Learning to cut a particular scroll can be a challenging process that takes some time to execute it to your satisfaction. Studying the work of others is a great way to understand just how to create a certain style.
This Stoeger Uplander, which has been modified to have a round body type with a straight stock and splinter forend, features small English scroll and an English Bouquet. The engraver, David Drake, likes to engrave in his spare time. So over the last six months, he worked on this shotgun off and on. Because Drake is a machinist at Glendo, he has had the opportunity to speak to reputable engravers like Marcus Hunt on occasion. During one of Marcus Hunt’s stateside visits, Drake spoke with Hunt for just a quick conversation on Hunt’s beautiful small English scroll to get a few tips and techniques from the pro. Drake also studied the work of various engravers to help understand the style better.
For now, Drake plans to leave the ovals without the typical hunting scene. “I would like to engrave a dog or a bird head in that space, but I also know my own abilities.” Drake will finish off the shotgun with a blue finish, and keep his second finished gun project as his own personalized work of art. Tools used: GraverMach with Airtact; Magnum handpiece with Palm Touch Element; carbide square graver with 55° degree face, 15° heel; X-7 graver with 55° degree face, 15° radiused heel for plunge cuts.
Engravers can save hundreds of dollars when the holiday season rolls around by creating personalized gifts. Using your skills to engrave a pendant, key fob, knife, or other small pieces, you can make unique and custom work that is just for that one special person.
Instead of buying something from a catalog or store for his father this year, Jake Newell decided to put his hands to good use. This folding knife features custom engraving by Newell specifically made for his father. Newell designed the layout, which features a left-facing pheasant with long tail feathers. The feathers reach into the area for the scrolls, allowing the two elements to blend together visually. The texture Newell created for the feathers is echoed in the shade lines of a flowing leaf element that continues right out of a large set of scrolls. Altogether, it’s a perfect mix of animal and scroll for this present.
Jake also engraved several other gifts for members of his family, taking care to keep each person in mind. You can use your engraving skills, regardless of whether you’ve been engraving thirty years or three months, to bring joy to a loved one with a personal gift. If you are a beginner, try your hand at simple monograms. If you can knock out a monogram in no time, add a sparkling border to the piece to finish it off. The possibilities are endless.
The beautiful desert-inspired designs by Arizona native Kit Carson, like his Mariachi and Pendant previously featured, are great for inspiration. His work ranges from the festive dead musicians of his Mariachi to dazzling, jewel-encrusted bracelets.
This bracelet, also featured in a 2008 GRS Training Center advertisement in Art Jewelry magazine, is a free-spirited gathering of colors and creatures from the sea. With sea horses, starfish, shells, and even a pair of glaring skulls, this bracelet looks like it could be a dream of lost treasure on the ocean floor. A variety of stones, pearls, and beads are sprinkled throughout the design, bringing in more color. The contrasting metal adds an interesting variety to the color palette. Even the flowing scrolls in the background emulate the waves of the ocean.
Kit Carson currently produces his beautiful handmade jewelry in his Arizona studio Cactus Camp. Learn more about Carson on his website kitcarsonjewelry.com and browse through his gallery of other custom jewelry pieces.
In 2008 the GRS Training Center hosted its first metalworking course that focused entirely on the art of repoussé. Valentin Yotkov, who currently resides and works in Brooklyn, New York, is a master silversmith specializing in Chasing, Raising, and Repoussé.
The works shown here are all created in sterling silver. With a pair of heavenly angels adorning the top, this silver jewelry box measured approximately 3 1/3″ x 1 3/4″. Yotkov fabricated this entire work from sterling silver and used the technique of repoussé to create the three-dimensional metalwork.
The shallow bowl-like piece is a Greek phiale, a shape and meaning that signifies an offering bowl for wine or oil. This phiale features raising and repoussé in sterling silver. It measures approximately 5 1/2″ x 3/4″. The ornate bowl, which Yotkov completely fabricated, is approximately 3″ x 4 3/4″. This sterling silver bowl, in contrast, was created using the chasing technique.
If you would like to learn how to create three-dimensional works like those by Valentin Yotkov, call 1-800-835-3519 today or visit the GRS Training Center website to view more about Yotkov and his ornamental repoussé course.
Gary Van Syoc of Emporia, Kansas, likes to sit in his shop as often as he can to work on his newest hobby — a hobby that is turning out beautiful works of wood.
He first took a class at the GRS Training Center in late October 2007 with Bill Janney. Although Gary said Bill’s work was a bit intimidating at first, he knew he needed a class if he was ever going to get good at his wood work. Gary had tried his hand at working with wood before the class, but he just didn’t have the knowledge or skills to do what he wanted. After taking just one class with Bill Janney, Gary has been creating beautiful works of art.
Gary uses the GRS System 3 for most of his wood carving and engraving work, and works with a variety of wood. For this rose plaque, he used the GRS 850 Rotary handpiece for the outlines and the System 3 impact handpiece. Since his class in 2007, Gary has been creating dozens of wooden bowls, jewelry boxes, art pieces like this rose, and many other things.
See some of his work on his website woodartbygary.com. If you would like to learn how to carve and engrave wood like Gary did, visit the GRS Training Center website to find out more about the Basic Wood course and instructor Bill Janney.
The art of engraving is a wonderful way to remember a loved one who has passed. Whether it’s in memory of a young hunter, or a dearly treasured grandfather.
This plaque, engraved by Todd Daniels, will be placed out at the favorite fishing spot of Otis Moon’s grandfather. “My grandfather loved to fish,” said Moon, “and he would go down to his farm lake and fish in this one spot where the fish were biting. Fishing was his passion.” When Moon’s grandfather passed away in 2006, his grandmother had a bench made that rests at his grandfather’s favorite fishing spot.
“There are a lot of people that come over and fish in Grandmother’s lake, so she wanted to put my grandfather’s name on the bench as a dedication to him and his favorite fishing spot.” Todd Daniels, who teaches at the GRS Training Center, used block lettering for the large name in the center of the piece, and script lettering at the top an bottom. The plaque reads “In Loving Memory of Clarence R. Lacey Sept. 4, 1912 – Dec. 8, 2006”.
Daniels used a GraverMach with a 901 handpiece using a flat and a square graver. The actual engraving is impressive to see first-hand, with lines on the block lettering that change from bright to dark like window blinds. This will create a nice effect since it will be out in the sunlight. The block lettering is so accurate and precise, an untrained eye might immediately assume it was machine engraved. For more information about Todd Daniels and the courses he will teach in 2009, visit his page on the GRS Training Center website.
Techniques for Deep Relief Scene Engraving is a new 2009 course at the GRS Training Center. Robert “Bob” Finlay will teach his methods and style during this intermediate course in July. Recently, his engraved MicroBlock was featured here in its final stage of engraving. Finlay created a Great Plains theme, complete with cowboys, horses, and more.
Finlay has also engraved a multitude of Hobo Nickels. His work with this style of engraving allows him to design layouts with a three-dimensional quality that is admirable. “In 1980, Bob met the late Don Glaser who introduced him to another set of skills, metal engraving. If you have been to a GRS class and attended the Tuesday night dinner, you have seen some of Bob’s extraordinary deep relief work on guns, knives, battle axes, and Hobo Nickels. His newest project is the Great Plains GRS Microblock Ball Vise. He is also currently working on a 1/3 scale 4-cylinder engine…”
If you would like to know more about Techniques for Deep Relief Scene Engraving, call 1-800-835-3519 today to enroll in this limited-seat class. Read more of Robert “Bob” Finlay’s biography and view images of his work on the GRS Training Center website.
With the holiday season approaching, many search for the right holiday card to send out to friends, family, and businesses. As artists, engravers have an opportunity to create a personal and unique holiday card. Printmaking can turn an original engraving into a printed treasure that can be enjoyed by many.
Printmaking for engraving isn’t just for holiday cards, though. Engravers can create limited edition prints from a specific engraving, keeping the original plate while sharing the wonderful artwork. An engraver could also use printmaking to share a technique with many others, much like a plastic casting.
James Ehlers, who is the current professor of Engraving Arts at Emporia State University, teaches this technique to students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Engraving Arts. The students get to design and engrave the original artwork, learn how to prep the plate, and make the print.
If you are interested in what you can do with printmaking for engraving, call today to speak with a representative about enrolling in Engraving Techniques for Printmaking with James Ehlers at the GRS Training Center in 2009 . This specialty course is new for the 2009 year, and will be a great learning experience for any interested engraver.
Any custom knife with a Damascus steel blade has an extra quality that dresses up the look of the cold, hard steel. The knife often gains much aesthetic value from this type of forging that is created by folding and layering raw materials.
The Damascus style can be visually translated into a technique that engravers can use on any metal surface without having to forge anything. This bracelet in copper is by Ashton Ludden, who created a similar look on a stainless steel ring. This engraved Damascus style can be used as a background treatment or as the main design as shown here. Whether you use it just in the background or as the main design, this technique provides a rich visual texture to the metal.
The possibilities for this technique are as endless as the patterns created by actual Damascus steel. Try your hand at the style on a small practice plate or key fob to get the feel of it. Experimenting with patterns that range from more organic and wood-like to repetitive geometric designs can help with creative thinking. Let us know what you discover by sending an email to email@example.com and your work could be featured online.
Bringing two different styles of engraving together can certainly add variety to a small piece, such as this belt buckle here. With two styles, the effects can create a jazzy, contrasting design that has a unique look. Or two styles can bring a balance and unity to the layout.
Depending on the initial styles, an engraver may have endless possibilities. One thing to watch out for is adding too many engraving styles to one piece. This belt buckle has a nice contrast of two styles, with the flat yet detailed bulino buck and the swashes of three-dimensional, shiny cuts.
The small buckle measures approximately 2″ (50.8 mm) across and is the perfect size for this pairing of styles.
Last month D.J. Glaser, President of Glendo Corporation, introduced his new “Volcano” stone setting technique in a tutorial in the GRS Online Resource Library. After demonstrating the technique in a copper bracelet, Glaser wanted to explore the use of this setting with different stone shapes and in a variety of metals. This new piece featuring the “Volcano” setting technique focuses on setting an oval-shaped sapphire in a stainless steel key tag.
Starting with a flat key tag 1.9 mm thick and a yellow sapphire approximately 0.5 mm thicker, Glaser first created a seat for the stone by moving the metal out to the sides with his GRS GraverMach and Magnum handpiece. You will notice in the second photo the back of the key tag where the metal has domed up from forces used to create the “volcano”. Once your piece is completed, some light sanding will smooth the surface out so that the effects of the setting cannot be seen from the back. Glaser finished setting the stone in a bezel style, alternating sides to ensure the stone stayed level. The result is a unique setting that adds a new flair to your work.
While Glaser considered this project a success, he wouldn’t call it a commercial success. “I do not consider this technique a commercial replacement for many tried & true setting techniques. It is somewhat esoteric and limited, but an interesting way to do something different. However, one unique structural benefit is that it thickens the metal around the stone which can be important aesthetically and structurally in certain situations.” To learn how you can set an oval stone like this, read the Volcano Stone Setting: Part 2 tutorial today. Be sure to check back for future “Volcano Settings” in other materials and different shaped stones.
Lost wax casting methods for jewelry pieces can create beautiful pieces embellished with custom stones setting and engraving. But this ring, with its 2.63 carat pear-shaped diamond floating around a ring of pavéd stones, was completely hand-forged and fabricated by one talented jeweler.
Featured recently in National Jeweler magazine (June 2008), Russ Hollander of Stamford, Connecticut has been in the business for over thirty years and recently introduced a GRS GraverMax machine to his benchwork. Principally working in platinum and high-karat gold, this custom jeweler spent about 26 hours creating this ring by hand. From the shanks to the under-bezels to the prongs, Hollander worked on the entire piece from start to finish. He even carved and shaped a rolled wire detail that traverses the ring alongside the pavéd stones.
Although he loves his work regardless, Hollander commented that adding the GraverMax saved him at least a couple hours and a sore elbow and shoulder. “This particular project became much less stressful, and made the job that much more of a joy,” said Hollander. Visit the R. Hollander Master Goldsmith website for more information about Russ and his wonderfully handmade custom jewelry.
History often lends itself to future fashions. Whether the fashion is in clothing, cars, or jewelry, styles of the past create a rich library of details and looks for creating new artistic work.
This pendant is by Michael Cirelli of Beaver, Pennsylvania, who has been creating this kind of work for about thirty years now. The art and graphics of the Art Deco movement inspired Cirelli to make this pearl and diamond pendant. The center is a 22 mm fresh water pearl set in palladium, flanked by a row of forty-five bead-set diamonds.
The overall piece measures approximately 50 mm x 36 mm. Its half-circle design contributes to the Art Deco look, which often employed radiating sunbursts, rays of gradients, and similar designs. Cirelli used onglette and square gravers, a torch, saw, files, and a GRS 901 handpiece to create this entire piece by hand. Drawing inspiration from previous artistic movements can bring new life to your work and create a timeless piece that echoes beautiful designs, much like this cultured pearl pendant.
From firearm parts to folding knives, brilliant diamonds of all colors and sizes are popping up on non-traditional work, and the results are stunning. This piece by Rick Eaton is an excellent example of how to incorporate these stones with engraved work on something other than jewelry.
This folder features banknote engraving, 24K gold inlay, AND thirty-one white diamonds. As a long-time knifemaker and engraver, Rick Eaton has given this smooth Damascus-blade knife a design that adds substantial value to the overall work. The thirty-one diamonds wrap around leaves and golden vines on both sides of this piece. These fine gold vines stem from a three-dimensional scroll of gold, which Eaton created by sculpting the gold inlay.
The back strap also shows off a series of diamonds and sculpted engraving, adding a serious design aesthetic that flows nicely into the waves of the Damascus blade. Find out more about Rick Eaton and his custom knifemaking and engraving skills on the GRS Training Center website and don’t forget to check back on December 1, 2008 for next year’s Course Schedule.
Playing with words as design elements as an engraver can be both fun and challenging. This bracelet by Tira Mitchell plays with words in a unique way — by using an ambigram as the focus of the layout.
This ambigram spells out “GRS” one way. When flipped around 180°, the name “Kim” can easily be seen. Mitchell presented this bracelet, still in flat form, to GRS during the 2008 Grand Masters Program for general manager Kim Pember.
To create this original design, Mitchell spent over sixty hours figuring, drawing, testing, and then engraving line after line. What looks like traditional cutting techniques to form wriggle-like cuts and parallel lines using a liner tool are actually much more complicated. Tira used varying depth v-shaped cuts to create a dimensional line, and then cut each line individually to form a parallel, multi-line element. She also used an assortment of angles for cuts to create a surface for the ambigram that would play with light when turned in the hand.
Along the sides as seen in the second photo is micro-lettering that states “Because good is the enemy of great.” This whole piece is wonderfully created — quite an impressive amount of time and effort went into this piece.
Learn more about Tira Mitchell at the GRS Training Center website. Watch for the release of the 2009 Course Schedule on December 1, 2008 to find out when you can enroll in an engraving course with Tira and learn some of her creative engraving methods.
Robert ‘Bob’ Finlay is a skilled engraver who finds great joy in this art form. He has been engraving for several years, creating deep relief engravings on anything from buffalo nickels to the engravable GRS Microblock.
This block has been featured in several stages here on Featured Photos in the past. Now, it is complete with nearly every area of surface metal carved away into a scene that captures ‘The Great Plains.’ Although Finlay has recently completed this design and created a smooth, rotating turntable for the vise mounted to a nice wood base.
Taking a close look at the engraved vise shows just how deep Finlay cut the metal away to carve each scene. In 2009, Finlay will be teaching his techniques for design and engraving deep relief at the GRS Training Center. You can add depth to your engraving style by calling today to speak with a GRS representative. Watch for the official online release of the 2009 Course Schedule on December 1, 2008, and don’t miss your opportunity to learn from Bob Finlay.
Set 1 – Engraved Microblock: A High Relief Work-in-Progess
Set 2 – Engraved Microblock: One Way to Create a Scene Layout
Set 3 – Engraved Microblock: Progression from Layout to Sculpting
Set 4 – Engraved Microblock: Riding into the West
Set 5 – Engraved Microblock: The Finished Block*
*Bob decided to add more engraving in the months to follow, as shown above.