The Goldsmiths’ Centre, The Hand Engravers Association and The Lettering Arts Trust present Inscribed: The Craft of Cutting Letters

This London Craft Week, the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London will be celebrating the craft of cutting words onto metal, stone or glass through the exhibition 'Inscribed: The Craft of Cutting Letters'. Working in collaboration with The Hand Engravers Association and The Lettering Arts Trust, the free exhibition will be accompanied by an inspiring and insightful programme of demos, guided walks, tours and workshops.

Presenting a wide selection of artists’ work alongside loans from the Goldsmiths’ Company, Crafts Council and other collections, the exhibition will provide a unique insight into this ancient and evolving skill and the processes used by today’s craftspeople to design, craft and carve text. Over thirty functional, decorative and commemorative objects – from signage and jewellery, to decorative objects – will tell the story of some of the UK’s most skilled craftspeople and how traditional techniques inform their contemporary craft practice. Highlights will include Michael Lloyd’s Dru Drury Bowl (2009), from the Goldsmiths' Company Collection, Calligraphic, Incisive Letterwork (1993) created by Brenda Berman and Annet Stirling from the Crafts Council Collection and the hand-blown bowl, Net of Gold (2018), by Peter Furlonger, on loan from The Lettering Arts Trust.


“Lettering is frequently invisible and taken for granted, but when lettering is regarded as an art in the hands of designers and craftsmen who care about form and composition it is elevated to a new level that captures the imagination. ' Inscribed' is a marvelous opportunity for the Lettering Arts Trust to collaborate with esteemed partners - the Goldsmiths’ Centre and the Hand Engravers Association during this year's London Craft Week and into the summer. This exhibition shows not only the remarkable skills, but also the inspiration and creativity of the most accomplished exponents of hand carving, engraving and precious metalwork who revel in inscriptions and turn words and phrases into breathtaking artworks.”

– Sarah Harrison, Executive Director of the Lettering Arts Trust

From 8th to 10th May 2019, a ticketed programme will offer members of the public the chance to step into the shoes of a talented craftsperson and try their hand at making. During an evening demonstration on 8th May, Master engraver Sam Marsden will show the skill, patience and precision required for an engraver alongside Louise Sorrell, who recently completed her Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship under her tutorage and won the prestigious Theo Fennel Apprentice and Master Award at the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards. The Goldsmiths’ Centre will also be reaching out beyond its walls through a unique guided tour on 10th May through London’s city streets with the City of London Guide, Tony Baxter, which will further unlock the rich heritage of letter cut signage.

“It has been a long-held ambition for the Hand Engravers Association to be part of the exciting celebration of creativity that is London Craft Week. We are delighted to be partnering with the Goldsmiths’ Centre who will enable us to show the talented skills of our apprentice and professional hand engravers to a new audience. It is thrilling to work with the Lettering Arts Trust; an organisation who clearly share our passion for supporting and promoting skilled artisans of heritage craft skills in a contemporary context.”

– Sally Dodson, Associate Manager of The Hand Engravers Association
Free admission | #londoncraftweek


Notes to editors

The exhibition Inscribed: The Craft of Cutting Letters runs will run from 30 April to 11 July 2019 in the Atrium of the Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Open Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm
Admission is free.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full programme of demos, guided walks, tours and workshops. More information is available from the Goldsmiths’ Centre or online at

The Goldsmiths’ Centre
The Goldsmiths’ Centre is the leading charity for the professional training of goldsmiths. Founded by the Goldsmiths’ Company in 2007, it is a charitable enterprise with a specific purpose: “To advance, maintain and develop art, craft, design and artisan skills, including in particular but without limitation, those pertaining to goldsmithing.” It does this by

  • Providing managed workspace, education and training for public benefit
  • Fostering promoting and extending public interest in art, craft, design and artisan skills
  • Providing a knowledge base and community for those engaged or interested in these skills

Follow updates on the exhibition and the accompanying events programme via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Use #londoncraftweek and @gsmithscentre

The Hand Engravers Association
The Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain raises the profile and preserves the skills of hand engraving and its practitioners. Hand engraving is the embellishment of precious objects using traditional engraving tools known as gravers. British hand engravers are some of the best in the world – and it is crucial that we preserve this part of our heritage. The Hand Engravers Association was formed in 2007 to raise the profile and preserve the skills of this specialist craft through:

  • Raising the profile of hand engraving
  • Providing education and training
  • Stimulating debate and generating new ideas

The Lettering Arts Trust
The lettering Arts Trust champions excellence in the lettering arts by fostering talent, extending knowledge and facilitating new works. It is the UK’s leading voice for promoting lettering to public and professional audiences. It brings the finest artists and the public together through training programmes and apprenticeships, events and exhibitions, and original commissions. Based at Snape Maltings, there is a permanent gallery showcasing the work of renowned lettering artists, as well as a shop filled with capital ideas for unusual gifts.

London Craft Week
London Craft Week is a not-for-profit organisation dependent on the support of sponsors and partners. London Craft Week is particularly grateful to its Headline Sponsors: dunhill and James Purdey & Sons, as well as long-standing partners and supporters, The Conran Shop, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland (Mount Street and Pimlico Road), the Italian Trade Authority, the Crown Estate and Cadogan.

Icon Download the full press release (411.6 KB)