Simon Langsdale

Letter carver

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various portfolios.

'I have had a lifelong interest in the arts, cultural heritage and the crafts but it wasn’t until 2006-07 when I completed a full-time course at Roehampton University Calligraphy and bookbinding that I seriously considered a career in these areas.

During 2008, I had an informal apprenticeship with the letter carver Tom Perkins, learning how to draw letters and cut them in stone. From 2008-11, I studied at the University of Hertfordshire, gaining a BA with First Class Honours in History. At the same time, I continued developing my skills as a letter carver, visiting other craftsmen’s workshops and gaining my first commissions. On graduating in 2011, I set up my own business as a self-employed letter carver.

From 2011-15, I worked on cataloguing the archive of the craftsman Michael Renton for the Edward Johnston Foundation and I also became the librarian and archivist for the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.

In 2018, I completed an MA by research in History at the University of Hertfordshire. In October 2017, I became a fellow of Digswell Arts Trust and had studio at The Forge in Digswell, Hertfordshire, until July 2020, when I moved to Parndon Mill, Harlow. I mainly work to commission, creating pieces of public art, memorial stones, birdbaths, benches, plaques and stones for the garden. I also teach and lecture on calligraphy and letter carving, running workshops and short courses. In the spring of 2018, I ran letter carving workshops at Highfield School Letchworth.'

Education / Training

2006: Level 3 Award in Craft Bookbinding, London College of Communication.
2006-2007: Certificate of Higher Education in Practical Calligraphy, Roehampton University.
2008: I trained with the letter carver Tom Perkins.
2008-2011: The Advanced Training Scheme, The Society of Scribes and Illuminators.
2008-2011: Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in History, University of Hertfordshire.
2014: Level 4 Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Hertford Regional College.
2014: Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment, North Hertfordshire College.
2016-2018: MA by Research in History, University of Hertfordshire.


2013 - Scissors, Paper, Stone with the calligraphers Mark L’Argent and Sharon Shaw at Thaxted Guildhall.
2013 – Scissors, Paper, Stone 2, with Mark L’Argent at the Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford.
2015 - ‘His Hands Magic’: Michael Renton (1934-2001). Co-curated the exhibition and co-edited the accompanying book. Held at The Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust, Snape Maltings, Suffolk.
2016 - ‘In the beginning was the Word’, at Ely Cathedral.
2020- ‘New Beginnings’, at The Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust, Snape Malting Suffolk.

Forthcoming Commissions 

2020 – Obelisk, Public Art Commission for St Michael’s Hurst, Bishop’s Stortford.
2020 – Welwyn 2020, Inscription for the base of a sculpture of Ebenezer Howard by Ben Twiston-Davies.
2020 – Plaque for University College London, NHS.

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