Tom Perkins - Carved Lettering

Headstones and Plaques | Exhibition Work | Book Jacket and Logo Design | Garden, Landscape and Architectural/Public Art

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Tom Perkins is one of the most influential designer-craftsmen working in the field of carved lettering in stone and slate today. His highly individual work is much sought after and has been exhibited and sold in exhibitions at Sotheby's, Bonhams and The Gallery in Cork Street, London.


Biographical details:

Born Plymouth Devon 1957

1974-76 Reigate School of Art and Design on calligraphy course

1976-77 Assistant to Richard Kindersley lettercarving in slate and stone

1982 Moved to Sutton Cambridgeshire and established his own workshop

1982-97 Taught lettering at Roehampton Institute

Since the 1980s he has taught short courses at various centres including West Dean College.



Over the last twenty-five years Tom Perkins has carried out a wide range of commissions including commemorative plaques, memorial stones, stones in the landscape, carved alphabets and quotations. He also works in the area of book jacket and logo design, and is currently working on a typeface design.

Commissions to date include: Opening plaque for The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, plaques for British Museum galleries, title lettering carved into the fabric of the building for the Alexander Gibson Opera School, Glasgow for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, carved inscriptions on the theme of herb gardens for Boots plc for their Millennium sculpture garden, plaque and war memorials for the Peace Gardens, Sheffield, five inscribed stones placed along the Peddars Way, Norfolk for National Trails, the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, St Martin-in-the-Fields,London, Ely and Southwark Cathedrals floor stones, Sir David Frost memorial Westminster Abbey and Kensington Palace loggia lettering.



Membership of Societies:

Fellow of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen
Fellow of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Elected member of:
The Artworkers Guild
Letter Exchange
On the Crafts Council's selected index



Work has been widely exhibited including in the following selection of group shows:

79 'New Faces', British Crafts Centre London
82 'The Maker's Eye', Crafts Council Gallery, London
83 Cambridgeshire Artists, Kettle's Yard Gallery
84 'Calligraphy 84', Society of Scribes and Illuminators touring exhibition London, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.
86 & 89 'Letters in Steen & Calligraphie', Bruges, Belgium
88 Sotheby's Decorative Arts Award Exhibition, London
92 'Arts and Crafts to Avant Garde', Royal Festival Hall, London
92 & 93 'Decorative Arts Today', Bonham's, London
93 'Letters into Words', the Gallery in Cork Street, London
95 Crafts Council Foyer, London 
95 'Codes & Messages, Lettering Today', Crafts Council Gallery, London
97 'First Choice', Devon Guild of Craftsmen
97 'Literary Quotations', Wolseley Fine Arts, London
98 'The Art of Remembering,' a Memorials by Artists exhibition, Blickling Hall, Norfolk
98 'L is for Lettering', Cornwall Crafts Association
02 'Stone Words', Wolseley Fine Arts, London
02 'Living Letters', Calligraphy & Letterings Arts Society, Walton-on-Thames
2010 'Earth & Stone' (Tom Perkins & Gaynor Goffe) Monnow Valley Arts Centre and Crafts Study Centre, Farnham
2012 'Calligraphy Today' CLAS exhibition Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge
2012 'All that Glisters' CLAS exhibition London  
2014 The Bank Gallery, Suffolk      
2014 'Masters & Apprentices' the Lettering Arts Centre, Snape



The Art Directors Club 5th International Exhibition 1991 Award (Graphic Design)
British Book Design and Production Awards 1993, category winner general paperback book cover design
Calligraphy Review Publication award of excellence, 1989 & 90



Tom Perkins new book: The Art of Letter Carving in Stone: Published by The Crowood Press 2007

Tom Perkins: Lettercarver - introduction by Gerald Fleuss pulbished by Calligraphic Enterprises for the Edward Johnston Foundation.

His work has appeared in a number of publications, a selection of which are:-
'Applied Calligraphy & Lettering' (section) R. Sassoon
' The Calligrapher's Handbook' ed. H. Child ( chapter on drawn Roman capitals )
'Modern Scribes & Lettering Artists '1 & II
'The Calligrapher's Project Book' ( section) S. Haines
'Calligraphy Today' ed. H. Child
''Calligraphy Masterclass' (section) ed.P. Halliday 
'Practical Calliigraphy' Nash & Fleuss
' Advanced Calligraphy Techniques' (section) D. Hoare
'A Book of Sample Scripts' J. Woodcock
' Calligraphy Art and Colour' P. Halliday
'Calligraphy Made Easy' G. Goffe
'Lettering Arts' Fink & Kastin
'The Rhythm of Writing' S. Sehmi
'Letterwork: Creative Letterforms in Graphic Design' B. Neuenschwander
Letter Arts Review - various issues since 1988
'Kalligrafia' T. Heiskanen & L. Uusitalo
'Font' published by Ditchling Museum & the Edward Johnston Foundation ( article on the geometry of Roman lettering)


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