Simon Langsdale

Letter carver

Please click any image to visit his
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.
2023- 'Hinterland', at The Gallery Parndon Mill.
2023- 'Present Arts' at The Gallery Parndon Mill.


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 Sweet Chestnut obelisk at St Michael's Hurst, Bishop's Stortford
2021 Plinth to statue of Ebenezer Howard to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Welwyn Garden City
2022 Slate seat to commemorate the poet John Scott for Scott's Grotto, Ware
2023 Inscription to statue of Agatha Christie at Wallingford, Oxfordshire


More information: