One of the major social problems with engravers is this: that bench isn’t going anywhere. When you engrave, you are tied to the chair in your studio, shed, shop, or garage. And in order to be successful, you have to put the hours in, which means missing out on many “out of the house” opportunities.
One young man has taken his engraving to the road for a very charitable cause. Jake Newell of Emporia, Kansas, has outfitted this small trailer to be a mobile studio. After a hard day’s work, Jake can come in to engrave for three or four hours a night and gets in as many as possible on the weekend. When it’s time to move on, he simply removes his microscope and vise from his workbench and straps down his GraverMach, Power Hone, Acrobat, and turntable. Jake says, “I have been down some pretty rough and bumpy roads and had no problems with the equipment at all. Built to last for sure.”
He does custom engraving for companies like Montana Watch and William Henry Studio, as well as a few things for local patrons along the way. Newell just completed this Mayan design on a William Henry knife, and the small engraved object he is holding is a siding nail. “I quickly engraved [this] as a little gift or token for a retired couple I worked with. It is by far the cheapest thing (money-wise) I have ever engraved, but may possibly now be the most valuable siding nail in the world now, [complete with] 24 karat gold inlay,” commented Newell.
But the really great part of the mobility of his new setup is what he does with his time when he’s not engraving. He volunteers his daytime hours to Habitat for Humanity in the “Care-A-Vanners” program. After working with Americorps, Newell decided he could take his engraving on the road and really make a difference in communities in need. It has taken him about two years to put everything together to allow him to volunteer, and now he can do two things he loves: helping people and creating art through engraving. Best of luck everywhere you go, Jake.