Not text, but texture

glass, paper, inks, paint, 30x30x3cm


I was in the limbo of lost words

glass, paper, inks, paint, gold leaf, 30x30x3cm


The Scribes, version 1 of 2

Glass, Paper, Paints/inks, gold leaf, resin, 30x30x4cm
Photographer, Rory Moore


The Scribes, version 2 of 2

Glass, Paper, Paints/inks, gold leaf, resin, 30x30x4cm
Photographer, Rory Moore


Denis Brown

Denis Brown pushes the boundaries of calligraphy and letter arts. The roots of his work are in the ancient traditions of manuscript writing which he explores in a contemporary and inventive context. One aspect of his work involves creating innovative, three-dimensional layered glass pieces.

These glass works combine traditional craft with state-of-the-art digital techniques. They consist of up to six layers of overlapping glass, each engraved with writing on both sides and layered over a background image. The lettering is hand-engraved using a tool powered by compressed air, which spins a diamond-tipped burr. For Brown, speed in writing is imperative. It encourages free, fast strokes whilst still demanding control and discipline. The background images behind the layers of glass are often composites featuring unique prints on hand painted and gilt paper, resulting in extraordinarily textural pieces.

Brown graduated with a Degree from the Roehampton Institute, London in 1989. He is a Fellow of the UK Society of Scribes & Illuminators and an Honoured Fellow of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society, UK. He is a regular contributor to international conferences on calligraphy and conducts workshops for calligraphy guilds worldwide.


European Parliament, Strasbourg & Brussels
British Library, London
Newberry Library, Chicago
San Francisco Public Library
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK
National Museum of Ireland
Akademie der Künste, Berliner Sammlung Kalligraphie, Germany
Trinity College Library, Dublin
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Crafts Council of Ireland
Office of Public Works, Ireland
The Great Book of Ireland, Dublin Castle
Irish Life PLC

Selected Awards

RDS National Craft Awards, Glass Category prize and the Calligraphy and Lettering category prize
Work from the 1,000 Wishes Series, RDS Arts Committee Acquisition, RDS National Crafts Competition, Dublin
RDS National Crafts Competition, Dublin
The Crafts Council of Ireland Bursary Award

Selected Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

2008 Wordscapes by Denis Brown, Gallery 13, Hollywood, USA

Group Exhibitions and Fairs

FACING PAGES: The Art of The Great Book of Ireland, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork
           RDS National Craft Awards exhibition, RDS Dublin & Hunt Museum Limerick
Art Collection of the European Parliament: Ireland’, European Parliament, Brussels
Future Beauty?, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
International Calligraphy Conference, Reed College, Oregon, USA
Japan Calligraphers Guild, Tokyo, Japan, Art Source, RDS, Dublin
Landmark Trust Art Exhibition & Sale, RHA, Dublin, Irish Craft Portfolio, RHA, Dublin
Modified Expression, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
Illuminate: Contemporary Irish Glass, Kenny Gallery, Galway
Irish Craft Portfolio, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny and Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin
Exploring Perceptions of Contemporary Craft, Lavit Gallery, Cork
Modified Expression, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
The Saint John’s Bible and the Art of the Book, Naples Museum of Art, Florida, USA
           Living Letters Three: Small Objects of Desire, Reg Vardy Gallery, University of Sunderland, UK
Irish Craft Portfolio, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny; Kennys Gallery, Galway; Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin and Stour Gallery, Warwickshire, UK
Botanica: Nature up close, Gallery 13, West Hollywood, USA
Living Letters Three: Small Objects of Desire, Riverhouse Gallery, Walton-on-Thames, UK
RDS National Crafts Competition Prize Winners Traveling Exhibition, RDS Dublin and touring, Letters Mingle Souls, Chicago, USA

Contact Details:

Denis Brown
4 Sandyford Hall View
Dublin 18

T. +353 87 7866997
E. denis@quillskill.com