Bernard Johnson

2006 QEST Scholar - Stonecarving

Bernard lives in Oxford and works from his studio, the Pig Sty, near Woodstock. He works to commission and specialises in lettering and relief carving including memorials, plaques, signs, and architectural features. He came to the craft later in life, following a career in publishing, by studying stonemasonry at the City of Bath College and lettering with the lettering and commemorative arts trust.

Bernard’s QEST Scholarship provided funds for individual tuition with one of the UK’s top master craftsmen, Iuean Rees, to develop skills in drawn letterforms, design, and critical appraisal of his own work.

Bernard has completed several hundred commissions since receiving the award. He has had a commemorative monolith unveiled by the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee, and a prayer garden relief of the Annunciation blessed by the Archbishop of Westminster. Current work includes many individually carved memorials, and commemorative plaques.

Many are surprised to hear that I don’t use any fonts in my work. All my lettering is hand drawn so that I have complete control, creating letterforms suited to the demands of the materials to produce work that no commercial machines can match.