on left, it has a purple sticker with an arrow on it.


Image of a section of a historical map of an area around Strathmartine Road in Dundee.

Historical Etch