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  • Writer's pictureDrew

Sign Painting Course

I decided that the best way for me to learn the skills that I want to apply to my negotiated practice project, was for me to attend a course on Sign-writing at the School of Decorative Art, since those kinds of skills aren't taught at University anymore, which is a great shame.

The School of Decorative Art - Steven Oxley

I have always been interested in painted signs, and had noticed ghost signs around me growing up. I also used to live in Middlewich which is the meeting points of 3 canals, so I often saw examples of narrowboat art. I have decided to write my 4,000 word essay around the subject of sign-writing, and the fact that it was the forerunner to Graphic Design. It should be interesting to research.

I had been looking at various types of sign-writing courses since about 2015, and always thought that it would be something that I would get around to doing after University. All the workshops I had seen were based in London, although I did get in touch with a local narrowboat painter who said I could spend the day with him when he was next at the local marina. I suspect that he forgot, and when I looked into it further I realised that a single sign painter was listed as the on site artist for marinas from Stoke-on-Trent right down to Birmingham, which isn't really what I would class as being an onsite artist.

As luck would have it I found the School of Decorative Arts which I think had been open for about 3 months when I found it. The courses there are run Steven Oxley, an experienced sign painter with many years in the trade painting signs and doing coach lining (pin striping to our American friends) on classic Rolls Royce's. He also teaches wood graining and marbling, and is passionate about the theory of classical architecture.

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