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Michael Renton (1934 – 2001)

Michael Renton (1934 – 2001), was born in London and attended Harrow Art School, but left before finishing his studies.

It was when he discovered the art of ‘lettering’ at an evening class by William Sharpington, that he found his path. This was during the last two years of his five year apprenticeship at a firm of commercial engravers. During his time there, he studied at evening classes and became increasingly interested and involved in lettering and sign writing.

By 1963, Renton had set up shop in Winchelsea, near Rye. From there he moved to Rye Mars, then to Brook Granary near Icklesham where he worked for 20 years, primarily as a wood engraver and sign writer.

Renton was probably one of the very last wood engravers in England to come into the art through a commercial apprenticeship. He made a virtue of the precision and cleanliness he had as a letter carver and sign writer to create precise and perfectly cut marks as a wood engraver.