Richard Offen richard at ...
Mon Dec 26 07:52:39 GMT 2005

> The guy who engraves bells for us, Taylors, Whitechapel etc is called 
Paul Edwards from Leicestershire - and it is all done with hammer and 
chisel. He is a very talented guy - He did Bredon Treble for us last 
week and the four ex cowley bells (now at Hampstead) earlier this year. 
He has a large portfolio which he is hoping to put on the net at some 
point. I have some photos of him working, but they are in Somerset and 
I am in Kent!
> Happy Christmas to all.
> Matthew

I well remember the guy who used to do the bell engraving at 
Whitechapel in the very early 70s. He was amazing to watch.

The process is very much like that used by monumental masons and wood 
carvers, the differences being that you are working with an extremely 
hard material that, like stone, comes off in small chips rather than as 
curls of swarf. There is also the added difficulty of working on a 
curved surface.

The engraver would scribe some chalk lines round the bell, which was 
laid on its side on a trestle, chalk on a rough layout of the letters 
and then set to work with his hammer and engraving chisels. The most 
remarkable part of the process was the control the engraver had over 
his chisel - he had wrists that looked like small tree trunks!

I have always derived great pleasure from watching any skilled 
craftsman at work, but, being a calligrapher myself, to see someone 
create beautifully formed letters in such a hostile material was a 
particular pleasure.

Happy Christmas.



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