Testimonials about Simon Burns-Cox

'HIGHLAND' MARBLE EXTERIOR GARDEN SCULPTURE 2018

“Just a quick note to say a big thank you. Highland is even better in real life and I’m really happy. My partner has yet to see it and will wait until Friday. And thank you both for driving all the way to deliver it. I really appreciated the personal touch.”

Purchaser’s Comment: Mr. D.C from Aberdeenshire, Scotland

TWO DAY INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN STONE LETTER CARVING 2016

“Your Course was fantastic, a great couple of days and your tuition is first class”

G Sutherland December 2016

TWO DAY INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN STONE LETTER CARVING JUNE 2018

“My colleague and I did a course with Simon not long ago and we had a brilliant time! It has inspired us to teach others this skill and we hope to do more courses with Simon in the future.”

Emily Simpson 25 June 2018

TWO DAY INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN STONE LETTER CARVING AND INDIVIDUAL TUITION 2018

“I’ve done two courses with Simon and enjoyed them thoroughly. He’s a great teacher, full of enthusiasm and ideas. Fantastic studio set-up and a superb location. I can highly recommend a course with him.”

Hannah Lindsay Fleming 17 May 2018

THE EDINBURGH SHORELINE PROJECT JUNE 2018

“Its been such a joy to have Simon with us. His beautiful work has given our garden a whole new dimension”

Juliette (The Edinburgh Shoreline Project) June 2018

“I’ve been looking at the beautiful photos Juliette sent me showing you working in the garden and your finished carvings. They are really lovely. Juliette and the committee are absolutely delighted with what you’ve done.”

Claire of The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Shoreline Project. (June 2018)

MARBLE AND STONE CARVING TOOLS SUPPLIED JULY 2018

“Contacted Simon to get a piece of marble for a sculpting project. He didn’t have the size I needed, but went out of his way to source it for me and got it to me very quickly. Couldn’t have asked for a better service.”

Lewis Groves (July 2018)

INDIVIDUAL TUITION IN STONE LETTER CARVING AND RELIEF 2018

” Simon took me on as his apprentice in an intensive individual training. I highly recommend this as opposed to a two-day workshop with a group of people. You will get so much more instruction and advice. And good conversation over tea and coffee.

As a web developper, everything I create is obsolete after a few years. I wanted to learn how to create something that would last. So I imagined learning incised-relief (like Egyptian hieroglyphics) but didn’t know the term at the time. Simon taught me bas relief which is similar and possibly more difficult due to the removal of more stone (at least in my overly ambitious first project).

Bas relief requires everything from delicate tapping to entire days of hard hitting to remove stone. He taught me how to do both while avoiding cracking off the bits you want to keep.

Simon is a specialist of letter carving, and he suggested I learn this. This is basically for monuments, such as the names on tombstones. I was open to this becasue I studied typography in university. I had always assumed the serifs and joints of typeset letters were side-effects of calligraphy and pen position, but now I think it must be inspired by the chisel makrs of engraved letters. After all, which is more ancient, writing on paper or carving in stone?

Pleased with how enjoyable it was, I purchased many special tools from Rome and France and and have continued on my own. Simon taught me not to get carried away with tools: you only need a few high-quality chisels and a few hammers.

As Simon showed me, when you think you’ve got the hang of it, try carving on marble or granite. Marble felt to me like a very dense plastic. The sound is different.

Day after day spent with Simon, I found the work enjoyable. It’s physical, but relaxing. That’s great if you sit too much at a computer and work with language. Stone carving exercises the part of your brain that’s not busy with reading text, or writing computer code. It awakens a creative part in you, dormant since childhood, and seems like a perfect craft to learn at any age, especially middle aged or later in life.

When people ask me what I do, I used to say “computer programmer”. They look so bored and confused. Now I add, “and I’m a stonemason”. People like that image. I like that image. Thank you Simon for showing me how it is really done, just like it has been for thousands of years. Something that doesn’t become obsolete after a few years, and will probably last longer than me.”

Justin Stahlman, Canada (September 2018)

Public and Private Commissions undertaken by Simon Burns-Cox

Contact Simon Burns-Cox for more information. Courses in Sculpture, Stone Carving and Letter Carving available.