NOTE: This event is now closed
15th January 2015
All the fun of the fair: the art of the sign writer
Joby Carter is passionate about painting letters, and for your entertainment will present a lecture on the art and craft of signwriting in Britain. Just a few years ago signpainting was so much of a dying art that it was almost impossible to find a practising signwriter who would be prepared to take on a trainee. Vinyl and plastic took over at speed, and the skills that people had been passing on for generations were almost wiped out overnight. Recently, as the virtual world of computer-generated graphics has filled our spaces with anodyne typography, there has been a resurgence in interest in the traditionally painted letter. Joby comes from the now rare position of someone who has been taught by a master signwriter in the old apprentice tradition, and he can trace his painting pedigree back to a signwriter working for the Hovis company at the turn of the century. He is keen that the art lives on and that the skills of the 19th century will still be around in another hundred years or more.
Joby Carter grew up surrounded by bright signs and beautiful letters on his family's vintage funfair, Carters Steam Fair. As a child he admired the work of Stan Wilkinson, the master signwriter working for the fair, and pestered him to teach him the craft. Eventually Stan succumbed to the pleas and Joby became his apprentice, learning everything he could about signwriting and fairground art, lining and coachpainting. Joby is immersed in the fair and its artwork, and spends the winters restoring and painting vintage fairground rides as well as teaching people to signwrite and to paint in the fairground style on his popular 5-day intensive courses.
15 January 2015: 1730-1930: Birmingham City University, P350 Lecture Theatre, Parkside Building, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham B4 7BD
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