Inspired by Damascus

Damascus steel creates a unique look, but it’s too expensive and labor intensive for some pieces. And, many metals can’t be worked like the steels used in traditional Damascus. Here’s an alternative that engravers may consider by creating a similar pattern that gives a Damascus-inspired look.

This plain sterling silver ring has been transformed to resemble the look of Damascus by engraving various lines. Such techniques let engravers create a pattern that has a pleasing and artistically interesting grain. Variation in line widths and depths add to the illusion; the cuts were also blackened to add more contrast.

On small pieces like this sterling silver women’s wedding band, the faux-Damascus look works well. You can experiment with mimicking Damascus patterns and lines yourself on anything from practice plates to bracelets. Study two resources – Damascus and natural wood grain – to find your own style with this interesting method.

Clean Design with Boldness and Balance

Eberhard Mach is a jeweler, stone setter, and jewelry arts teacher in Muenster, Germany. His style is a subtle combination of traditional elements complemented by innovative features.

This ring is based on a relatively wide and heavy white band. The channel-set princess cut stones reinforce the strong lines of the band in color and strength of shape. But the large yellow marquise stone in the center of the ring provides a clear focal point and pleasing geometric contrast. This striking center stone is flush-set, which reinforces the smooth lines of Mach’s design theme.

Mach teaches jewelry art at HBZ (Handwerkskammer Bildungszentrum) in Muenster. The second photo shows him leading a tour of this well-equipped facility. He also has an impressive home studio shown in the last photo.

If you are interested in learning more about the programs at HBZ, contact them at

Engraved Microblock: Riding into the West

Many experienced engravers, including Lee Griffiths and Bob Finlay, agree that metal sculpting takes quite a bit of time. However, it is worth it – this method of engraving is greatly admired by collectors and engravers.

Here is the fourth installment of the Engraved Microblock by Bob Finlay. Last time, we showed the buffalo hunting scene that completed one side of the block. Now, take a look at the other side of this block, as well as the initial stage of a wonderful accent. This side features a cowboy riding full-speed across the West to a small town. Instead of a standard hex key, a small spur adds a functional detail that suits the theme perfectly.

This kind of engraving takes not only time, but patience. When beginning a project like this vise, planning your design and the steps you will take to execute it are key to a successful engraving. Stay tuned for the final part of the Engraved Microblock series.


A System & Standard for Monograms

What do the letters A, B, C, E, G, H, and S have in common? When it comes to designing a monogram, these are the easiest letters to bring together for most people. The other 19 letters give many engravers and designers trouble when creating a beautiful monogram.

The book Crocker Novelty Monogram System Standard of the World has a wealth of monograms that make composition with ALL twenty-six letters easy. Created in the 1920s to aid and save time in designing monograms, this book has 28 pages of traditional designs that can be used for any project.

From simple to complex, straightforward to stylized, this book is a wonderful resource whether you are advanced or fairly new to the world of monogramming. To help get you started, PAGE 3 of the Crocker book is included here to download, print, study, and use for any project.

Download this page at a high resolution.

Click the link below to load the image in this window. Right-click and choose “Save as…” or “Save image as…” to save this page.

Page 3 – Crocker, PDF6.2 MB, 300 DPI, 7.5″ x 10″ approx.

Page 3 Reversed – Crocker, PDF6.2 MB, 300 DPI, 7.5″ x 10″ approx.

Page 3 – Crocker, JPG2.6 MB, 300 DPI, 7.5″ x 10″ approx.

Page 3 Reversed – Crocker, JPG2.6 MB, 300 DPI, 7.5″ x 10″ approx.

Ornamental Chasing & Repoussé

As more and more people learn skills such as engraving and stone setting, beautiful artwork is being created and shared daily. Such passionate artists are stretching into new worlds of creativity, many of which are based on old world traditions and methods.

For thousands of years, the methods of chasing and repoussé have been used together to create beautiful jewelry and other wonders in silver and gold. This raised copper bowl by Valentin Yotkov is a great example of this craft. Repoussé employs liners, punches, annealing, soldering, and other tools used in similar fields like engraving or stone setting. It is easy to see why so many are attracted to this ornamental and traditional style of metalwork.

Valentin Yotkov, a professional designer and silversmith, will be teaching only one repoussé course at the GRS Training Center in 2008. With a studio and school in New York, Valentin specializes in reviving this art through teaching others. Find out more about Valentin on his website. If you would like to learn more or take a course on this type of metalwork, call GRS today at 1-800-835-3519 or visit the Training Center website for more information on the Ornamental Chasing and Repoussé course offered in 2008.

Practicing Scrolls

Whether on a piece of paper or a sheet of metal, practicing layout and design skills is important at any level. Creating flowing scrolls, leaves, and vines can lead to developing a new style that is unique.

Take this piece for example. Although seemingly random, this engraving shows an exploration that is key to evolving as an artist. The engraver, Vladimir Zatikyan of Moscow, Russia, has created many pieces like this one. His style is striking – especially for the scale. This engraving measures approximately 1″ x 1″, and he uses cuts that add dimension.

Consider arranging the elements you know in a different way to create something new. As you gain more experience, this type of practice is invaluable. Even if a design doesn’t quite work out the first time, play around with it. You may be surprised what you come up with.

How One Engraver Adds New Style

Jeff Minor, a versatile craftsman from Salmon, Idaho, has been engraving for eleven years. He started to engrave almost as a business necessity to complement his leather work. Since then, he has been purposely improving and broadening his skills so that he can branch out into other areas and add new clients.

Recently, Jeff took the new Transition Course: Flare & Bright Cut Engraving on Silver to Steel, co-taught by Ron Smith and Diane Scalese. Jeff wanted to learn these new techniques and expand his abilities with this exciting and flexible engraving style. These examples were engraved by Jeff during his class and earned him the compliments of both Smith and Scalese.

It is especially important to realize that this practice work by Jeff is in steel, not silver. His ability to make bold, beautiful engraving cuts like this in steel will clearly provide new opportunity for him, which was his goal for attending this course.

If you would like to learn how to engrave so that you can complement your work and add new fun to your life, let us know! Call the GRS Training Center today at 1-800-835-3519 to find out which course is right for you. The 2008 Course Schedule release date is set for December 3, 2007 — make sure you don’t miss what many call the opportunity of a lifetime.

Invest in Yourself and Grow

Since she first learned about engraving, Dorothy Funk has taken several courses at the GRS Training Center working toward her personal goal of becoming a more advanced engraver. She’s taken a Basic Western Engraving course with Diane Scalese, and recently the new the Transition Course: Flare & Bright Cut Engraving on Silver to Steel taught by Ron Smith and Diane Scalese.

This bracelet is just one example of Dorothy’s work, which she considers a satisfying hobby. To engrave this bracelet, Dorothy used a GraverMax, Magnablock and sharpened her gravers with a GRS Power Hone. She has been engraving part time for about 3 years.

Dorothy feels she’s improved much faster thanks to the help provided by the experienced instructors who taught the courses she enjoyed. As you can see, this training along with her dedicated self-study and practice is a successful combination.

Art Appears in Many Forms

Engravers, wood carvers, and stone setters are drawn to creative handwork, perhaps more than other artists. And, they are constantly seeking different opportunities to make something beautiful.

What began as an ordinary egg shell has been transformed into a wonderful, delicate art piece by engraver Tira Mitchell. She used soft geometric shapes to create a contrast that enhances the original form of the shell. Tira used a rotary tool with a carbide barrel bur to carve the shell; she worked inside a plastic cabinet to control and remove dust.

With a Russian-Ukrainian background, Tira felt a connection to her heritage from this work. Art from egg shells has been a traditional canvas for centuries, and continues to be inspiring today. Consider your family background when choosing creative projects to experience something unique and personally rewarding.

An Engraved Legacy of Love

Artistic endeavors like this engraved pendant can give a renewed sense of peace during a tough time in life.

Earlier in 2007, ESU student Ashton Ludden learned that her boyfriend’s father, Mike Dishman, was diagnosed with severe throat cancer and only a short time left to live. As a gift for Mike and his wife, Ashton engraved this two-sided sterling silver pendant with Mike’s finger print on one side and a message on the other. An accident earlier in his life made Mike’s fingerprint very distinctive. Ashton knew this would be a very personal and enduring symbol for Mike and his wife.

On the back Ashton engraved the phrase, “It’s the journey. Mike.” in Mike’s handwriting style. The combination of the accident-marred print and the uplifting message creates a warm, loving tribute that will be treasured by the Dishmans for a very long time.

An Engraving-Inspired Decoration for Fall

Most of the time you’ll find a nice scroll pattern engraved on the side of a shotgun or carved on a wood gunstock. However, this November the office of Glendo / GRS had a unique piece of artwork decorating the front lobby: an “engraved” pumpkin!

Shelley Finley, an employee at Glendo, carved this bright orange pumpkin with a scroll pattern – and she even included the GRS logo to make it a custom decoration. The artwork on this festive ornament measures approximately 4″ wide by 2.5″ high.

Finley used a Blank Stencil Sheet for Photocopiers (GRS #022-197R) and a scribe to apply the artwork. She used a 901 Handpiece with a wood chisel, as well as an 850 Rotary Handpiece, with a GraverMach to carve out the design. Finley said she wanted to get outside the box and experiment with different materials using GRS tools.

This could be a fun project to spice up your home or a nice surprise for your spouse during the holiday season. Instead of the GRS logo, put your own slogan or saying such as “The Smiths” or “Happy Turkey Day.” Not only will you get to practice your layout and design skills, but you will have a personalized decoration for your home or office. Keep engraving!

The Meek Squirrel by James B. Meek

The Meek Squirrel by James B. Meek

James “Bruce” Meek, author of The Art of Engraving (#002-164), was working on his second book The Engraver and His Designs when he passed away many years ago. Bruce had already made several engraved illustrations for this second book in the same manner he used for his first book: by engraving a black acrylic sheet painted with white lacquer.

Bruce entrusted several of his handmade illustrations to Don A. Glaser. One of the most charming was intended for the dust cover of this second book … a bushy-tailed squirrel sitting in an oak tree. Hence the “Meek Squirrel” is named after its artistic creator, and is not an attempt to describe the furry animal’s personality.

Since Mr. Meek designed this image to help train future engravers, GRS wants to help make that happen. So this image is available to all engravers free on our website. If you would like to try engraving it yourself, a stainless steel key fob is available with the outline applied.

Download these files for personal study.

Click the link below to load the image in this window. Right-click and choose “Save as…” or “Save image as…” to save this image or file.

Meek’s Squirrel, JPG : 900 KB (0.9 MB), 300 DPI, 4 ” x 5 ” approx.

Reverse: Meek’s Squirrel, JPG: 900 KB, 300 DPI, 4″ x 5 ” approx.

Meek’s Squirrel, EPS Vector : 532 KB, 8.5″ x 11 ” approx.

The Story, PDF: 1.7 MB, 300 DPI, 11″ x 8.5 ” (Letter, Landscape).

You may also download all of these files as one Zipped file.
All Files, ZIP: 2.4 MB, Zipped Archive.

The Meek Squirrel Kit
GRS ITEM #030-609


In stock (can be backordered)


This kit includes one stainless steel Key Fob Style 2 (#003-301) with a lasered outline of Meek’s squirrel, a print of the story, and a large-scale image for study.

Available as part of the special GRS Legacy Series DVD featuring this Meek Squirrel as a bulino project as engraved by Jake Newell. Go to item (#023-503) for details.

Additional information

Weight.0600 lbs

Manuals & Docs

No manuals or documents available. For product bundles, visit the individual product page for manuals and documents.

If you require documentation for this product, please contact us.


No videos found. If you would like to see a video for this product, please contact us.

SDS (Safety Data Sheets)

No SDS (safety data sheets) available. For product bundles, visit the individual product page for SDS (safety data sheets).

If you require documentation for this product, please contact us.

The Opportunity to Learn

Learning is exciting, especially as you discover new techniques and improve your skill with every cut. This bracelet features the word “Learn” created by a wonderful combination of engraving and stone setting. It’s a beautiful example of how engravers and jewelers can build new business and artistic opportunity by combining these complementary skills.

If you are a jeweler, you already know hand metalworking so it’s easier for you to learning engraving…all you need is the right teacher. Engravers who are comfortable with metal engraving can learn to set stones in a few days with the right instruction.

For jewelers and engravers alike, special courses hosted at the GRS Training Center will put you on a fast track to combine the skills you see in this elegant silver bracelet. The 2008 Course Schedule is scheduled for release on Monday, December 3, 2007. Contact one of the enthusiastic GRS representatives by phone at 1-800-835-3519 for advice on which courses will benefit you.

Tools used for this bracelet: GRS GraverMach with 901 handpiece, EMAX rotary system, GRS engraving block, select gravers and burs. The silver strip material was formed with the GRS Metal Former prior to setting and engraving.

Engraved Microblock: Progression from Layout to Sculpting

Here is the next step in Bob Finlay’s impressive Engraved Microblock. In July and September 2007, we showed the two early stages of the block. The stage in September described how to lay out a scene – this step shows the finished result of that process.

Using only stippled outlines for the layout in the last step, Bob Finlay put together a Wild Western scene that includes several figures. Now you can clearly see the detail of each figure, from the hunter to the wild animals.

This type of deep relief metal sculpting takes quite a bit of time. The results, however, are well worth it. This method of engraving is greatly admired by collectors and engravers alike. Shown here is only half of the deep-relief engraving Bob Finlay has done on the sides of this vise. Stay tuned for the next section of engraving in this series.

The Beginning of Life

“The Beginning of Life” is a magnificent art jewelry piece crafted by Alexandre Sidorov, an acclaimed stone setter and instructor in Antwerp, Belgium. This striking designer pendant exhibits advanced jewelry techniques executed flawlessly. It is truly a one-of-a-kind.

The pendant is made from 18K gold and nearly 400 white and colored diamonds. The center metal is black rhodium plated to add contrast. Measuring 1.4″ x 1″ (36mm X 25mm) in overall size, these photographs do not truly capture the beauty of this pendant. Its free form strikes the eye as an unexpected, fresh and captivating piece of jewelry.

One of the most alluring design aspects is how the stones are set from edge to center. Instead of being on a flat plane, these stones rest on a dynamic hill that rolls like a wave or a water drop to a low point in the center. To see this pendant in real life allows the viewer to appreciate the knowledge that went into its design and creation.

For many years, Mr. Sidorov has provided the European jewelry trade with high-end, personalized stone setting. A few years ago he also dedicated himself to teaching his outstanding techniques, which combine exceptional accuracy with amazing work efficiency. He has used a GRS GraverMax for setting since the mid 1990’s; this piece was set with the newer GraverMax SC.

Visit Alexandre’s website:

Teaming Up for Grand Masters

Much like the attendees of the 2006 Grand Masters course with Creative Art, these 2007 GMP students benefit from a team of instructors. This week the students get a double shot of engraving knowledge from two well-known engravers from across the Atlantic.

Ken Hunt, a master engraver of England, is instructing the course “Fine English Scroll Engraving, Gold Inlay, and Damascene” as the second week of Grand Masters 2007 begins. To assist him during this class is his son Marcus Hunt. Both are known throughout the engraving world as quite talented, and collectively have a great number of years experience.

Appropriately, students on the first day are hard at work cutting small English style scrolls as taught by Grand Master Ken Hunt. On the first day, Ken works his way around the room giving personal attention to any student who asks. Many students in this week’s class were accepted to both Grand Masters classes, and all of the students are excited to learn new techniques.

Share in the excitement of the Third Annual Grand Masters by visiting for daily updated photos and highlights as they happen.

To learn more about the Grand Masters Program, how to qualify for the specially taught courses and other details, call GRS at 1-800-835-3519 or 620-343-1084, or visit the Grand Masters website online.