Task: To design and make a piece of work based on the gravestones in the cemetery.

Texting stones

Classroom work pre-visit

On the cemetery’s gravestones, you will find words, poems, scripture, dates, lettering styles, as well as information, facts, love letters, emotions, ambitions, dreams fulfilled and thwarted, lives cut short.
Activity: Before your visit have a look at the work of designer and sculptor Eric Gill, there are some examples of his work in Kettle’s Yard.

At the cemetery


Activity: Make notes, rubbings and drawings of lettering styles, words and fragments. Look at the surroundings and environment.

Classroom work after the visit

Activity: Design a stone, to be viewed from above when it is on the ground. Cut up lettering from newspapers or other alphabets. Glue, then varnish on to your stone, slab or slate. Will all the message be there, or just fragments and clues? Could you use pieces of wood or clay to make raised letters or detail? Is this like a text message? Who is the recipient? Are they living or dead? What about colour and/or imagery?

Equipment needed:
A stone, slab or slate found in a garden or skip, or bought from a builders’ yard
Lettering from alphabets or newspapers
PVA glue or varnish
Clay or wood
Acrylic paint