Sunday, 9 October 2016

4th day - can you see a pattern yet?

Thursday, We're rolling through the week, really glad it's a six day course - enjoying it too much to stop, picking up snippets of stone info from the others too.

Could also get used to this cooked breakfast malarkey - more silly chat, a laugh does start the day off well. 

Up the Stables well before 9.30, but want to get on. A wee talk and handouts about spacing/kerning, then downstairs to cut.

Here I am. Strange seeing myself with glasses.

Today I didn't cut many letters but I took more care over them all and drew them out - well, apart from the 'O' which was from Robbie's cheat sheet - was having problems with curves - the angle wasn't clean and smooth enough inside - so that is my practise today.
Interesting drawing on the stone, took longer but getting easier to see the mistakes - the differences between fat/thin/normal widths, and the curve of those serifs. Also getting a little better with control of the chisel.
Definitely a much slower day.

Today's fun is brought to you by the letter 'Q'.

Drawn out and starting the centre line scratch, then the curves mostly chopped out.


Curves chased out and scratch on the tail then next image shows the tail chopped out.

Here is the'Q' finished along with his friend the 'O'.


Then Robbie suggested we take a look at Hugh Miller's house/museum.

Hugh Miller was a Cromarty lad who, fed up with school went off to apprentice as a stonemason. He was fascinated with fossils and subsequently became a geologist. Two of his books, 'The Old Red Sandstone' and 'My Schools and Schoolmasters' include descriptions of his searches for fossils on the beaches near his home.

One of his phrases that I like very much is, as noted on the webpage above,

“Life itself is a school, and nature always a fresh study.”

Hugh also worked for newspapers and was extremely vocal about arguing against the removal of people from the land to make way for sheep.

He did end up with lung problems from his work as a stonemason so moved on to letter cutting.

During our visit at the museum I noticed that Hugh's son had married a Jane Morison Campbell (nee Buchanan) and their son became Capt. Hugh Morison. Very interesting as it is my surname and Morison with a single letter 'R' is not that common. A story there, I'm sure. On searching the family tree there was also an Ada Mary Morison. Hmm?

I spent a little longer there than expected chatting with Dr Alix Powers-Jones of the National Trust for Scotland. 

I was last up the hill and straight into spacing - very difficult. Getting a sense of it, a feel for the gaps or as Robbie would say, the volume between the letters as if they are 3D which in a sense they are.

Lots of drawing/ rubbing out/ re-drawing/ more rubbing out.... all through the afternoon. Not easy at all but when it's right something clicks into place like a jigsaw piece and then the eye has the pleasure and a feeling of success fills you.

Simple things!

The Stables and Urquhart the Unicorn.

The day went really quickly, more concentrating and feeling tired - it was also colder today.

Down the hill.
Michael wondered if the gate to the tunnel was open so we had to try it - and it was - so of course we had to creep down to the end. Footsteps echoing slightly we came across a log pile, washing machine and then a dog's basket, I looked up and there was a door too - oops - back to the road in a speedy fashion. 
It must have been horrible for the servants in winter - really dark apart from 3 places where the roof opened up to the air with a circular grid in place.

Back at Brewery, and I was standing outside to get a phone signal, quite random here for mobiles, which I quite like in a strange way. Just about to wander off up the beach a bit and another friend rang - perfect timing. Another few steps and I would have been out of signal again. 
Spied a couple of likely stones as I was chatting and put them aside for later.

I went along the beach, jumping from stone to stone as I used to do as a child - great fun.

I can understand why Hugh Miller was fascinated with the stones on the beach...  The rocks are so varied - swirls/ colours/ types - the sea has worn them in wonderful shapes. Couldn't take many photos as phone ran out of battery.

Wandering along in my happy state I happened upon a dead sheep and then felt bad, it had been washed up I think but the blood was really red and fresh so not sure what happened. Mood dropped fast.

Took a different path back, above the beach and focussed on something else which worked after a while.

A similar evening to the rest - food/ blog/ music/ chill then shower/ bed /book.

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