Illuminated letter designed by AP Brown
Lettering Process

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The Specialist in hand lettered memorials

This page describes and shows various ways of lettering in different materials

Slate is one of the best materials for cutting letters by hand.  In fact you could say it was created for hand cut lettering.  It lends itself well to very fine and sharp results obtained with the chisel and a look that would weather and last for many years.

Hand Carved Granite

Granite being volcanic is very hard and lettering in this material would last a  lifetime. Many monumental masons now would reform to sand blasting with the aide of computers to cut a stencil mask. It is still possible though with great patience and skill to letter by hand and achieve fine results equal to other stones.--

Flush lead Method
Finished Flush Lead

Flush Lead Lettering

Marble widely used in more earlier years would be carved to very high standards in  memorial artwork. To complement such carving many marble memorials would be lettered by using the flush lead method as shown in this picture. The photograph shows various stages of a letter, from the pencil drawn form through to ‘ V ‘cutting. From there the letter is drilled with a number of key holes then to be leaded. The flush lead stage can only be carried out by hand where the lead is beaten into each letter and paired off using a chisel. After this procedure the lead is then rubbed down until smooth with the surface of the marble.This picture shows the final result of the flush lead method wish would last for many years

Raised Lead Lettering

Granite used over hundreds of years were lettered in various ways. This method illustrated is by the way of what’s called ‘Raised Lead’ and can only be achieved by by hand. The picture shows various stages of the raised lead method in which key holes are again drilled as in marble. The lead is then beaten in and left proud of the surface, from here it is then cut in different ways to achieve letterforms. Many of the war commemorative monuments you find are lettered in this way.

This picture shows the final result of a raised lead method of lettering which has been then hand painted

Raised Lead
Finished Raised Lead
Hand drawn lettering with slate pencil before carving

This slate boulder has been prepared ready for carving.  The letters have been hand drawn on.  At this stage yhe customer can check the lettering for spelling and the correct layout