PLEASE NOTE: this book has been created for the specific reason of helping those that are thinking about commissioning a memorial for a recently lost loved one.
I have included it, together with other books from the Memorial Arts Charity, within my stocklist as I feel that the superb quality of work contained within them would be inspirational to anyone interested in cutting letters in stone or other media.
This book contains work by Geoffrey Aldred, Lois Anderson, John Andrew, Andrew Baxter, Peter Foster, Harry Brockway, John Das Gupta, Chris Elsey, Peter Furlonger, Bettina Furnee, Ron Parsons, Michael Rust, Nicholas Sloan, Una Sullivan, Andrew Whittle, Noah-William Travellers, Frances Pelly, Tom Perkins, James Salisbury, Annet Stirling, John Neilson, Celia Kilner, Richard Kindersley and many others.
A great resource for anyone interested in Lettercutting.
Foreword of the book by Libby Purves
Eleven years ago The Art of Remembering exhibition went on show in the quiet Gardens of Blickling Hall in Norfolk. It seemed an odd idea at first: what, after all,
could be more personal than a memorial in stone (or wood, or iron)? And when it comes to wider tributes, where is the particular appeal in seeing how others put their reverence and remembrance into solid shape?
One answer, of course, is that the art of memorial making, blending tine lettering and imaginative form, needs to be more widely appreciated. Apart from anything else, those of us who lose people (as we all do one day) need to be aware that this ancient comfort still exists in the age of the ephemeral pixel. The tradition of lettercutting on these islands stretches back centuries, and the patient artist-craftsmen are still among us, serving the human need to mark a life, leave a trace and define a beloved memory. The Memorial Arts Charity has done a great deal to support training and understanding of what can be done, and for that many of us
have been grateful.
The other reason for a permanent, growing national collection is that there is, oddly, a powerful therapeutic effect for the rest of us in walking amidst memorials, whether for people, groups, or events. We British are famously reticent about discussing our feelings, or giving them any breathing space at all; somehow, the experience of walking with family or friends in a quiet garden of memorial art does loosen the inhibitions and the tongue, and enables us (even if incoherently) to admit to hidden fears and regrets, affections and wishes. It may seem odd that stone and slate, marble and porphyry, timber and steel can emanate this power; but gravestones and memorials always have done so. Generations were brought up on Gray's glum elegy in that country churchyard:--
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
We still sigh; we still want the dead to be honoured not insulted. But wandering among the exhibits here, far from shapeless and never uncouth, you see more: you
accept that people have had sorrows before your own, or that the grief you dread has been felt many times before. And you see that with artists' help others have
made something beautiful, to honour the memory.
The solidity of a memorial makes denial of our equal mortality impossible, while its beauty confirms that although a life is gone, having and sharing it was a gift. For a thing made with a simple chisel a memorial holds immoderate significance. And the message which endures is not Grays elegiac one, but Larkins line about
the medieval lovers on their tombstone:--
What will survive of us is love.
1st edition 2009, paperback, 32pp, a catalogue of over 60 impressive stone memorials, full colour throughout, 20.5 x 26.6 cm