about me

Welcome to my website – my name is David Symons and I am the hand engraving specialist who owns Inscriptions, quite possibly the smallest shop in Brighton, East Sussex. Please take a look around the site and get in touch if you have any questions or think there’s anything I can help you with; I have over thirty five years experience as a hand engraver and you can learn all about my specific skills on my engraving services page.

Inscriptions is the story of a simple lad from a Birmingham suburb and how he followed a dream...

Like all the best mums, mine had a blindly optimistic faith in my abilities, so secretly answered a 'wanted' ad for artistic people. She then surprised me with my interview to be an apprenticed engraver! But what was an engraver? No time even to be nervous; I was accepted at interview, jumped in and loved every minute cramming knowledge and learning the craft. Simultaneously, I attended college to reach the City and Guilds standard - looking back we could say it was a bit of a packed week!

Fuelled by the appetite of youth, I was fortunate enough to earn my Distinction and decided to trade the tradition of Birmingham for the bohemia of Brighton where from a small stall in an antiques gallery I repaired, reinstated and engraved anything and everything.

I made contacts, I made friends, I found love... and now being pushed by the 'other woman' in my life I made the great leap to own my own shop within Brighton's famous Lanes, joining the historic Brighton Lanes' artistic community in 1989. I've been here ever since and anyone curious enough to know what hand engraving entails is welcome to watch me through the shop window as I work.

Always a surprise to me, I'm often asked what my greatest challenge or most interesting piece is? I'm sure the most interesting piece hasn't happened yet but every job represents challenges of some description - as a sole trader the most obvious being a delighted customer; but for sheer privilege, restoration-engraving a centuries old drinking fountain, reinstating to original style the forms of a fellow artisan from generations past certainly takes some beating. Another source of great personal pride was a request to create a commemorative seal which the Isle of Wight presented to the Queen for her Royal Collection in 2007. You can see both the Royal seal and the historic Eastbourne drinking fountain on my gallery page.

For a truly memorable and unique gift, the price of personalisation may be smaller than you think - why not get a better appreciation of my skills by viewing my engraving services page and consider that most weeks I must interpret several interesting and challenging requests - perhaps yours will be the next?