Since moving from London in 2005, I have embraced the country crafts to lead a more sustainable existence. With the Wychwood project I learnt the arts of stone-walling and hedge-laying, both sustainable crafts that help form the tapestry of the countryside from generation to generation. I also learnt to grow crops organically and to forage through the seasons to supplement our diets from nature’s larder, and stretching those seasons through preservation techniques. After ten years in the Oxford publishing industry, I moved into a more permanent form of publishing, that of hand cutting letters and designs into stone under the moniker Matthew Wordsmith and with the tutelage of Bernard Johnson.
My journey into stone began with learning the Trajan forms of the alphabet, and once these were locked in place in my mind, I was able to carry out commissions for house names, plaques, standing stones and gravestones. Whenever possible, I continue to practice in a sustainable way, recycling stone from all sources including slate slag heaps in Wales. Naturally riven stone has its own strong character already, and my aim is to take that to another level with some controlled letter forms that compliment the already beautiful forms.
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