This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Fig. 27. Italian Renaissance Lettering. Adapted from Inscription shown in Fig. 26.
Dean & Dean, Architects, Chicago, 111. For Exterior View, See Page 170. Longitudinal Section Shown on Opposite Page.
LONGITUDINAL SECTION THROUGH MUSIC BUILDING FOR DOANE COLLEGE, CRETE, NEB.
Dean & Dean, Architects, Chicago, 111. For Exterior, See Page 170. Plans Shown on Opposite Page.
Fig. 30. Alphabet of Uncial Gothic Capital Letters, 16th Century.
The two small panels, one from a monument in Bologna, and one from the Chiaravelle Abbey in Milan, Figs. 28 and 29, show a letter which was incised in stone and follows the so-called uncial or round form, with characteristics showing the probable influence of the Byzantine art and period. These two inscriptions may be compared with another alphabet showing the uncial character when used in black against a white page, as in Fig. 30. This E>ame style of letter was often used in metal, and may be seen in many of the mortuary slabs of this and succeeding periods.
Fig. 31. Inscription Letter Sections.
In many of the Renaissance wall monuments the V-sunk letter sections have been filled with a black putty to make the letter very clear, and when this falls out, as it often does, the V-cut section may still be seen behind it. Also in many Italian floor slabs the letters are either V-sunk or shallow, square sinkages filled with mastic, or sometimes they are of inlaid marble of a color different from the ground. Again a V-sunk letter section sometimes carries an additional effect because it is smoothly cut and finished and the surface of the stone is left rough, thus obtaining a different texture and color effect; or, though more rarely, the opposite treatment may be used. Then, again, the sides of the letter sinkage may be painted or gilded. Often even the shadow is painted into the section, but this is generally done on interior cutting where there is no direct light from the sun, because if direct sunlight does fall upon a letter so treated, a very amusing effect occurs when the shadow is in any other position than that occupied by the painted representation.
Fig. 32. English 17th Century Letters, from Tombstones.
For still further effects, raised lettering may be cut on stone surfaces. This is more expensive, as it necessitates the more labor in cutting back the entire ground of the panel, but for certain purposes it is very appropriate.
In such a letter the section may be a raised V-shape, or it may be rounded over to make a half circle in section, as drawn in Fig. 31. This latter form is especially effective in marble, but it is, of course, very delicate and does not carry to any great distance. Its use should be restricted to small monumental headstones or to lettering to be read close to, and below the level of, the eye.
A raised letter is more generally appropriate for cast copper and bronze tablets, when its section may be a half round, a raised V-form, or square-raised with sharp corners; or, better still, a combination of square and V-raised with a hollow face. See Fig. 31. Experience has proved that this last-named section produces the most telling letter for an ordinary cast-metal panel.
Fig. 32 shows an alphabet of a letter derived from English tombstones. This letter was cut in slate or an equally friable material, and was comparatively shallow. A certain tendency toward easing the acute angles may be observed in this alphabet, evidently on account of the nature of the material in which it was carved rendering it easily chipped or broken.
In wood carving, a letter exactly reversing the V-sunk section with direct sinkage, gives the best effect for a raised letter.
Every material, from its nature and limitations, requires special consideration. A letter with many angles is not adapted to slate, as that material is liable to chip and sliver; hence an uncial form with rounded angles suggests itself (as in Fig. 29), and is, indeed, frequently used.
Fig. 33. German Black Letters, from a Brass.
It would be quite impossible to take up in detail the entire list of available materials and consider their limitations at length, as the task would be endless. For the same reason, it is not possible to take up each letter style and consider its use in stone and other materials. Of course, a Roman letter or any other similar form when drawn for stone-incised use must have its narrow lines at least twice as wide as when drawn in ink, black against a white background. (Compare Figs. 26 and 27.)
Experience and intuition combined with common sense will go farther than all the theory in the world to teach the limitations required by letter form and material. The student, however, should bear in mind that it is not necessary that he himself should make a number of mistakes in order to learn what not to do. He may get just as valuable information.at a less cost by observing the mistakes and successes of others in actually executed work, and avail himself of their experience by applying it with intelligence to his own problems and requirements.
Fig. 34. Black-Letter Alphabet.