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Carving techniques

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This section of the website has been created to try and illustrate that there are different ways of carving both lettering and also carved images in stone.

In lettering the two main techniques used in hand carving fine lettering (as opposed to the industrial techniques of sandblasting and routing) are v-cut incised lettering and raised lettering. The are other variants, but these are the main methods. V-cut letters are generally a quicker and more direct way of working and therefore this method is used most. Raised lettering can be a really effective alternative, and brings with it different textural qualities.

As with lettering there are different ways of carving images; raised bas-relief (low-relief) carving where a carving sits proud of the main surface of the stone, incised where a carving is produced by sinking it into the stone within an outline, and another variant is carving within a panel, which can be a cost effective and satisfactory alternative. The most dramatic technique is probably the raised bas-relief method, but this is also the most time-consuming (and therefore more costly) as it is necessary to carve back the main surface of the stone to create the raised portion from which the carving will emerge. These examples show the different effects these methods can have.

View the Carving Techniques Gallery