Letter Carving

Letter Carving in Wood at Little Sparta

The course will take place in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s library at Little Sparta, the internationally
acclaimed garden, Hamilton Finlay’s home, and his greatest work of art. Little Sparta is filled
with numerous sculptures and poetic art works, created in collaboration with some of the most
renowned letter carvers in both wood and stone, and at times with other poets and artists.
The course, led by Robbie Schneider, will explore letter carving in wood and will focus on
technique and safe use of tools. No previous experience is necessary. Students will practise
carving incised lettering and will look in detail at choosing the right chisel for each cut and
how wood grain direction affects carving. The course will also cover tool care and sharpening.
We will look at the use of different timbers as well as trying out some alternative approaches to
letter carving.

Robbie Schneider specialised in letter design, lettering sculpture and inscriptional letter
carving after studying sculpture at Camberwell and Byam Shaw Art Schools in London.
Working in Stone, wood, metals and other media, Robbie’s interest in the integration of text,
material and form has gained him a reputation for both technically accomplished and
innovative work, winning him many public and private commissions. Robbie exhibits
regularly and is chairman of the Scottish Lettercutters Association, former chairman of Letter
Exchange and an elected member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Robbie teaches regularly
and has run courses in Britain, Europe and Australia. His work can be found throughout
Britain from Kent in the south to Shetland in the far north.
Instagram – @rslettering