Category Archives: The Letter Carver


Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_Painting Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_Painting Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_PaintingMy inspiration for this painting was Lois Anderson, a Scottish letter carver chiseling away on stone in her North London studio. We got to know her whilst renting a room at her house near Stamford Hill, a house full of stones and letters, cats and other artefacts. For more insight into her views on life, politics and what she loves about life check out her Interview hereThe Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-100The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-145The Minks Inspiration Lois Anderson The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-152 The Minks_London_Letter Carver_Home-3


12 Questions for Lois Anderson

  1. What is your favourite word? Mesembryanthemum or so however you say it. Ill get back to you by that. I like play of words though.
  2. What’s your least favourite word? Haha I don’t know.. Do people come up with that? Meaning or actual word.. id be thinking about the exact look of the word as well.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-147
  3. What’s your favourite colour? A slatty blue. White, black, blue.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-151
  4. What colour or material would be suitable to describe you as a person? A grey sandstone, maybe a slate.
  5. What turns you on creatively spiritually emotionally? I guess nothing specific but sometimes a mixture of situation of music and weather and you have an exalted feeling of happiness. But I am actually quiet pragmatic and spiritual, rather cynical person.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-144
  6. What turns you off? Boring films, music, things rather inspired by commerce not talent or actual independent thought. Things that aren’t interesting.
  7. What is your favourite curse word? -
  8. What sound or noise do you love? Radio in the background
  9. What sound or noise do you hate? I guess some loud chinking noises in your ear, the noise of traffic in the background.
  10. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? An economist or something like that.
  11. What profession would you not like to do? Dentistry.
  12. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I don’t think I can stretch myself that far.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois AndersonThank you Lois for your time and for sharing your life over the month of April.

In 20 years

Where and how will you be living in 20 years from now?
No idea. Maybe here. I don’t have any plans to leave though Iam not sure if I wanna get old in London really. I’d go to Scotland I guess, probably to Glasgow to my home. The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-106In my imagination I’d go to the Pyrenees. But I don’t know how that would suppose to work out. I don’t know what sort of stone they have there so that sort of thing. So yeah probably Scotland.

The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois AndersonWe met Lois Anderson in her North London letter carving workshop for an interview.



What is a miracle you have encountered recently?
A miracle. I have been to Lourdes where apparently miracles happen but did not experience anything. I guess I must say that I don’t believe in miracles.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois AndersonLois Anderson in her North London letter carving studio.




Do you feel yourself more British, more English or more European or a citizen of the world?
Scottish but as a part of Europe. Not just Scottish. But I live in England so I am supposedly a rather selfish Scot in that way one might say. But I think we should all join not separate. Scotland should not be on its own nor should Britain.The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson


Lois Anderson is a North London letter carver.


The Fumes

What do you dislike about London?
I really don’t like the fumes. I don’t know, people complain about London but actually I don’t know what they are talking about. I think its actually quiet friendly, the transport works fine. But I guess I cycle so I don’t have to drive.TheMinks_London People Project_Photography

We met Lois Anderson when we stayed at her place for two weeks.


Cohesion – a possibility in Stamford Hill?

Do you think cohesion could happen over time with no external influence?
It would be good if there was some sort of a forum. You know we have a ‘rubbish war’ in our street with some people putting their rubbish out the right way and some who don’t do so. That’s the sort of level I am talking about. So I guess a forum could help to speed up cohesion in such regards, as everyone would better understand what the others are doing or not doing. This I guess would be a good thing.The Minks_London_Interviews_Photography-1

Lois Anderson is a North London letter carver.


A need in South Tottenham

Is there a need that should be tackled politically in your community and how would you go about changing it?
I think the first thing that comes to mind is some sort of cohesion in the community as I live in a very diverse community. There is a large Jewish population, lots of eastern European recent immigrants and some cohesion would therefore be a good thing. So everyone would better understand what everyone else wants.EastEnd_Kanals_StepneyGreen-139Not sure how to change it. Possibly schools, educating people but it also just takes time. As people live alongside each other they will learn to understand each other better. Id say one of the problems really is that all the groups are rather separated and don’t have much to do with each other. It is quiet poor where I live. So people first of all try to make a living.The Minks_London People Project_Stamford Hill_CanalsLois Anderson is a North London letter carver living in South Tottenham next to Stamford Hill, the area with the largest Hasidic Jewish population in Europe.



The Art

What do you regard as art?
Not this anyway. Not lettering generally, although there are lots of artists using lettering. It might be work that changes your opinion, lets you see things in a different way or helps you to identify things that you may not have identified otherwise. The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois AndersonSomething that will challenge your mind, not just your eye. What we do here is craft. But there are people who take it further. Like Hamilton Finlay, he’s not alive any longer but he used lots of lettering. But he used it to make art rather than what we do, which is decoration and information.

We met Lois Anderson when we rented her upper bedroom in South Tottenham.



Is there a piece of work you did that you are most proud of? Not yet, I am still waiting to do that.
So what would such a project have to be like to be ‘up there’? It would be.. I would like to do memorials, public memorials including relief carving and lettering. I can’t think of a specific group or so but that’s what I would like to do.

The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois AndersonWe met Lois when staying at her cozy place in South Tottenham for two weeks. We got a chance to interview her at her lovely stone carving studio in North London.


Letter Carving Inspiration

Who or what inspired you to be a stone carver, Lois Anderson?
I think I just saw a lot of stone carving in museums. I guess and I had an aunt that used to write about gravestones, strangely. I did not think that this was an influence but looking back it probably was. Eric Gill, a person who is very inspiring with regards to carved lettering.

Eric Gill is probably most widely known for his Typeface Gill Sans, which he produced 1927-1930. He also carved a bas relief The Creation of Adam for The Palace of Nations in Geneva, or a relief for the People’s Palace of Queen Mary University in London.
TheMinks_London People Project_British Museum

Lois Anderson helped Martin Cook carve the lettering for the Great Court of the British Museum, redesigned by Foster Architects.  We met Lois when staying at her cozy place in South Tottenham for two weeks. We got a chance to interview her at her lovely stone carving studio in North London.


A neighbourhood with opaque tights and long beards.

What do you call your neighbourhood in London? South Tottenham
The Minks _ Hesidic Jews Stamford Hill
The street where Lois lives is just on the border to Stamford Hill, which is known for the largest Hasidic Jewish Community in Europe with over 30’000 Hasidic Jews. As they keep very much to their closed circles you don’t get to know about their traditions. One documentary by BBC about a Hasidic drug dealer from Stamford Hill lets you look behind closed doors. For example you find out that the Hasidic have their own telephone book, first aid ambulance run by volunteers, they drink and party hard during certain festivities and also if it’s ok to look into Jewish men’s eyes if you are a woman.
The Minks _ Hesidic Jews Stamford Hill The Minks _ Hesidic Jews Stamford Hill The Minks _ Hesidic Jews Stamford Hill The Minks _ Hesidic Jews Stamford Hill

We met Lois Anderson when staying at her cozy place in South Tottenham for two weeks. We got a chance to interview her at her lovely stone carving studio in North London.


May we introduce to you a London letter carver?

We moved house quite a bit in the first couple of months living in London. For one reason because we had a very awful experience with the most untrustworthy letting agency called Ltd. (But more on that experience at a later point.) There’s usually chances in unlucky situations. For us this was meeting this lovely lady who rented out her upper bedroom near Stamford Hill. The Minks_London_Letter Carver_Home-8 The Minks_London_Letter Carver_HomeThe Minks_London_Letter Carver_Home-8Her house was filled with letters and shapes carved out of stone and also some lovely furniture by William Morris – “Britain’s most inspiring designer”.
The Minks_London_Letter Carver_Home-8