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Accommodation in McKenna's (if required) 25 euros per night.

“A good piece of lettering is as beautiful a thing to see as any sculpture or painted picture” – Eric Gill

Cutting inscriptions in stone is an important part of the stone-carvers craft that has been elevated to an art form in its own right. This workshop teaches calligraphic and typographic design in combination with hand cut lettering for the artist and artisan in the context of the digital era.

At the beginning of the 20th century, artists such as Edward Johnston and Eric Gill argued vehemently for the continuing value of handicraft techniques in the face of increasing industrialisation. To this we can now add the power of digital technology which would seem to put the possibility of setting out an inscription, and indeed engraving it in stone, into the hands of anyone who has received only basic computer training.

In this workshop we learn to appreciate the value of lettering both as a means to produce unique hand crafted objects and as a mindful practice in itself. The workshop will do this through the following steps:

- A brief overview of the evolution of the contemporary Lettercutting practice in the Gill/Kindersley tradition in Britain, and the corresponding European tradition.

- An in-depth look at the construction of key letters of the Roman alphabet.

- Participants will design, draw and carve a word, monogram or set of initials using the traditional v-cut technique.

- Setting out an inscription. Guidelines for inter letter and inter linear spacing. Proportions. Placing an inscription within a stone.

- The workshop will also cover sourcing appropriate material and tools for Lettercutting and sharpening and maintaining tools and equipment.

LSC and the Instructor will provide stone, tools and Safety equipment, although participants are welcome to bring their own kit if they desire.

This workshop is targeted at the professional artist and participants are expected to bring A3 paper or sketchpad, pencils, compasses, set square and ruler. Wear appropriate work clothing and boots.

Séamus Dunbar

Dunbar is based in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, where he co-founded along with fellow artists the Leitrim Sculpture Centre. With a background in sculpture, Dunbar has worked in a range of media including stone, wood and bronze, creating a number of publicly commissioned artworks as well as numerous smaller works. He has participated in sculpture symposia in Ireland and internationally, and has received a number of awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Artists’ Association of Ireland, and Wexford and Leitrim Co. Councils. He taught sculpture techniques at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin (1993-95) and Leitrim Sculpture Centre (1995-03) and completed an MFA Art in Public at the University of Ulster in Belfast, integrating his studies with his on-going practice.

In tandem with the Visual Arts, Dunbar has pursued an interest in movement and performance since the early 1980s, collaborating with dance companies, notably Fluxusdance in 2007-2008. In 2006 he became interested in the “Body Weather” system with Frank van de Ven, and has co-ordinated 4 workshops in Ireland, including Rathlin Island in 2012.