The Bonnie Ash, 2017
After a year Wenham left research and for the next 23 years taught in secondary, primary and special schools, with 9 years’ lecturing at the University of Leicester. He first exhibited his letter-cutting work in 1982; since 1984 it has been shown in the major British exhibitions of lettering arts. Wenham’s work is held in the Crafts Council’s Permanent Collection and in private collections in Britain, the USA, Germany, Japan and Puerto Rico.
The words are from Trees by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956).
A friend of Wenhams who was building a large canoe was given a very well-seasoned and hard log of Ash. This piece of wood was the scrap which he roughly cut off with a chainsaw so that he could begin the struts and seats for his project. The symbol at the bottom is the Anglo-Saxon Ash rune.
Cutting fairly small letters into a chain-sawn surface calls for the usually smooth sides of the v-cut to be modified, to take account of the ridges and furrows. This in turn gives each letter, an the inscription as a whole, a subtly different texture and a more informal character.
A free copy of Martin Wenham’s new book Martin Wenham The Art of Letter Carving, published by Crowood Press (price £25), will accompany each purchase from the exhibition.
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